Resources for Artists Dealing With the Economic Fallout of COVID – 19

The following is  a list of resources for artists dealing with the economic fallout from the effects of COVID – 19.


Message From the Illinois Arts Alliance:

As you may have seen, the $2.2 trillion economic relief bill was implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the largest financial relief package ever passed by the United States government.

The package includes numerous measures to support the creative industries, including direct funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and other federal agencies; support for cultural organizations and self-employed creative professionals through Small Business Administration emergency loans; expanded unemployment benefits, including for contract and “gig economy” workers; an “above-the-line” charitable-giving tax deduction; and assistance to individuals through direct payments. For more details on the benefits of the package to the creative sector, read this summary from Americans for the Arts.

This week the Alliance hosted our first COVID-related Weekly Policy Briefing reviewing details of the bill, including its implications for our sector. Click here to listen to a recording of the webinar. 

As we review details of this bill, we will continue to direct you to resources that provide the most immediate potential for relief. Here are two websites that you might find helpful:

  • The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has resources for businesses, workers, and residents, including information on how to apply for Small Business Administration Disaster Loans and the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund.
  • The Illinois Department of Employment Security has everything you need to know to take advantage of expanded unemployment benefits as a result of the new law.

    As Illinois extends its stay-at-home order until April 30, we hope you and your loved ones are able to stay home and stay safe. We know you’re getting a lot of information at once these days, which is why we’ll only direct you to resources with the most immediate potential for relief.

    First, as attendees of our first COVID-related Weekly Policy Briefing heard last week, we have big news coming up regarding a relief fund for artists and cultural organizations affected by COVID-19 closures. Stay tuned for an announcement tomorrow in partnership with the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, and members of the philanthropic community.

    Next, if you have questions about new and expanded resources available to Illinois creative-sector small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, including arts and culture nonprofits, join us this Thursday, April 2 at 2:30pm for our Weekly Policy Briefing.

    We will discuss the basics of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and similar programs: what funding is available, who’s eligible, and where to apply. We’ll also direct you to experts and information that can walk you through the process further. A representative of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity will join us to answer questions.

    Click Here to Register:


Lawyers for the Creative Arts
This organization is committed to helping the Illinois art community. The impact of the virus has most immediately affected the performing arts but will have a long term effect on all the arts. They have created a Brief Service Response Center to provide general advice by telephone on issues relating to cancellations. The Response Center is open for individual artists and managers of arts organizations affected by the Coronavirus crisis. The application form is short, and they will attempt to respond to you in a timely manner.


3 Arts Chicago Artists: Emergency Resources for Artists

National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness & Emergency Response

CERF+ The Artists Safety Net