Resources for Artists Dealing With the Economic Fallout of COVID – 19: Updated July 30


Message From the Illinois Arts Alliance:

On July 26, Senate Republicans released their coronavirus relief bill. The bill raises serious concerns, particularly in these two key areas:

  • Unemployment Benefits: The additional $600/week from the federal government would decrease to only $200/week through September 2020. It would then change to the amount (capped at $500/week) necessary to bring an individual’s total benefits – including what is provided by the state – to 70% of the individual’s lost wages.
  • Aid to State & Local Governments: No additional funding would be provided. Without additional federal support to offset COVID-caused revenue shortfalls, the State of Illinois would need to make significant budget cuts, likely including cuts to the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

These two provisions do not align with the policies our sector needs and would be devastating to Illinois artists. The Senate Republican proposal, however, is just one step in negotiations. We must act now!

Take Action for the Arts Now

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has already emailed and called your legislators, shared our posts on social media, and spoken up for the creative sector in Illinois. But we need to keep up the momentum and make our voices heard in response to the Senate Republicans proposal. 

Contact your legislators (by e-mail and phone) by clicking below.

The news out of Washington is messy and presents significant challenges to our field. We’re bringing together a panel of experts to speak on the current federal COVID relief negotiations, the political dynamics behind proposals made to date, and the potential impacts on Illinoisans and the creative sector. We’ll also be discussing the difficult fight for racial equity in these proposed COVID relief policies and how we as a sector can join that fight.


Maria Lopez de Leon, President and CEO of National Association of Latino Arts and Culture

Daniel Biss, former Illinois State Senator

Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy of the League of American Orchestras

Date and Time: 1 – 2pm CST, Monday, August 3

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


For more information and resources for artists, visit our FAQ.

Artist Relief
To support artists during the COVID-19 crisis, a coalition of national grantmakers consisting of Artadia, Academy of American Poets, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists, have come together to create an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States.

Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing information resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists.
Applications are open:


A Guide to COVID-19 and Your Finances: What you Need to Know:
As the novel coronavirus continues to infect people across the nation, COVID-19 is forcing businesses to shut down and causing millions of Americans to file for unemployment. In response, the U.S. federal government has introduced the CARES Act to provide financial assistance to individuals, small businesses and health care providers in an attempt to stabilize the economy. This website provides a comprehensive rundown of helpful information about government assistance.

National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness & Emergency Response

CERF+ The Artists Safety Net