The Idea Fund - Emergency Relief Grant

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has provided an opportunity for The Idea Fund, a regranting program administered by DiverseWorks, Aurora Picture Show and Project Row Houses, to support visual and multidisciplinary artists in the Greater Houston Area who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 60+ $1,000 grants will be awarded through an online application process. The Idea Fund - Emergency Relief Grant portal opens April 13, 2020; the deadline to apply for consideration is Monday, April 27, 2020, 11:59 PM.

The Idea Fund’s Emergency Relief Grant is conceived as an emergency grant to assist artists whose income has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including job cuts or furloughed employment; lost income from canceled exhibitions, performances, and lectures; and needed assistance with basic expenses such as food, rent, medical costs, and child care during this time. 


Who can apply?
The Emergency Relief Grant supports self-identifying individual visual and multidisciplinary artists who live and work in the Greater Houston Area, including the eight counties of Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Waller, Chambers, Liberty, and Montgomery.

  • Applicants must be a practicing artist of any discipline with a focus on visual arts (i.e. film, painting, performance art, photography, sculpture, installation, sound, and text-based visual art practices)
  • Applicants must have been impacted as a result of the pandemic and be in need of funds to cover necessary living expenses such as food, housing, utilities, medical costs, or family care. 

How to apply?
Applications must be completed online via Submittable. The online application will prompt you to provide the following:

  • Proof of Artistic Practice.
    • Artistic resume and or CV
    • OR a link to your website
    • OR a link to a public event that you recently participated in
  • Declaration of Need (500 words or less)

What is our Timeline?
The Idea Fund will review applications after the April 27, 11:59 PM deadline. Once applications are selected, award notifications will be distributed within 7-10 days

  • A personal W-9 from the grantee will be required to process payment
  • Payments are currently planned to be made via electronic payment

How will the grants be selected?
Applications will be reviewed for eligibility only. Selections will be based on a blind-drawing (lottery) process. Each application will be assigned a distinct number, those numbers will be selected randomly, and grants will then be distributed according to the funds available.

What can I use the grant for?
Artists may apply to The Idea Fund-Emergency Relief Grant for the following:

  • Recouping financial losses due to canceled events. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Performances, exhibitions, public programming
    • Readings, panels, and speaking opportunities
  • Reimbursement for travel expenses related to creative work that you paid for yourself. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Attending conferences and convenings that have been canceled
    • Artist residencies
    • Touring of shows
  • Offsetting loss of income for teaching artists who could not teach during this time because of canceled classes and school closures
  • Support for artists working full or part-time in the service and hospitality industry who have lost supplemental income used to support their creative practices.
  • Support for basic expenses such as food, rent, medical costs, and child care during this time. 

Individuals receiving grants are subject to state and federal taxes. They will be required to submit a W9 to receive payment of the grant and will be issued a 1099 tax document, per IRS requirements.

We recognize the limited nature of this effort, if applicants need further assistance please visit The Idea Fund’s List of COVID-19 Resources and Relief Grants for additional resources and opportunities.

If you are having trouble with the application and or need assistance on how to submit please feel free to contact:

About The Idea Fund - Emergency Relief
The Idea Fund - Emergency Relief Grant is a part of a re-granting program administered by DiverseWorks in partnership with Aurora Picture Show and Project Row Houses and funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Emergency Relief Grant replaces The Idea Fund’s re-granting program for Round 13 and is open to all self-identifying visual and multidisciplinary artists in the Greater Houston Area. The Idea Fund’s Round 14 will resume in Spring 2021.