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January 20, 2019

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Emergency Relief Programs

In the event of an emergency, the Alliance can offer support for artists by connecting them with our diverse network of residency programs across the country. By providing the time, space, and support that residencies offer, artists can focus on their work, reflect, and renew their creative practice during an especially challenging time.
"I will remember the time in my life following hurricane Katrina when my spirit needed lifting the most. I will remember the time in my life when I woke up one morning at Headlands Center for the Arts smiling." 

         - Monique Moss, dancer and participant in Gulf Coast Artists Hurricane Relief Program

The Alliance of Artists Communities has a number of emergency relief programs for artists, including:

The Alliance works with a network of committed partners - including CERF+ and the Joan Mitchell Foundation -  who have a long history of supporting artists in times of emergency and providing vital leadership to the arts community in addressing the needs of artists. We recommend the following resources for artists and organizations affected by Tropical Storm Harvey:


Emergency Funds for Individual Artists Participating in Residencies

The Alliance of Artists Communities, with funding from The Joan Mitchell Foundation, has established an emergency fund in support of painters and sculptors to participate in artists’ residencies. The fund disburses mini-grants to artists who have already been accepted and scheduled for a residency, but who would not otherwise be able to participate due to a sudden change in circumstances.

Emergency grants of up to $1,000 are available for eligible artists. In order to be eligible for emergency assistance an applicant must:

  • Be a painter or sculptor
  • Have been accepted and scheduled to participate in a residency program that is an Organizational Member of the Alliance of Artists Communities 
  • Have experienced a recent, unforeseen emergency or triggering event that would otherwise prohibit his/her participation in the planned residency
  • Be a legal U.S. resident

How to apply for funds

  1. The residency program makes initial contact with the Alliance of Artists Communities, on behalf of the artist
  2. The Alliance will then invite the artist to apply directly to the Alliance for funds
  3. Grants will be disbursed directly to the artist.

Emergency funds are not intended to replace scholarships, grants, or other subsidies for a residency for which an artist would otherwise be eligible.

We also encourage artists in need of funding to consult the "Fees, Stipends, and Funding" page of our website and to reach out to their state's arts council.

For more information, please contact the Alliance of Artists Communities at info [at] artistcommunities [dot] org.

This program is supported by
Joan Mitchell Foundation

Residencies for Artists Affected by a Natural Disaster

The Alliance serves artists affected by natural disasters by mobilizing our network of residency programs to offer residencies to such artists. For example, when the Eagle Mountain Fire destroyed Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in 2004, the Alliance worked with more than a dozen organizations to provide immediate residencies to the artists who were in residence at Dorland at the time of the fire and scheduled to be in residence later that year. In 2006, the Alliance's "Creative Renewal" program provided residencies to 25 Gulf Coast artists displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

How these programs work:

In the event of a natural disaster, the Alliance contacts its network of more than 300 residency programs to identify immediate and short-term availability of residencies. Residency programs provide information on dates of availability, facilities, eligibility, and other support offered, through the Alliance's online Emergency Residency Database. The Alliance then works with affected artists -- either through an open call or through a partner organization in the affected area -- to take advantage of these residency opportunities.

This process is activated as-needed, and will be announced by the Alliance online, through CERF+, and throughout our networks in the U.S. and abroad. For more information, please contact the Alliance of Artists Communities at info [at] artistcommunities [dot] org.

This program is supported by

Creative Renewal: Gulf Coast Artists Hurricane Relief Program

In 2006 Hurricane Katrina caused massive destruction of the entire Gulf Coast of the United States, leaving residents devastated not only by the loss of their homes and businesses but by the loss of their culture and community.

That year, in partnership with The James Irvine Foundation, the Alliance of Artists Communities introduced the Gulf Coast Artists Hurricane Relief Program;  to support and promote the work of artists from the Gulf Coast, expose them to a diverse community of California artists and foster a unique cultural and creative exchange.

Learn more about the Gulf Coast Artists in the full report.

Twenty-five artists were selected to participate in the program and were matched with six residencies; the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside; the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica; the Exploratorium in San Francisco; the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito; Kala Art Institute in Berkeley; and The Sally and Don Lucas Artists Programs at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga.  While the lead time for these competitive programs — from when an artist applies to the start of a residency — is normally 18 to 24 months, the program allowed artists to complete the process and start residencies within a few months of their application.

Each participating artists received a stipend to facilitate the creation of new work, replace damaged supplies or equipment, and support their contining carreer. During the one to two-month residencies, many artists developed work that shed new light on Hurricane Katrina, its aftermath and cultural significance, while others continued work that reflects the rich history and traditions of the Gulf Coast.  The program not only fostered individual artistic growth and work, but bridged the distinct artistic communities of the Gulf Coast and California, enabling collaborations and dialogue that continue today.

"Creative Renewal" was made possible through generous support from the James Irvine Foundation.