Greater Nashville Artist Relief Fund

The Artist Relief Fund is designed to help sustain artists in Greater Nashville during times of difficulty, uncertainty, and loss. The Fund will be open to all artists at all levels of their careers, in a broad variety of disciplines, and will supply money help self-employed artists and artists employed/contracted by nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Greater Nashville recover from lost income due to the cancellation of scheduled gigs or opportunities (such as a commission, performance, contract, etc.), or due to layoff or furlough due to the March 3 tornados and/or COVID-19 precautionary measures. In the future, the Fund will continue to exist to help cover unexpected expenses directly resulting from a catastrophic, career-threatening events such as theft, fire, flood, or health emergency.

This funding is made available with an allocation from the Arts & Business Council’s operating account, plus the founding support of Ingram Charities, Concord, NCA Alarms, WC Dillon, and Go West Creative. We continue to fundraise for the Artist Relief Fund, and all donations to the Arts & Business Council are tax-deductible.

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Artists may request up to $500 to compensate for work that was scheduled or contracted and cancelled. At this time the Fund is not available to compensate for potential future loss of business or income. The first cycle of Fund applications closed on Friday, May 1.


To be eligible for a relief grant, applicants must be:

  • A practicing, non-commercial artist able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to their work, career, and a public audience. At this time, this funding is not available for commercial artists (those that create their art for the purpose of marketing or selling, such as graphic designers or social media content creators);
  • Self-employed or employed/contracted by an arts and culture organization in Greater Nashville. If you have other full-time employment that has not been disrupted, you are not eligible to apply; this funding is intended to support individuals who receive a significant percentage of their income through their art.
  • Experiencing dire financial emergencies due to gigs, contracts, or employment that have been permanently cancelled due to COVID-19 or the tornados, not just postponed;
  • 18 years of age or older, and not currently enrolled in a degree-granting program;
  • Primarily residing in one of the 13 counties that make up Greater Nashville: Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Cannon, Cheatham, Dickson, Macon, Maury, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, and Wilson (Proof of residency will be required with the application);
  • Residing and working in the U.S. for the last two years;
  • Able to provide a W9 and Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) (We will collect this information after you’ve been notified of your selection).

  • Applications will be accepted via an online Google Form on a rolling basis until funds are depleted.
  • Artists may apply for lost income, up to $500, due to any documented cancellation of gigs or contracts, including weddings and private events, commissions, teaching engagements, etc.
  • In addition to the application questions, documentation needed for the application will include: a copy of the applicant’s Driver’s License, or other proof of residency such as a utility bill or lease; documentation of the cancelled event and proof of participation such as an event poster or contract; and a resume or website portfolio showcasing the artist’s work.
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • If an applicant does not have internet access, or is having other issues with the application, they should call the Arts & Business Council at 615-460-8274 and leave a voicemail with a call back number.
  • At this time, artists may only submit one application.

  • Funding decisions will be largely first-come, first-serve, and will also be based on documented loss of income demonstrating a specific financial need, and funding availability. This is a competitive process as funding is limited. Successful applications will include clear and specific evidence of your loss of income.
  • Submission of an application does not guarantee funding.
  • The Arts & Business Council staff will review applications and will rely on the expertise of our partners in various artistic disciplines as needed to advise us in making grant award decisions.
  • If funds continue to be available, the application will remain open and submitted applications will be reviewed regularly. The review and decision making process may evolve in order to best serve our community of artists during this quickly-changing time.
  • As we process applications, we will continue to work to address needs from those most affected by ongoing, systemic inequities. This means we will prioritize applications from artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, Native and/or People of Color; applications from artists who live in rural communities; applications from artists in the disability community, including immunocompromised artists; and applications from artists who identify as LGBTQIA+

  • Applicants will receive e-mail notification of award decisions within 7-10 business days of the application submission.
  • Grant recipients will be asked submit a W9 form before funds will be distributed.
  • Funds will be distributed via check in the USPS within 7-10 business days, provided all documentation required is received from the award recipient. Funds can also be contributed directly to an applicant’s online fundraiser, such as GoFundMe or Indiegogo.
  • Funds are awarded as general operating support to artists and may be used at the discretion of the grant recipient, however it is expected that grant funds are used cover expenses for basic needs like food, rent, and utilities; or critical career-related expenses such as supplies or equipment.
  • If an applicant does not have a formal bank account, the Arts & Business Council will make arrangements for payment.

  • The first cycle of Fund applications will open at 9:00 am CT on Monday, April 27, and be open through 11:59 pm on Friday, May 1.

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