The COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund FAQ

Artist Trust is fortunate to have provided 134 Washington State Artists with $1,500 each through this round of relief funding (March-May 2021). At this time, the total funding available of $901,000 has been distributed to 565 artists, and the Relief Fund is currently closed. We at Artist Trust recognize that the need for support has not gone away and will continue to promote other relief funds and resources for artists on our COVID-19 Response page.

Priority was given to individuals who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including artists from historically marginalized communities, BIPOC artists, artists who are immunocompromised, artists who identify as LGBTQ+, artists with immigrant status, and artists living with or having disabilities. Applications were reviewed by the programs team using a scoring rubric developed through collaboration with local and national partners in artist relief funding.

Please read this FAQ prior to contacting our staff with questions. If your question is not covered in this FAQ, please contact our Program Coordinator Grace Nakahara at

Updated June 14, 2021

How do I apply?

This fund is currently closed.

How can I contribute to the fund?

Fundraising for the relief fund has ended. However, if you would like to make a contribution to Artist Trust’s greater relief efforts and supporting artists statewide, please visit our donation page here.

Am I eligible for this funding?

This funding is intended to support working artists residing in Washington State whose livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19.

To be eligible for this funding, you must be an individual artist, 18 years or older, and residing in Washington State at the time of the deadline and receiving funds. You cannot be currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program at the time of the deadline and when funds are distributed, and you cannot apply on behalf of a business, company, nonprofit, organization, community group, ensemble, collective, or a fiscally-sponsored entity. Artists who received funding from our first round of funding from the COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund in 2020 are ineligible.

Proof of residency, such as a copy of a current Washington State Driver’s License / ID or a last month’s utility bill, is required for your payment to be processed. The address on the utility bill must match the address included in your letter of agreement and application.

What is a working artist?

A working artist is one whose primary source of income is from their art or art-related activities / gigs. Artists who receive funding must fall into these four disciplinary categories: film/media, literary, performing, and visual. Curators, arts workers, community organizers, producers, and nail technicians are not considered working artists. This fund supports generative individual artists, those who are the originators of works of art. 

How much money does an individual artist receive?

Grants are $1,500. 

How many artists were funded? 

In this round of funding, we were able to provide 134 artists with $1,500 each.

What is a “critical need”?

Critical needs are:

  • Rent and mortgage payments, food, utilities, and other living expenses
  • Physical and mental health related expenses

This funding is not for art supplies or arts-related expenses and projects.

When will my application be reviewed?

Applications were reviewed within the month following the fund’s close on April 26 2021.

How were applicants selected?

Artist Trust used an intersectional approach to application review, allowing applicants to self-select into demographic and other categories. The review team prioritized BIPOC artists who identify with other marginalized communities such as LGBTQ artists, immunocompromised artists, artists living with or having a disability, artists with immigrant status, and artists who are residents of regions/communities experiencing the greatest impacts from COVID-19.

If I’ve been selected for relief funding, when will I receive the money?

Once you’re selected, we’ll send you a letter of agreement and W-9 as an additional form to your original application in Submittable. Upon receipt of these materials, we’ll process your funding, and it will be directly deposited into your bank account within 3-5 business days depending on your bank. We are only able to distribute relief funding by direct deposit.

Can I edit my application after I submit?

No, once your application has been submitted, you cannot make edits to it. 

Should I provide work samples, links to work samples, or my resume/CV?

Work samples are not required. However, you can include links in the “Tell us about your work as an artist” section of the application if you’d like.

Will receiving funding disqualify me from applying to and receiving other Artist Trust grants?


I have received a merit-based grant (AIA, Fellowship, GAP, THA/SOLA, LaSalle, James W. Ray Award, and/or Venture Project) from Artist Trust in the past. Can I still apply?


Do I have to pay taxes on this funding?

Our fund qualifies as a disaster relief payment, and thus is not required to be reported or disclosed by employers or employees, including via Form W-2 or 1099, and is not subject to federal tax withholding obligations. We encourage you to reach out to your own tax professional.