Now Accepting Applications to The Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund

The creative & cultural arts sector is one of the top five industries that has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 global pandemic crisis: The California Arts Council estimates that 85% of individual artists and cultural workers have had work cancelled and have lost $23,857 in personal income on average.

Event cancellations are not just disruptive, they are devastating for our arts community—and the Fresno Arts Council is stepping up for Fresno County artists facing immediate and imminent financial emergencies.

Grant Application Deadline: Monday, May 4, 2020



What is the Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund?

The Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund (FASNF) is an emergency initiative organized by the board and staff members of the Fresno Arts Council to distribute one-time grants valued up to $500 to individual artists permanently residing in Fresno County. These unrestricted cash awards are intended to help individual artists facing financial emergencies directly related to COVID-19. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, and submit completed forms and answer all questions to the best of their knowledge. Applicants who are selected to receive relief funding may not re-apply for additional individual artist grants from this fund. Individual grant not to exceed $500 cash value.


Will the Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund be available again?

No, this is a temporary initiative in response to the recent impact of COVID-19 public health measures resulting in loss of income for individual artists permanently residing in Fresno County. We are currently seeking voluntary donations from the public to sustain this relief fund. You do not have to donate to apply for an individual artist grant.

Grants will be distributed until funds run out. Due to the magnitude of this crisis, we anticipate that the need for relief funding will exceed the funds raised for this effort, therefore applications demonstrating immediate or imminent need will be prioritized for selection. If you are able to help us sustain this relief funding effort, please donate today.





Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be practicing artists permanently residing in Fresno County with a verifiable residential address. Applicants must be able to receive taxable income in the United States regardless of their citizenship status, and be at least 18 years of age at the time of application. Practicing artists must be able to demonstrate proof of creative work for at least the past 6 months, or since November 2019, and be able to provide proof of financial need as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic such as event or gig cancellations effective the past 60 days, or since February 20, 2020. Applicants requesting financial relief for cancelled art-related events or work gigs backdated further than 60 days (or prior to February 20, 2020) will not be considered for selection.


Who may not apply for the Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund?

The following may not apply for an individual artist grant from the Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund: any employee, board member, director, officer, vendor, sponsor, or immediate family member of the Fresno Arts Council; any representative of an arts organizations or artists’ group and collective; any individual previously awarded any amount from this fund; any practicing artist who has not sustained or cannot demonstrate proof of creative work produced in the past 6 months, or since November 2019; any practicing artist seeking to recoup loss of income from an art event or gig originally scheduled to occur prior to February 20, 2020, i.e. more than 60 days ago.


How do you define “practicing artist”?

A practicing artist must be able to demonstrate a sustained and continuous investment in the creative arts through individual artworks, career and/or public audience engagement in any arts discipline, whether commercial or not. Individual artists must demonstrate that they both make a living from their artwork AND that their livelihood depends primarily on the ability to sustain this artwork. The creative practice does not need to be the primary source of income to qualify for this fund. Practicing artists may be self-taught or formally-trained and educated. Practicing artists must be able to demonstrate creative activity since the past 6 months, or since November 2019.

Practicing artists who cannot provide documentation of work will not be prioritized during the grant review process. Documentation can include websites, written bios, social media presence, press links, and any third-party materials such as event flyers or programs. Digital files and/or links accepted.


What constitutes a “financial emergency”?

Although individual grant funds will be unrestricted, meaning that funds may be spent at the discretion of the recipient, the Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund will prioritize applicants facing immediate or imminent loss of critical essentials such as housing, medicine, food, and childcare. Applicants must provide clear and thorough descriptions regarding their current situation in their application forms prior to submitting: Funding review panelists will not be following up for incomplete or partially-filled answers. Applicants who cannot demonstrate financial need will not be considered for a relief grant at this time.


Can I receive more than one grant if I really need it?

No, applicants who are selected for a relief fund will not be allowed to re-apply to this fund. The individual artist grant is a one-time gift. Grants will not exceed $500, and the FASNF is not intended as a long-term strategy to supplement individual artist income loss.


Can I still apply if I am a multidisciplinary artist?

Yes, however, if you are selected for an award, we ask that you not re-apply so that another individual artist may receive much needed relief funds. When filling out your application form, please click up to three arts disciplines that best describe your creative arts practice.


Can I apply if I have showcased artwork in Fresno County but don’t reside there?

No. All applicants must have a permanent residence in Fresno County to qualify for the Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund. The relief initiative is intended for Fresno County residents only.


I received grants and gifts from other places already—Can I still apply for the Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund?



Can I apply if I live in the Central Valley, but not in Fresno County?

No, these funds are limited geographically to Fresno County residents only. You can search for other local, state, and federal funding opportunities on the California Arts Council website here:





Am I guaranteed to receive an individual artist grant if I apply early?

No, funds are limited and applicants demonstrating financial need will be prioritized during the review and selection process. We anticipate that the need for funding will outnumber funds available, so we will be unable to provide relief funding for every applicant.


How can I apply?

If you are eligible, apply online here. E-mailed application forms, whether sent in the body of an email or as a separate attachment, will not be opened. Please do not mail your application form to the Fresno Arts Council: the office is currently closed to the public until further notice, and all staff are sheltering in place and working remotely. Mailed applications may not be received or reviewed during the application period.


Can I apply on the behalf of someone else?

Unfortunately, no. We are aware that regular and reliable internet or computer access may be an issue for some applicants, but the online application form cannot currently accommodate those needs. You may, however, complete the online application form for an individual who requires additional assistance, e.g. physical or cognitive disability, but all contact information and answers must still be provided by the individual applying for a grant. You may not apply on the behalf of a minor. All applicants must be at least 18 years old.


Is the form available in Spanish or another language?

No, at this time the application form is available in writing only in English. Please email the Fresno Arts Council at for additional language assistance and resources.


How will applications be reviewed for selection?

Applications submitted within the open reading period (April 20 – May 4, 2020) will be reviewed by the grants team for at least two weeks. After review, the grants team will deliberate for 1-2 weeks. It may take up to four weeks to complete the grants review process.

Only artists selected to receive relief funding grants will be contacted. Please do not call or email the Fresno Arts Council inquiring about the status of your application or whether you will be receiving a grant: Fresno Arts Council staff will not have that information available, and may still be sheltering in place and working remotely.


When is the deadline to apply?

The open application period opens Monday, April 20, 2020. The deadline is May 4, 2020. Apply online here.


Can I apply more than once?

You may submit once during an open application period. If you have been selected to receive an individual artist grant, you will not be able to re-apply to this fund. All relief funds are one-time grants, and limited to one per applicant or individual.


Can I save my application then finish it later?

Unfortunately, no. The application form must be completed within the same session: if you close the window before submitting, your answers will not be saved.

You may choose to write your answers down in a separate document using any word processing program, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, then copy and paste your answers into the online application form when you are ready. This will prevent you from having to start-over, in case you lose your internet connection or if you experience any kind of technical issue while filling out the application form.


Will my information be kept confidential?

Yes, your answers will not be shared outside the FASNF team and your information will not be used for marketing or promotional purposes. Little Green Light, the application platform, operates with above-industry-standard security certificates to securely store and protect all data collected. Your information will not be copied, shared, or viewed by anyone not directly involved in the FASNF initiative.





Will you be publicly announcing those selected to receive a grant?

No. We will not be revealing the names or identities of applicants receiving an individual artist grant from the FASNF initiative. If you receive a grant and would like to share the news publicly, please do that at your own discretion.


How long until I know whether or not I was selected for a grant?

Please expect up to four weeks. Our grants team will be reviewing all applications during this time, and making recommendations for grant recipients. Only applicants selected to receive a grant will be contacted. If you have not heard back from a representative from either the FASNF or the Fresno Arts Council within four weeks, you may assume that your application was not selected. Please do not email or call Fresno Arts Council staff as to the status of your application: staff will not have that information available.


If I receive a grant, do I have to report anything in return?

No, grants are unrestricted. The maximum individual grant is $500 cash, and you may need to pay taxes on this income based on your circumstances. Grant recipients are responsible for managing their own financial records and filing tax documents in a timely manner.


If I receive a grant, will I need to do anything in return?

In furtherance of the Fresno Arts Council’s nonprofit mission to encourage participation and appreciation of the arts, FASNF grant recipients will be asked to collaborate with the Fresno Arts Council to share their artistic work in some way with the public.


Who is administering the Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund?

The Fresno Arts Council will be managing the entire initiative from application to grant distribution, with funding from private sponsors as well as individual donors from the community. If you love the arts and would like help us sustain this effort, please donate today to the Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund.





Are donations tax-deductible?

Yes, all donations are fully tax-deductible to the full extent of the law: The Fresno Arts Council (EIN: 94-2902674″>94-2902674) is administering this fund. You can donate today to save the arts in Fresno County.


Where will my donation go?

Your donation will go directly into the Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund, a stand-alone fund reserved only for grantmaking; the fund will be administered by the Fresno Arts Council.


How much of my donation is going to artists?

Other than a small credit card processing fee, 100% of all online donations will go directly into the Fresno Artist Safety Net Fund. No donations will be used for administrative salaries, advertising, promotion, or any other normal business operations activity at the Fresno Arts Council.





Where can I find more financial resources for artists impacted by COVID-19?

Please visit the California Arts Council’s COVID-19 Information Page for a full list of local, state, and federal resources. The list will continue growing as new resources are added near daily:


Do we know how artists and arts organizations in California have been impacted already by COVID-19?

Yes, the California Arts Council recently released an infographic detailing the results of their preliminary impact survey here.