Sundance Institute Sets $1 Million Coronavirus-Relief Fund For Independent Artists and Organizations

Saying “this moment calls for a radical shift in strategy in the way we support independent artists in film, media, and theatre,” Sundance Institute is launching a $1 million fund to support the immediate needs of independent artists and organization during the coronavirus shutdown.

“Three things are clear,” the org said in announcing its relief effort. “First, it is essential that significant resources go directly to artists who are struggling financially, in order to support their basic needs and their work. Second, the need right now is greater than any one artist or group and disproportionately affects artists from historically underrepresented communities. Third, it’s clear that collaboration and collective impact will be needed to address the extent of the challenge.”

One-third of the fund will support Sundance Institute-curated artists, while the rest will be dedicated to emergency support for the wider community of independent artists, deployed in collaboration with partner nonprofit organizations.

Here are the details:

• Immediate support for 100 Sundance Institute-curated artists, across disciplines and at all stages of development. Grants will be given to the 2020 spring and summer Lab participants to be used for artists’ emergency funds or for project development. Each of these artists will also receive creative and strategic support through Sundance Institute’s Lab programs, which have transitioned from in-person gatherings to events hosted on our digital platform, Sundance Co//ab.

• Emergency financial support to artists across the U.S. We have joined an incredible group of arts organizations and leading national grantmakers who have partnered at this unprecedented moment to launch a cross-disciplinary, needs-based fund called Artist Relief that will distribute funds to artists as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our partnership with Artist Relief will provide our experience and support to film, media, and theatre artists who are facing dire circumstances due to COVID-19 with emergency grants of $5,000.

• Emergency financial support to U.S. and international independent artist organizations focusing on historically underrepresented communities, to be deployed by these organizations both as regrants to artists and to strengthen the organizations themselves in their ongoing work. Our peer organizations, funders, and artists will nominate organizations who will then be invited to apply. The final selection will be made by the Institute and a panel of outside advisors. Applications will be evaluated on organizational impact and artist community reach.

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