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Jason Rapp

Sundance Institute joins Artist Relief effort

Artist Relief snags high-profile field partner


Artist Relief, the coalition of national arts grantmakers announced recently, is proud to announce Sundance Institute as its first field partner.

In this new partnership, Sundance Institute will lend its expertise in the worlds of film, media and theatre, invest directly into the relief fund to act as a regranting channel for independent artists in those fields, and support the overall development and refinement of Artist Relief’s efforts to assist artists affected by COVID-19.

A national, multidisciplinary partnership between Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists, Artist Relief is an emergency coalition to provide emergency $5,000 grants and information resources to artists in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Artist Relief’s discipline-specific Field Partners will be integral to scaling the coalition’s initial efforts during this unprecedented emergency. Other partners will be announced in the weeks to come.

“We greatly admire the founding members of Artist Relief and their leadership in rapid, equitable funding of individual artists. They are the perfect vehicle to deliver the need-based giving that this moment demands. Sundance Institute is proud to join this collective initiative by investing directly into the fund and lending our expertise to ensure film, media, and theatre artists get the support they need during this unprecedented crisis,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of the Sundance Institute.

Artist Relief launched on April 8th with $10 million, consisting of $5 million in seed funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation matched with $5 million in initial contributions from an array of foundations across the United States. Its Field Partner program premiers alongside a sustained fundraising campaign designed to continually expand the coalition’s impact.

“Sundance Institute is an immeasurably important cultural institution and titan in their field. We’re thrilled to welcome them to Artist Relief as we deepen our work to support artists in film, media, and theatre. We offer their example to other organizations looking to support their disciplines by strengthening platforms like Artist Relief so we can collectively manage the difficult months ahead,” said Deana Haggag, President and CEO of United States Artists, a coalition member of Artist Relief.

Since opening applications, Artist Relief has been met with an overwhelming response from the country’s artists. As expected, applications for the $5,000 emergency grant have dramatically outpaced Artist Relief’s resources, and underscored the urgent need to expand fundraising. At this time, Artist Relief is the only organization providing direct financial support to multiple artistic disciplines across the country. As it expands, the Field Partner program will grow to include like-minded organizations eager to regrant to their constituencies directly through Artist Relief, as well as play a key leadership role in the coalition’s advocacy and outreach strategies moving forward.

“Starting the Field Partner program is emblematic of the momentum taking hold in the field. We know that we must do more, and so we are mobilizing together,” said Carolyn Ramo, Executive Director of Artadia, a coalition member of Artist Relief.

Artist Relief is an emergency initiative, relying on the support of a growing number of foundations and individual donors, and will continue to evolve as the needs of the country’s artists shift over the coming months. Tax-deductible donations can be made at artistrelief.org; 100 percent of donations will be applied directly to aid.


About Artist Relief

Artist Relief is an initiative organized by the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists—all small to mid-sized national arts grantmakers—that have come together in this unprecedented moment guided by the understanding that the wellbeing of artists has financial, professional, social, and mental dimensions, and should be fostered with a holistic framework of support.


About Sundance Institute

Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and media to create and thrive. The Institute's signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. Sundance Co//ab, a digital community platform, brings artists together to learn from each other and Sundance Advisors and connect in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as The Farewell, Late Night, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Eighth Grade, Won't You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, RBG, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Top of the Lake, Winter's Bone, Dear White People, Little Miss Sunshine, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, State of the Union, Indecent, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


About Coalition Partners

  • Academy of American Poets — The Academy of American Poets is a national membership-based organization that supports American poets at all stages of their careers and fosters the appreciation of contemporary poetry.
  • Artadia — Artadia is a national non-profit organization that identifies innovative visual artists and supports them with unrestricted financial awards and connections to a network of opportunities.
  • Creative Capital — Creative Capital supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel, gatherings, and career development services.
  • Foundation for Contemporary Arts — Founded in 1963 by John Cage and Jasper Johns, and still led by artists, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) encourages, sponsors, and promotes innovative work in the arts made by individuals working in dance, music/sound, performance art/theater, poetry, and the visual arts.
  • MAP Fund — The MAP Fund invests in artistic production in live performance, as the critical foundation of imagining, and ultimately co-creating, a more equitable and vibrant society.
  • United States Artists — United States Artists is an independent nonprofit and nongovernmental philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting artists and cultural practitioners—in all disciplines and across the country—with unrestricted awards.
  • National YoungArts Foundation — National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) identifies the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary and performing arts, and provides them with creative and professional development opportunities throughout their careers.

About Launch Funders

Artist Relief launched with a generous $5 million seed gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to match an initial $5 million in funding generously provided by the following foundations: 7|G Foundation, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Amazon Literary Partnership, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Arison Arts Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Ford Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation COVID-19 Relief Effort, Jerome Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Kraus Family Foundation, LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, Metabolic Studio, Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, Open Society Foundations, Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, Richard Salomon Family Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Sue Hostetler and Beau Wrigley Family Foundation, Teiger Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and The Willem de Kooning Foundation.