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Portland Artist Relief Fund


Portland Artist Relief Fund

Powered by the people, for the people.




$80,000 raised to date.


Our wonderful artist community needs your help right now. Thank you donors for your contributions to date.


As the City's official nonprofit arts agency, Creative Portland is taking the lead in creating an emergency relief fund for visual artists and performing artists in the gig economy, who are not eligible for unemployment. Many local artists have no savings and no income to buy groceries or prescriptions during the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

We have assembled a review committee of arts community leaders and stakeholders to select applicants and to disperse $500 stipends to help artists make ends meet. The review committee will be reviewing submissions during the first week in May. Artists will be notified by May 12th.






At the Arts & Culture Summit, re-scheduled tentatively for September 22, and in the future, we will work with cultural anchors, artists, arts community leaders, creative economy experts, City partners, corporate sponsors, American for the Arts (AFTA), Maine Arts Commision and philanthropic foundations to secure strategies for restructuring and rebuilding the arts community. 

The Portland arts ecosystem, including local talent, arts orgs and cultural anchors, are finding new ways to inspire local talent engagement and to cultivate arts patronage. Several arts & cultural organizations are finding ways to stay in touch with their constituents and fans. Streamlining and digital programming have offered digital platforms to tell stories, create art, inspire community bonding and provide opportunities for musicians and performing artists to earn income via direct venmo and other social media fundraising platforms, including local venue live-streaming, art class listings and flamenco class listings. Our creative community continues to be creative during this challenging and unpredictable time in our history. For more information, visit our Virtual Event Listing Calendar.




Fund Description & Governance

Downloadable PDF




Portland Press Herald "Creative Portland disburses first round of artist relief funding"


Press Release "Creative Portland Awards $500 Each to All Eligible Applicants for the Portland Artist Relief Fund"


Maine Biz "Creative Portland raises $75K for local artists hit by crisis"


Portland Press Herald "Surviving the Shutdown"


Maine Biz "Creative Portland Seeks to Raise 50k in Emergency Relief for Artists"


Sun Journal: "Creative Portland Shares Relief Options"


NYT: "Arts Groups, Facing Their Own Virus Crisis, Get a Piece of the Stimulus"