CNY Arts, Inc.


COVID-19 Arts Impact Fund for Artists

CNY Arts has made available a limited pot of funding for COVID-19 Arts Impact Grants that support individual professional artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be provided through a competitive peer panel regrant process administered by CNY Arts.

Application Deadline: A very limited pot of funds are available. CNY Arts is accepting applications on a rolling basis. (Updated September 2021)

Who May Apply: Individual Artists

Eligible Counties: Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego

Award Amount: $500 - $2,500 (*see grant request tab)

Project Period: 12-months starting day of application submission.

How to Apply: All applications, in their entirety must be submitted online through Submittable (


There are currently no informational sessions available. Please contact the Grants Program staff with questions or to arrange for a grants consultation. 

Applicant Eligibility*

Eligible applications to the Arts Impact Fund must meet ALL of the criteria below:

  • Professional artists and craftspeople with their primary residence in Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, or Oswego county.
  • At least one year of paid, programmatic history in Central New York.

*If you do not meet all of these criteria, please contact CNY Arts staff immediately.

Evaluation Criteria

Funding is limited; all applications must be in compliance with these published grant guidelines and will be evaluated and scored competitively based on the criteria listed below:

  • Qualitative and quantitative impact of COVID-19 on the artist and their ability to deliver services and programs,
  • Artists that demonstrate a history of artistic programming, thoughtful community impact, and a track record of success in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley,
  • Commitment to the meaningful and ongoing engagement with CNY and MV communities, connecting audiences to accessible arts, culture, history, and heritage opportunities, and
  • A plan to use the funds that will have a positive impact on the artist's ability to survive COVID and look to a long-term future

Program Priorities:

Priority points will be given to:

  • Artists that demonstrate the highest risk during this crisis, including historically under-resourced or marginalized artists, as well as those who serve under-resourced populations, communities, and artistic disciplines.
  • Artists that have not received foundation or private support around COVID-19 related loss.

Eligible Expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Consultant fees for training, evaluation, or planning
  • Contractor fees for legal, bookkeeping, human resources for reopening, health and safety, virtual artistic content, and remote work
  • Software/Hardware for online and virtual programming
  • Equipment, (i.e. audio/visual technology, instruments, etc.) necessary to conduct your artistic work
  • Purchase and/or installation fees related to protective gear or equipment for yourself and/or patrons
  • Utilities (rent/facility fees, internet, phone, electricity, insurance, etc.)

**Accepted applicants may reapply to this fund after completing their project and submitting a Final Report that is approved by CNY Arts staff.

Application Check List

All applicants should submit their materials through Submittable. A complete application must contain the following materials:

  1. Applicant Profile: includes basic questions such as organizational information, contact information, website.
  2. Project Narrative should include a narrative qualifying and quantifying the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on your livelihood. Include amount requested and its expected impact. The proposal should specifically address the panel criteria above.
  3. Project Budget include a breakdown of how you will spend the grant. If applicable, please include invoices or bills if requesting funds for retroactive expenses.
  4. Documentation of COVID-19 related financial losses
  5. Resume or CV
  6. IRS Form W-9

*You may address all application letters to the Members of the CNY Arts Impact Fund Panel.

Frequently Asked Questions

All questions that are submitted to the Program Director are posted below with answers. 

I do not have any contracts or proof of missed opportunities. What should I do?

You may have to get a little creative with the proof of loss of work or income. If do not have any contracts, correspondence, or evidence you did not have projects, you may use prior year financials, deposits, correspondences to prove that you generated income from your work in the past that was not able to happen in 2020 due to COVID. Think of this as a scrapbooking project. You're trying to show the panel that fairs or festivals were cancelled or how much income you reported earning from performances or events in prior years.  

I live outside of the seven counties but I'm right over the county border. May I still apply?

Unfortunately, we are unable to consider applications that are not residents of the seven counties (Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, or Oswego) even if you are on the border. 

Do I have to do a project to receive these funds? 

No, this is unrestricted funding to offset potential income lost from the pandemic.