When Disaster Strikes

Despite all of our best laid plans, life happens. Sometimes circumstances change in the blink of an eye and anyone can find themselves in a difficult spot without warning. No matter who you are this is a scary situation, but for an independent artist running their own career this can mean the total upheaval of so much hard work. Emergency situations can overturn exhibitions, disrupt studio practice, even force artists to set aside their personal goals for an extended period of time. Fortunately there is an established community of support systems in place for artists who find themselves in uneasy circumstances. Emergency grants and opportunities take many forms and can be a matter of career life or death for artists dealing with the unexpected. Here are a few places you can turn when things don’t go quite as planned.

Vermont Studio Center offers a Displaced Artists Program for those artists who are forced to move due to natural disaster, climate change, or political turmoil or threat. VSC offers artists a safe place to continue working when they are forced to abandon their usual space. There are separate channels depending on the nature of artist displacement so artists interested in this assistance should carefully read through all of the information on the VSC website before applying. There is no deadline for this opportunity, it is given on an as need basis.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts offers an emergency grant program to artists who require assistance to realize sudden, unexpected opportunities to present their work or have unplanned expenses for project completion. Grants are not available for general life events such as illness or injury, they are specifically intended to support artists in their career endeavors. All applicants must be living in the U.S. or U.S. territories and have a tax ID number. Additionally, artists must be able to demonstrate committed exhibition or performance dates. Only individual artists are eligible to apply. There is no deadline for this opportunity.

Joan Mitchell Foundation offers emergency funding to artists who have been disrupted by natural or man-made disasters. Funding is directed for these specific circumstances and all other emergencies will not be considered. All applicants must be U.S. based visual artists. To read more about the eligibility requirements for this emergency funding program, visit the website. There is no deadline for this opportunity. Applications are accepted on an as need basis.

We at Praxis Center know that life isn’t always exactly as we’d like it to be. We work with artists in a realistic way with the full knowledge that sometimes things get in the way. It is our mission to provide real life support to those wishing to pursue a career in the arts. For this reason, we are proud to present opportunities for aid from outside organizations. It takes a community to build a career in the arts. When you enroll with Praxis for just $40/month, you join a closely knit community of peers from every level of expertise all seeking the same goals. Life happens. Know where to turn when it disrupts your flow.

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