More than 55,000 applicants applied to Artist Relief, an artist funding initiative created by a coalition of nonprofit arts organizations, to receive the first round of 200, $5,000 emergency relief grants for artists in financial need due to the pandemic.

Artist Relief was launched April 8 in an effort to provide financial support to artists financially devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The organization has selected the first 200 recipients of the $5000 relief grants and there will be four more rounds of grants to come. Specific information on recipients of the grants and their creative disciplines will not be released until a later date.

The organization also said it received more than 11,000 responses to a survey entitled Covid-19 Impact Survey for Artist and Creative Workers, which will be used to understand the full affect of the pandemic on American artists. The survey was designed by Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit devoted to supporting the arts in the U.S.,

According to the survey results, 62% of its respondents have lost their jobs, 66% are unable to afford the supplies and materials needed to do their creative work, and 80% do not have a plan to get themselves through an economic crisis. Artists report an average loss of about $27,103 in income.

The emergency Artist Relief effort launched with about $10 million in funds and has since raised an additional $1.1 million from new partnerships and from online contributions. The fund has added a new partner, Sundance Institute, which will offer its expertise in film, theater and media. Tax-deductible donations can be made at

A spokesperson for Artist Relief said the fund will also being holding a series of weekly moderated conversations to inform the community during the pandemic. The coalition is using the stark findings of the survey to lobby state and federal policy guiding the support of creative workers in the next phase of the Covid-19 recovery plans.

Deanna Haggag, president and CEO of United States Arts, an Artist Relief coalition member, said “The Impact Survey organized by AFTA is a critical element of Artist Relief. While it is heartening to see artists do what they can for their communities, this data is sobering and makes it clear that creative workers need significant advocacy on their behalf to ensure they survive this crisis,”