The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has provided $3.5 million to support the establishment of the Literary Arts Emergency Fund, which will support nonprofit literary publishers and organizations with $5,000-$50,000 emergency grants. The fund is being administered by the Academy of American Poets, the Community of Literary Magazine and Presses, and the National Book Foundation.
Applications are open now until August 7th, and the funds will be distributed on September 15. The one-time, unrestricted grants are available only to literary arts organizations and publishers that are also incorporated nonprofits with 501(c)3 status.
As the organizers stated in the press release announcing the fund, as per a survey on the economic impact of Covid-19 by Americans for the Arts, 253 literary organizations reported more than $7.2 million total losses to date. The organizers estimate that there are some 300 literary nonprofits in the country.
“Writers create humanity’s vast and intricate record—they are the chroniclers of our joys and fears, our varied inner lives, our humor, anguish, and determination," said Elizabeth Alexander, the president of the Mellon Foundation and a poet herself. "This one-time emergency grant provides critical support both for these vital storytellers and for the organizations that ensure their written work remains accessible to enrich and deepen our collective engagement with a diverse, inclusive American culture."