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River Music Experience

COVID-19 Grants or Loans

Grants/Loans/Other Financial Assistance for Musicians other than unemployment 


IMPORTANT NOTE: The CARES act signed into law on March 27 has expanded unemployment benefits to self-employed and gig-based workers (including musicians) who were previously ineligible.

Musicians are urged to apply for unemployment benefits as soon possible. The following funds are highly competitive, and unlikely to replace a significant portion of a gigging musician’s income. 

Click here for RME’s Unemployment Insurance for Musicians resource page.

Artist Relief Fund 

This fund was created by a coalition of nonprofits, creating a $10 million pool of funds to issue to artists nation-wide. $5,000 grants will be distributed to artists facing dire financial emergencies

Applications are now open from April 8th to April 23rd.

Visit this website to learn more and to apply:

Arts for Illinois Relief Fund 

This state-wide initiative is available to artists who reside in Illinois. Through this fund, 3Arts will issue $1,500 unrestricted, one-time grants to as many eligible artists as possible. 

Applications are currently suspended to allow time for more processing and fundraising. It is expected to reopen May 4 at 9:00am.

Visit this website to learn more and to apply: