Applications for the Holiday Artist Relief Fund are now closed. Please keep an eye out for future relief fund opportunities. 


The Fund supplies monies to artists living in Milwaukee county with catastrophic, career-threatening emergencies such as: 

  • Income loss from cancellations, closures, and postponements in the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Medical emergency 

Applicants must meet these eligibility requirements: 

Must be an artist or creative worker with residency in Milwaukee County 

Must meet at least one of the following criteria as a member of a priority population, which include artists or creative workers who: 

  • Identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) 
  • Identify as LGBTQIA+ 
  • Identify as from the disability community, including those who are immune-compromised 
  • Identify as a military veteran. 
  • Identify as an artist aged 65 or older. 
  • Hold a caregiver role within their family 

If you received funding in the MKE Artist Relief Fund that ran from March-April 2020, or have received funding from the Open Fund, you are eligible for emergency relief funding. However, we will be prioritizing those who have not received funds first.  

Selection Process  

After the application window closes and eligibility is verified, applications will be placed into a pool for random selection through a random lottery process. Applicants will be informed of selection by December 17. Being selected does not guarantee funding. Selected applicants will need to provide payment confirmation information to complete their selection. We will make three good faith attempts to get confirmation. Funding is subject to application approval and available funds. We expect to fund approximately at least 120 applicants this round. There may be more depending on the ability to raise additional funds. 


The payment amount is $500. If funded, artists will be sent a check via mail. 

Payments are a disaster payment, and should not affect ability to claim Unemployment Insurance or other benefits. No 1099 will be issued for these funds. Artists may need to claim the contribution as income; please consult with a tax expert for specific questions. 
Funding for this round of the Emergency Relief Fund comes from anonymous support, Bader Philanthropies, the Black Box Fund, and individual donors.

Imagine MKE is part of the Upper Midwest Emergency Relief Fund coalition, in partnership with Arts South Dakota, Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology, CultureSource, Racing Magpie, Springboard for the Arts, and The Arts Partnership. 


You may have questions! We’ve tried to answer some below, but please email with any other questions.