While our MKE Artist Relief Fund has closed, we will be building tools and compiling resources to ensure that independent artists and freelance creatives have the support they need. 

Our podcast will be inviting experts to join us to discuss issues that are important to artists' ability to work and thrive, especially during the pandemic. Have a suggestion of a topic that would be useful to you? Reach out at pod [at] imaginemke.org.

This list will continue to expand. And, certainly if you know of resources that need to be on our radar and support artists, send them to Kennita Hickman at khickman [at] imaginemke.org.


“This is Milwaukee”

We are seeking up to three artists to transform these boxes into works of public art that will stand out in outdoor spaces. We will ask the selected artists to create a painted expression that considers the state of our democracy today and our core question: "What is democracy, for you?"

We are prepared to offer each artist $750 for their time and materials.

Deadline – August 24th

For more information, please visit https://www.thisismilwaukee.us/callforartists

“Villard BID” Call for Artists

The Villard Avenue BID has partnered with Wallpapered City LLC to create a corridor of five new murals to celebrate community pride in our neighborhood. Stretching from North Teutonia Avenue to Sherman Boulevard, the Villard District is nestled in the heart of Milwaukee’s historic “Old North Milwaukee” neighborhood offers a rich local History. Celebrated as the original “downtown” of the Northside of Milwaukee, Villard Avenue has blocks of walkable streets, unique historic and cultural fabric, and prime retail space. Our vision is to grow into a thriving arts corridor and see all art forms blossom in our area.

This Call is for Milwaukee-area artists only. Submissions due August 8th at 11:59pm! For more information, please visit https://wallpapered.city/villard-call-for-artists/

Interested in having your music featured on a podcast?

Black Imagination podcast hosted by Antoine Carter and Kennita Hickman are looking for Milwaukee music for to play during the show. We'd love instrumentals and full songs (instrumental and vocals). All genres are welcome.

Email us at ACarter@imaginemke.org OR KHickman@imaginemke.org and use PODCAST MUSIC in the subject line

Space Rental
The Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward has rental availability for its two theaters, as well as other performance and meeting spaces. These spaces are available for a permanent or intermittent tenant and are ideally suited for theatre/dance/comedy and all types of performance groups. The facility also offers rehearsal rooms, technical services support, a full-service box office, and production scenic studios to help with scenic, costume, and properties needs.

For rental information, contact events@skylightmusictheatre.org, call (414) 299-4957, or visit https://www.skylightmusictheatre.org/venue/facility-rentals-at-the-broadway-theatre-center

Unemployment Benefits

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is now available to those who have been self employed, including certain independent contractors and those otherwise not eligible to apply for traditional unemployment.

Everyone deserves access to nutritious food. Here’s a list of resources to support your short term needs and long term needs.

  • FoodShare – Federal program to help individuals experiencing a food emergency. Foodshare is now available to folks who have been self employed, certain independent contractors, and those otherwise not eligible due to lack of traditional employment. You can check your eligibility here.
  • Tandem – Chef Caitlyn Cullen is giving away free meals Monday through Friday from 11a to 4pm (or until supplies run out). Daily menu posted on Tandem’s Facebook page and often includes at least one vegan option.
  • Hunger Taskforce has created a comprehensive map to show trusted, open food pantry sites throughout Milwaukee County. You can search via zipcode to see what’s available in your neighborhood.


  • Need health insurance? Not sure if Medicare, COBRA, BadgerCare or Healthcare Marketplace is for you? Covering Wisconsin connects you with a healthcare navigator to connect you to healthcare for you and your family. 
  • Here are recommended community health centers that support most insurance providers AND offer a sliding pay scale. Sliding pay scales allow uninsured and under-insured individuals to receive services at a reduced rate. Services include (but aren’t limited to) dental, mental health support, and primary care support. Outreach Community Health Center, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, Progressive Community Health Centers 

Energy Assistance

  • Energy Assistance is available for those who need help covering electricity/ heat bills. It is income based. This link allows you to see if you qualify and make a phone appointment to apply for benefits. 

Milwaukee-based Artist Relief Funds

  • Milwaukee Ballet
  • MIAD 
  • MARN
  • Wisconsin Performing Artist Assistance (WPAA): The goal of the organization is to pair artists in need with sponsors who want to help support them financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists create a wishlist of items they need, which is sent to a sponsor who purchases items for them. All information is kept confidential and no financial information changes hands.

Milwaukee-based Business Resources
Resource for small Black Businesses: Grants up to $2000 are available for small black business owners via African American Chamber of Commerce. Applications go live on June 8th. Click here to learn about applicant requirements.

National Resources
Here's a link to a national artist relief fund that's distributing $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19. Please click the link to learn more about how to apply.