While businesses, governments, and public health officials are working together to stem the tide of COVID-19, many working artists are deeply feeling the effects of multiple and ongoing and cancellations of bookings due to the current pandemic. To help support our city's artists and creators, we are joining with arts and culture partners to raise funds for a MKE Artist Relief Fund that will benefit Milwaukee-based artists who have experienced a financial loss due to a canceled live event, performance, or engagement.

The work of our city's great musicians, DJ’s, dancers, visual artists, arts presenters, actors, filmmakers, and teaching artists depends on people showing up and being able to see and experience their work. With the cancellations of events in the present and near future, this not only impacts their ability to earn a living off their work, but many of those artists also supplement their incomes with other work, often in the service industry, which is also suffering because of the pandemic.

We need to support our city's artists more than ever, and the more we can raise, the more support we can provide. Funds donated here go directly to artists in Milwaukee County who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19. Click here to learn more about the review process. And thanks to our friends at Summerfest, any donor who gives more than $50 will get two free general admission tickets!

In our first round of applications last week, we were able to give $13,500 to 28 artists thanks to you. Below reflects progress towards our current total goal, so $13,500 of what is shown has already been distributed. Please help us keep the momentum up so that we can meet the needs of as many of the 300+ applicants as possible. Our next giving deadline is Thursday, March 26, at 5:00 pm for funds that will be distributed on Friday, March 27.

Other Ways to Support Milwaukee Artists During COVID-19: 
  • If there is a cancellation of live events and if you receive a refund, consider donating the refund to the presenting organization
  • Consider becoming a member or sustaining donor to your favorite performing arts organization
  • Support individual artists by purchasing music, merchandise, gift cards, and tickets to future events
  • Social service organizations like food banks need your help! With volunteer groups cancelling and donations declining, food banks like Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin need people to help sort food at this time when demand will spike. If you are able and healthy, please consider volunteering. Reach out to your local food bank to see what their policies are to ensure the safety of their clients, food supply, and volunteers. If you would like to help in other ways, please consider donating cash rather than food. Due to their scale, food banks can buy more of the types of food they need with your cash donation than you can buy at the store with the same money. 
  • Sign up for the Milwaukee Community Care and Mutual Aid