Arts South Dakota Artist Relief Fund

The ARTS SOUTH DAKOTA ARTIST EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND, provides short-term, immediate financial support for the individual artists, culture bearers, and creative workers within South Dakota who have been impacted by the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 health crisis. Rapid response funds of $500 are available to those who meet the criteria and qualifications below, as funds are available. Funds do NOT need to be repaid. Please note: Artists may need to claim the contribution as income; please consult with your tax professional.

Approval of applications will take place via a committee, with any possible conflicts of interest being accounted for. Upon approval for funding, you will need to fill out and return a W-9, after which funds can be distributed via check. If you have concerns with access to banking due to availability or health lockdowns, please reach out and alternate payment methods can be discussed.

Past recipients of the relief fund are eligible to apply again in round two as funds allow, but new applicants will be prioritized for funding.

Funding for the second round of the Arts South Dakota Artist Emergency Relief Fund is provided by an anonymous donor. Arts South Dakota is part of the Upper Midwest Emergency Relief Fund coalition, in partnership with Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology, CultureSource, ImagineMKE, Racing Magpie, Springboard for the Arts, and The Arts Partnership.

Timeline For Relief Fund Round Two

  • January 4, 2021 – Applications open
  • January 22, 2021 11:59PM CT – Applications close
  • February 12, 2021 – Notice of awards sent
  • February 19, 2021– Payments mailed


To be eligible to receive funds, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Individual artist, making an important portion of your income from arts activities / creative work (for example performing, selling work, educating, etc, in any creative discipline)
  • Have had your work interrupted due to the current COVID-19 health crisis, and are in need of short-term assistance in the next 2 months
  • Are a South Dakota resident
  • Are NOT a minor (<18 years of age)
  • Are NOT a full-time student (including college and post-secondary school)

Anyone meeting the above criteria is eligible for funding, with special consideration given to:

  • Artists who have not previously been granted gifts from this relief fund
  • Artists in rural communities (population less than 20,000)
  • Artists who are current citizens of one of the 9 native nations with lands in South Dakota

To apply, click here.




Center for Craft Introduces Craft Futures Fund

A new opportunity established by the Center for Craft will support the collective re-imagining of the future of craft, providing both economic relief as well as purpose and community-driven resolve in the wake of the coronavirus. The Craft Futures Fund will provide one-time, unrestricted grants of $5,000 to craft-based education projects that seed resilience, foster community, and amplify impact.

According to a survey conducted by Americans for the Arts, the arts and culture sector currently estimates incurring a 4.8 billion dollar economic impact due to the coronavirus. The craft community has been directly affected through increased health risks as well as school, university, craft campus, museum, gallery, and other business closures. These foundational changes have resulted in mandatory online learning for craft students, as well as loss of current and anticipated income for artists due to canceled trade fairs, gallery sales, and teaching opportunities, among other impacts.

At present, there are numerous funds dedicated to emergency relief for artists and arts organizations affected by COVID-19. Currently, there are far fewer funds serving the craft community exclusively, and there are few to no funds exclusively serving adjuncts or teaching artists. The Craft Futures Fund fills a critical need to serve, strengthen, and foster growth in craft by focusing on educators.

Priority will be given to projects that serve communities who have been impacted by COVID-19 in the United States as identified by applicants. These communities might include seniors, the homeless, LGBTQ+, students, adjunct teachers, K-12, people with disabilities, service industry, and communities of color. Additionally, we acknowledge that new needs arise daily and encourage applications that will be responsive to these yet emerging constituencies as well.

The Craft Futures Fund will award up to six project grants, or $30,000, each month from May – October 2020 and applications will be selected by lottery and reviewed by selection panels on a monthly basis. Generously initiated by a grant from the Windgate Foundation, the Craft Futures Fund will be expanded by additional donations.

For the purposes of this grant, craft education is understood through a broad and expansive lens, focusing on projects that will share knowledge, skills, and values, as well as support critical thinking, gather and circulate resources and tools, and facilitate curiosity and learning about or through craft. Educators may include artists, curators, makers, writers, community organizers, activists, museum educators, scholars, teachers, professors, and others. By investing in learning, sharing, and thinking led by an expansive group of educators, this grant opportunity aims to catalyze craft to meet societal needs.

Application Deadline

To apply for a Craft Futures Fund grant, please submit an interest form here. To be considered for the May application round, please submit your interest form no later than May 12, 2020. For more information please visit


CARES Act – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

PUA claims are now being taken

PUA provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees and gig economy workers, as well as to individuals working part-time, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular UC or EB under state or federal law or PEUC. Learn more about PUA.


To see which program you may be eligible for, please see our Eligibility Checklist.

Our Unemployment Provisions for Workers Affected by COVID-19 Flowchart outlines what you need to know and do under the CARES Act.

PUA Application Process

File Online | File by Phone

File a Claim Online

To begin the PUA application process, please log in and file a claim to determine your eligibility for state unemployment benefits or PUA benefits. Everyone must start by filing this claim.

Visit the SD Department of Labor & Regulation for complete filing information.

People are encouraged to view the Workers Resources – Reemployment Assistance which includes three video tutorial.



COVID-19 Arts Relief

The federal government has enacted legislation for a comprehensive economic relief package to help people through financial strife related to the COVID-19 crisis. Included in the package is direct support for both nonprofit cultural organizations and state and local arts and humanities agencies, as well as economic relief provisions for independent contractors, “gig economy” workers, artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses working in the creative economy.

These funds are expected to become depleted quickly. We strongly encourage individuals and nonprofit organizations to ACT NOW to begin accessing relief funding!

Significantly, the package includes a $75 million allocation to the National Endowment for the Arts. Of this, 40% will be distributed to the 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies, which will use the funds for relief support of artists and organizations. The amount that will be distributed to the State of South Dakota, when that funding will arrive, and any requirements of awardees are all unknown. As details emerge, we will be sure to share them with you.

The following provisions in the relief package are known, and may be helpful to arts businesses and nonprofits:

Community Development Block Grants, Small Business Administration, and Unemployment Insurance

  • $5 billion for Community Development Block Grants to cities and counties. Arts groups should work directly with their mayors and local economic development offices for grant support.
  • $350 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency loans of up to $10 million for small businesses—including nonprofits (with less than 500 employees), sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals (like individual artists)—to cover payroll costs, mortgage/rent costs, utilities, and other operations. These loans can be forgiven if at least 75 percent is used for staffing costs. The S.D. Department of Tourism has several resources to help answer questions about this program.
  • $10 billion for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for loans up to $10,000 for small businesses and nonprofits to be used for providing paid sick leave for employees, maintaining payroll, mortgage/rent payments, and other operating costs;
  • Expanded Unemployment Insurance (UI) that includes coverage for furloughed workers, freelancers, and “gig economy” workers. The bill also increases UI payments by $600/week for four months, in addition to what one claims under a state unemployment program. The state’s Reemployment Assistance Benefits system is overwhelmed with a high volume of calls and questions. State officials are asking people to file their claims online if they are able.

For our arts organizations who rely upon supporter contributions, the following may be an incredible fundraising incentive to help you through this difficult time. All taxpayers will be able to deduct up to $300 in charitable contributions, even if they do not itemize. It’s a good time for those who have reliable income to make a charitable contribution to keep their favorite arts organizations in business.

Charitable Giving Tax Deduction

  • An “above-the-line” or universal charitable giving incentive for contributions made in 2020 of up to $300. This provision will now allow all non-itemizer taxpayers (close to 90% of all taxpayers) to deduct charitable contributions from their tax return, an incentive previously unavailable to them. Additionally, the stimulus legislation lifts the existing cap on annual contributions for itemizers from 60 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) to 100 percent of AGI for contributions made in 2020.

We hope some of these resources will be helpful in providing relief for you or your cultural organization during this incredibly challenging time. We believe the arts are essential to understanding and staying connected to the world around us, especially in times of trouble, so we want you to have access to all the resources available.

South Dakota Arts Council staff

Americans for the Arts’ Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource and Response Center

Americans for the Arts continues to closely monitor recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal and D.C. governments as developments evolve concerning the coronavirus. Our organization cares about the health and safety of our members, stakeholders, staff, and board in communities across the country, and we understand that health, work, and travel require personal decisions that individuals must make for themselves.

ArtsU: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Webinars

Preparation Resources for Public Art Administrators

  • Project for Public Spaces created a blog post to help public space managers help fight COVID-19
  • Read this paper on how to prepare your public art collection in response to disasters
  • Read our blog on with resources, stories and information on implementing community engagement events
  • Common Field will be hosting their annual convening virtually and for free

What is the Economic Impact? 

Americans for the Arts Economic Impact Survey

We’re gathering data and impact stories through this survey link. The survey will capture a broad spectrum of data and stories that will demonstrate how the arts and culture workers triumphed and survived this crisis as well as the effect of the outbreak on operations through cancelled events, lost wages, and additional expenses. We encourage you to share this survey with your communities.




Artist Relief

Artist Relief is an initiative organized by the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists—all small to mid-sized national arts grantmakers—that have come together in this unprecedented moment guided by the understanding that the wellbeing of artists has financial, professional, social, and mental dimensions, and should be fostered with a holistic framework of support.

As such, Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists moving forward.



For more resources and how-to information, click here.