Economic relief for indie artists available |

Economic relief for indie artists available

Artist and sculptor Nancy Lovendahl working at her home studio in Old Snowmass in December 2018.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times


* Colorado Artist Relief Fun applications are being accepted at

* Carbondale Arts has also created an “Artist Relief” page on its website aggregating resources for Roaring Fork Valley artists whose crafts and livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19.


* Individual donations of $5,000 or less can be made at

* If you or your organization are interested in partnering on the Colorado Artist Relief Fund, contact Libby Barbee at Colorado Creative Industries ( or Louise Martorano at RedLine ( or Libby Barbee, Colorado Creative Industries (

Independent artists who make a living performing or selling their work are largely left out of the federal relief programs keeping locals afloat during the coronavirus-caused economic crisis.

The statewide Colorado Artist Relief Fund is attempting to fill the gap locally, offering grants up to $1,000 to individual artists in all media whose incomes have been impacted by COVID-19. The funds are intended for basic expenses like food, rent, medical costs and child care, but can also be used toward making the artists’ work income-generating on virtual platforms.

A collaborative effort by Colorado Creative Industries, RedLine Contemporary Art Center, Denver Arts and Venues and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the grant program has been overwhelmed with applications.

It opened April 1 and received 571 applications in its first week, pausing applications on April 7 so its small team could process requests. Applications reopened April 17, when the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and Colorado Creative Industries added $127,500 to the fund.

But demand is outpacing available funding, according to fund spokesperson Colleen White.

Funding has only paid for 225 grants to be awarded. So, while accepting applications, the coalition itself is now looking for donations and partnerships to continue helping artists. Individual donations of $5,000 or less can be made at, where applications are also submitted.

Federal relief efforts in the CARES Act have funded grants for nonprofit arts organizations, administered by the National Endowment for the Arts and locally by Colorado Creative Industries. But those funds, as well as efforts to help small businesses like the Paycheck Protection Plan, aren’t applicable to independent artists.

Old Snowmass-based sculptor Nancy Lovendahl, who had a solo exhibition at Colorado College’s Fine Arts Center and gallery shows closed due to the pandemic, said she has applied for the Artist Relief Fund grants among others, but hasn’t received any response. She also hadn’t yet received the $1,200 stimulus check going to all Americans from the federal government.

“Even that would really help me,” she said. “As an artist sitting here with no income, I could really use that money. I’m not desperate but I am nervous.”