Application Materials Now Live

Arts Services Initiative (ASI)’s tagline is “Where the arts meet business” means they’re not just an organization that is a fan of the arts (like ….us) but they understand the ins and outs of turning art into a sustainable career. All of the financial hurdles, all the moments of triumph or let-down, elements of gaining exposure, pricing, selling, teaching and more. For artists in our region, they’re a lifeline of support when it comes to navigating everything revolving around your work. With all that said, they also understand what is happening right now to artists, arts and cultural organizations and their prospects in the near and long term. They’re here to help, and all you need to do is apply.

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ASI is excited to announce that the application materials for the WNY Arts Emergency Relief Fund, a granting program for struggling artists and arts and cultural organizations, are now available. 

This fund was created in response to the state of emergency caused by COVID-19 and its profound impacts on Western New York’s creative industry, which has a $352.1 million impact on our local economy. With the cancellation of performances, workshops, gigs, and more, artists and arts and cultural organizations who rely on event-based income are losing revenue that is essential to continue their operations. Based on survey results from 178 artists and arts organizations from across the region, the total anticipated loss of revenue and income is $4,459,319 with representatives from 46 percent of arts organizations reporting that they are “very likely” to lay off some or all of their staff.

“Our goal for this fund is simple,” ASI Executive Director Jen Swan-Kilpatrick said. “We want to ensure that our arts community makes it to the other side of this crisis.”

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and assessed based on the following criteria: need for funding; urgency of request; impact of funding on the organization or individual; and efforts to continue art and creative practice beyond COVID-19. Additional eligibility requirements and further details are available at the WNY Arts Emergency Relief Fund page of ASI’s website, where interested applicants can set up their accounts, preview the application, and prepare materials in advance of May 1.

ASI’s WNY Arts Emergency Relief Fund is possible because of generous support from Fund for the Arts, a Family Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and the individual donors of ASI’s GoFundMe campaign.

For questions or concerns, please contact Holly Grant at

ASI: Where the arts meet business.