Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis Artist Relief Fund

“Arts United STL” Benefit Concert for the Regional Arts Commission’s Artist Relief Fund

May 31. 2020, at 7 p.m.

Join Opera Theatre, the Regional Arts Commission, the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, and more than 13 other organizations for an inspiring evening of performances spanning music, theater, dance, visual art, and more, reflecting the artistic diversity and traditions of this community.

This free virtual benefit aims to raise more than $250,000 through sponsorships and 1,000 individual donations in support of the RAC Artist Relief Fund, which provides emergency aid to St. Louis working artists whose livelihoods have been critically interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This benefit will present performances from groups including The Arianna String Quartet, The Big Muddy Dance Company, The Black Rep, Circus Flora, COCA, Jazz St. Louis, The Muny, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Saint Louis Ballet, St. Louis Children’s Choirs, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, The Sheldon, STAGES St. Louis, Metro Theater, the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis, and more.

Learn more and find out where you can watch at Opera Theatre’s site.

How Can Other Organizations Participate?

We would love to include as many organizations and individual artists as possible in the program. If you are interested in joining this effort, we ask that you submit either a photo or 30-second video clip that best represents your work to artsunitedstl@gmail.com. Please include the name of the organization and/or artist(s) as you would like them to be credited in the Arts United STL broadcast.

About the RAC Artist Relief Fund

The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis Artist Relief Fund Arts United STL round of funding will award grants of $500 or $1,000 to working artists who live in the 8-county St Louis Region whose immediate creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The 8-county St. Louis Region includes the following counties: City of St. Louis (MO), St. Louis County (MO), Franklin (MO), Jefferson (MO), St. Charles (MO), Madison (IL), Monroe (IL), and St. Clair (IL).

With events and programs of all types being cancelled to reduce the spread of COVID-19, working artists are losing critical opportunities to financially support themselves and their families in our region.

The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis Artist Relief Fund will re-open applications on Friday, May 29, for working artists with an urgent need due to lost income resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. We welcome applications from all working artists over 19 years of age and will prioritize artists who have the greatest need due to COVID-19 related income loss and artists whose current household income is largely from their artistic endeavors.

The RAC Artist Relief Fund grants are charitable gifts, not taxable income, and will be distributed and paid by check from the St. Louis Community Foundation.

The fund will be open to support working artists who are:

  • Recouping financial losses due to cancelled events, programming, contracts or commissions in all artistic
  • Offsetting loss of income for teaching artists who could not teach during this time because of cancelled classes and school

The Artist Relief Fund will provide funds to help cover urgent, life-sustaining expenses, such as:

  • Residential rent, mortgage lease or occupancy payments
  • Residential utility bills (electricity, heating, water, phone, Internet, etc.)
  • Groceries/food
  • Medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Childcare services
  • Car payments or repair
  • Insurance premium payments
  • Student loans, expenses, or tuition


  • Applicant must be a working artist who have lost income due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Applicant must be over 19 years of age


  • Artists who have the greatest need due to COVID-19 related income loss
  • Artists whose current household income is largely earned through their artistic endeavors


  • Artists who received the 2020 Regional Arts Commission Artist Fellowship or a Spring 2020 Artist Support Grant are ineligible
  • Artists who have previously received funding through the Regional Arts Commission of Louis Artist Relief Fund


Applications will remain open until Friday, June 12. Funding decisions will be made by June 30 with checks mailed to awardees in early July.

Please note that following the grant deadline it will take time to review applications, award applicants, and have payments processed. We will do our best to move quickly. Once an application is approved, a check will be mailed within one week by the St. Louis Community Foundation to the mailing address included in the application. Our hope is that approved applicants will receive funding within four weeks of the application closing.


Applications will be accepted at www.stlgives.org/covid19/rac-artist-relief-fund. You can access and submit this application by computer or smartphone.

If you are unable to complete the application using the URL above or have questions about how to complete the application using the URL above or have questions about how to complete the application, please call 314-384-9996. Applications will be accepted over the phone for those who are unable to complete them online.

Applications will be used to confirm eligibility and inform grantmaking decisions based on fund priorities. RAC requests demographic data on our applications to understand who is completing the application and who is receiving support. Demographic data (gender, race) and artistic discipline will not be used to make grantmaking decisions for the Artist Relief Fund. Questions regarding income will help inform our goal to prioritize artists with the most need.