The Sipp Culture Artist Relief Fund aim is to provide financial resources to independent artists and under-resourced small arts organizations as emergency relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. While understanding that there will need to be re-envisioning of our models for financial recovery and sustainability, we strategically direct these funds to help alleviate some of the pressures being felt by small arts organizations, cultural producers, and artists that fly under the national radar. 

Through our partnership with the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) partners, we have launched a re-granting mechanism to provide support to approximately 1,500 artists and arts and cultural organizations of color across diverse regions of the country in the form of crisis relief grants. Sipp Culture will disseminate funds to artists of color and organizations led by people of color working in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Links to the application can be found at the bottom of this page.

Sipp Culture is able to distribute the funds through our partnerships through the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI), a collaborative program of Alternate ROOTS, First Peoples Fund, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, PA’I Foundation and Sipp Culture that promotes an intercultural approach to change-making and developing leaders within the arts and culture field. 

At the onset of the pandemic and the rush to disseminate funds, we as a coalition knew that the communities we serve are often overlooked and wanted to capitalize on our long relationships with one another for the collective benefit of all the communities we serve.



  • To provide immediate unrestricted relief to individual arts and organizations. 
  • Offer some runway for artists to sustain themselves for approximately 30-90 days. 
  • Support organizations with retaining their physical spaces, core staff and stave off shutting down completely. 
  • Offer artists in the region at least 30 days of security to strategize a plan for moving forward in an ever-changing new normal.


  • Create space for the circulation of resources throughout our communities and people of color owned businesses.
  • Offer financial resources that recipients are able to leverage during the Covid-19 Recovery. 
  • Get financial aid to creatives who have been completely left out of the relief efforts due to location, non traditional income reporting or not being classified as an artist at all. 

Eligibility and Preference


Individual Artists 

  • Applicants must be a person of color. 
  • Applicants must be working and/ or living in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi or Tennessee.
  • Applicants must be over the age of 18.



  • Organizations applying must have a total operating budget of less than $250k. 
  • Organizations must be in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi or Tennessee.
  • Organizations applying must be led by a person of color and serve people of color through their mission and programs



Preference will be given to those artists and organizations within rural communities (population under 50,000) and recipients who are not eligible for aid through other programs.

You must be an artist of color working and living in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi or Tennessee.

Applicant must be over the age of 18.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate evidence of your artistic work. Work may be demonstrated through online presence including but not limited to videos of your performances, reel, website, online portfolio, social media channel or performance listing for venue, membership profile or public biography on any of your affiliate organization’s website.

The application for the Sipp Culture Artist Relief Fund will open on September 9, 2020 and close on October 1, 2020.

Relief Fund FAQs

  • Am I eligible if I am currently a grant recipient of Sipp Culture and/or other funded program(s)?
    • Yes, you are eligible. Receiving support from Sipp Culture or another funding opportunity does not prohibit or influence the decision making process for this application.
  • How should the funds from this program need to be used?
    • The funds granted through Sipp Culture’s Artist Relief Program are unrestricted funds. You may use the funds as you best see fit.
  • Do I need to reside in one of Sipp Culture’s five service region states to apply?
    • Yes, applicant will need to live in one of the following states in order to apply and qualify for this program: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee
  • Can I apply to the other ILI organizations for funding?
    • YES
  • May I receive funding from another ILI organization?
    • YES. However, there is a $20,000 cap on total awards one person or organization can receive from the combined pool of ILI funds.
  • What if I get funding from another ILI organization?
    • ILI organizations are sharing data and information on who applies and receives funding from this pool of ILI funds. If you apply to or receive funding from any ILI partner your information will be shared with other partners to ensure the $20,000 cap on funds awarded.

Key Program Dates

Application Live September 9, 2020

Applications Due October 1, 2020

Award Notifications November 12, 2020