Connect with help or offer help during COVID-19

By Bonnie Naugle posted 04-09-2020 16:43


 Staff members are collecting resources specifically for the cultural heritage, arts, and museum communities to get through this period. We’ve also collected resources both to support mental health needs and offer ways to help. Please send additional information to @Bonnie Naugle so we can keep updating this post. 

NOTE: During this time of uncertainty, it makes sense to begin using a personal email address to ensure resources and messages get to you.


Collection Care Information

We are collecting information to support those who care for collections on our website at


Small Business Help

The March 27 CARES Act passed by Congress and signed into law was designed, among many other things, to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. Some of the below links are for arts industry businesses while others may be for artists; many of our members fall into either or both categories. 

Navigating the CARES Act:

Finding local public and private assistance:

  • AAM’s Strategies for Short-term Financial Survival
  • The Art Newspaper is gathering information on grants and loans for small businesses and freelancers in the arts field.
    • Find local resources for cities including San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Boston.
    • Global resources are listed by country, including the UK, Germany, France, Chile, and UAE.
    • Grants, loans, and instructions for other programs are also listed.
  • Hyperallergic is reporting on many other local programs to help those in the arts field.
  • The New York Foundation for the Arts is maintaining a list of assistance for artists located across the country.
  • Artists Relief Fund will distribute $5,000 grants to US-based artists in dire financial need.
  • CERF+, the Artists Safety Net, is maintaining a large list of resources. Their grant program is currently just focusing on artists that have contracted the virus, but you can connect to other resources on their website.


You may have already filed for unemployment benefits. It must be done in your state of residence. US residents will have to file weekly to maintain benefits. The systems are under a great deal of strain due to overload and it may be difficult to get through. Note that volunteering your time should not be considered work but check with your state agencies for further guidance.


Mental Health Care

This is an unprecedented time in so many ways. If you are experiencing stress, anxiety, grief, or other symptoms, here are some resources that may help:

  • Methods to support mental health for medical providers during COVID-19 have been outlined by the American Medical Association with resources in the appendix.
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness can connect you with local help, in addition to their hotline. They have a COVID-19 page, which notes current activities including a new partnership with Instagram to share resources. Call them at 800-950-NAMI or email M-F, 10 AM - 6 PM ET, or text "NAMI" to 741741.
  • The US SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has a Disaster Distress Helpline available 24/7/365. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • If you are grieving the loss of a family member or friend, GriefShare meetings can help with the burden. Find a local group to join online.


How to Help

Donate Equipment

You can coordinate your donations of PPE, medical supplies, or other items:


Volunteer Locally

Many local organizations that support food banks, food delivery, homeless and domestic violence shelters, and more are in dire need of volunteers. If you feel comfortable offering assistance, you can find US-based opportunities at Volunteer Match. is also beginning to offer volunteer roles related to the virus.

  • There are nearly 1 million virtual volunteer openings right now.
  • Local openings range from hundreds to many thousands of volunteering roles.


Conservation Projects While Working at Home

Sarah Reidell and BPG leadership started a spreadsheet to collect ways you can contribute to the field while working from home.