2020 Visual Arts Fund Emergency Relief Grants

In response to the impact on visual artists caused by Covid-19, The Andy Warhol Foundation has authorized its re-granting partners to re-allocate their grant funding to create and administer COVID-19 emergency relief funds in their communities. Midway is temporarily shifting its $60,000 Visual Arts Fund re-granting program to offer emergency grants in 2020. The VAF will provide $1,000 grants to 60 visual artists living within the 7-County Twin Cities Metro Region with a high level of financial need.

About the Visual Arts Fund

The Visual Arts Fund is a grant program established in 2016 by Midway Contemporary Art with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Minneapolis–Saint Paul is one of thirty-two metro areas included in Warhol’s Regional Regranting Program, which is aimed at promoting vibrant artistic activity in cities across the United States.

The Visual Arts Fund typically awards $60,000 ($5,000 and $10,000 grants) to artist organized projects in the Twin Cities metro region. The VAF supports the development of projects and initiatives that engage the public with visual art, and seeks to support a wide array of innovative and diverse projects that otherwise might not occur.

The 2021 Visual Arts Fund grant cycle will resume its regular schedule; information on the application and deadlines will be posted in spring of 2021.

Visual Arts Fund Archive

Past VAF Grant Recipients

About The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts' Regional Regranting Program

The Regional Regranting Program, launched in 2007, aims to support vibrant, under-the-radar and self-organized artistic activity by partnering with leading cultural institutions in communities across the country. The Twin Cities is one of thirty-two locations to host The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting program, making funding available for artists in the 7-county metro area.

Thirty-one additional programs have been developed and facilitated by organizations in Alabama; Albuquerque, NM; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Nashville, TN; Newark, NJ; New Orleans, LA; Oklahoma; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix & Tucson, AZ; Portland, ME; Portland, OR; Providence, RI; Raleigh & Greensboro, NC; Saint Louis, MO; San Francisco, CA; San Juan, PR; Seattle, WA; Washington DC, each providing grants for the creation and public presentation of new work in their regions.


VAF Emergency Relief Grants are open to artists:

  • Working within the visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, social practice, performance, film/video, photography, textiles, ceramics, cross-disciplinary, public art, etc.)

  • Living within the 7-county Twin Cities metro region (Hennepin, Scott, Ramsey, Dakota, Anoka, Carver, and Washington)

  • Requiring immediate assistance with basic needs including rent, food, medical costs, dependent care, etc. due to:

    — Suffering financial losses due to cancelled events, such as exhibitions or public programs

    — Unable to work due to caretaking for children out of school or elderly family members

    — Unable to teach due to cancelled classes and school closures

    — Loss of full or part-time work in the service industry that provided supplemental income used to support creative practices

    — Needing reimbursement for travel expenses related to creative work that you pre-paid for yourself, such as conferences or artist residencies that have been cancelled

  • Applicants do not need to be US Citizens but must have a social security number to receive payment

  • All past VAF project grant recipients are eligible to apply for a VAF Emergency Grant

  • 501c3s, commercial galleries, incorporated businesses, commercial studios, and students are not eligible to apply

Additional Resources

These guidelines can be made available in alternative formats or languages. To accommodate your request, please contact us at vaf@midwayart.org or (612) 605-4504.

We realize that the VAF Emergency Relief Grants will not be able to fund the number of artists truly in need and encourage applicants to also visit Artist Rescue Trust, Artist Relief, Spring Board for the Arts, Common Field, and Creative Capital for additional resources available.

For artists who are self-employed, you may qualify for unemployment; please visit uimn.org for more information.


(612) 605-4504


  • Why do I need to live in the 7-county Twin Cities metro region?

    — The VAF Emergency Relief Grants are funded by the Visual Arts Fund Regional Regranting program with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. 2020 Emergency Relief Grants will serve the same area as the existing Visual Arts Fund program, which is the 7-county metro region.

  • Who will review the applications?

    — Midway’s staff, artist and Midway Board member Pao Houa Her, and artist and past Midway Board member Isa Gagarin will review the applications for eligibility and funding priorities as they are received.

  • When will I know if I will receive funding?

    — Please allow up to four business days following the deadline for a response regarding funding. We will respond as quickly as possible, but anticipate a high volume of applications.

  • Will I need to report on the grant?

    — No. There is not a report required for VAF Emergency Relief Grants.

  • Am I still eligible if I am applying for other emergency funding?

    — Yes, you are. There are no restrictions on applying for grants from other agencies and nonprofits. However, priority will be given to applicants who have not already received funding from other relief grants.

  • Will I still be able to apply for regular VAF grants in the future?

    — Yes, you will still be able to apply as usual beginning in the 2021 grant cycle.

  • If I have applied to the VAF in the past, can I use my same login credentials?

    — Yes. If you have already set-up an account on the VAF application portal, you may use the same username and password to apply for the 2020 VAF Emergency Relief Grant.

  • How do I contact Midway if I have more questions?

    — Please email vaf@midwayart.org or call Megan McCready at (612) 605-4504 if you have additional questions about the program.

2020 Emergency Relief Grant Application

The 2020 VAF Emergency Relief Grant application has closed.

Applications were reviewed for eligibility; funds may be used to cover basic needs such as rent/mortgage, food, medical costs, dependent care, or other imminent needs. Priority will be given to the following: those with great need; BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other underserved communities; and individuals caring for dependents, both young and the elderly.

The application included the following three sections:

1) Contact Info

  • Name
  • Address
  • County (drop down list)
  • Email
  • Phone
  • I identify as… (50 words max, please include all demographic information that applies)
  • Need (drop down selection, check as many as apply: rent, mortgage, food, medical expense, dependent care support, other)
  • Have you applied for other emergency relief grants? (drop down selection: yes / no)
  • Have you received support from another emergency relief fund? (drop down selection: yes / no)

2) CV + Visual Support Materials

Please submit a PDF of your CV. Focus on exhibitions/public programs/teaching related to your visual arts practice. Visual artists at any stage in their career may apply.

Visual Support Materials will help determine an active studio practice. Please also submit one of the following:

  • A URL for your artist website
  • 5 work samples (max 2MB each — .jpeg, .jpg, .gif and .png are accepted)

3) Declaration of Need

Please focus on your most imminent need(s) and include relevant information only. In the case of cancellations, include the date(s) and location(s) of the originally scheduled exhibition, program, conference, residency, class, etc. (250 words max)

Grant Notification

Please allow up to four business days following the deadline for a response regarding funding. We will respond as quickly as possible, but anticipate a high volume of applications. Recipients will be notified and provided a W9 to complete and submit before grant funds will be disbursed electronically, preferably via PayPal. Please note that this emergency relief grant funding will be considered taxable income. Individuals awarded VAF Emergency Relief Grants will not be announced or posted publicly to protect privacy.