Artist Recovery Fund



ArtsMemphis, Memphis Music Initiative and Music Export Memphis developed the Recovery Fund in response to the challenges faced by artists and arts organizations during the pandemic. This collaborative effort complements the ongoing and future-focused work of these three intermediary partners. 

Our $1.8 million Recovery Fund not only accelerates recovery but also supports a resilient arts ecosystem by providing an immediate and targeted infusion of investment into the people, processes and programming that will make our arts community stronger and more accessible.

The Recovery Fund aims to broadly support stabilization of organizations, artists getting back to work, strong programming, effective marketing, leaders of color and organizations that have historically been underfunded, collaborations and systems to improve operations and build safety net reserves. 

The Recovery Fund will distribute the following funds to local individual artists to serve short-term needs and support long-term planning and support for the arts sector as a whole.

$375K: Individual Artist Support

  • $150K for Artist Recovery Fund Grants to help artists get back to business. 

Under development:

  • Professional capacity building programs 
  • Artist wellness support
  • Long-term Artist Emergency Fund 



ArtsMemphis and Music Export Memphis have partnered since spring 2020 to provide Artist Emergency Fund grants to artists in the Memphis/Shelby County community in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Shelby County nonprofit arts organizations indicate that their engagement of artists is still 49% below pre-pandemic numbers.  Music Export Memphis' 2022 compensation study, which surveys Memphis musicians about payment trends for live performances in the city, found that the average per-gig payment for respondents dropped slightly (13%) from 2019/pre-pandemic to 2021/post-pandemic. Narrowing down, the picture is bleaker: artists of color reported a decrease of 31% from 2019-2021, while women-identifying artists reported a 20% decrease. 

From a recent artist needs assessment survey, we learned from local artists that their greatest need for funding is to support purchase of supplies, equipment, or space to support their creative work.

Understanding that artists were the first to lose jobs and creative work and may be among the last to fully resume this work, ArtsMemphis and Music Export Memphis are again partnering to offer the Artist Recovery Fund.  $150,000 is available for local artists, through grant awards ranging from $1500 to $3000.

The purpose of this fund is to enable artists to invest in their creative work to advance their artistic careers and to encourage creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustained commitment to artistic work. Funds are unrestricted, but requests should focus on how a grant will support the artist’s work and career.  Some examples of funding requests:

  • Supplies, equipment, equipment repairs, studio time/space.
  • Training for artistic or professional skills and practices, such as social media marketing training.
  • Professional development opportunities, such as conferences, residencies, or workshops.


To make sure you receive the latest information on grant opportunities for artists, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@ArtsMemphis) and subscribe to our newsletter by clicking the SUBSCRIBE button at the bottom of this page and select “Information for Artists” when registering.

Contact Us

If you have questions, please contact ArtsMemphis (901) 578-2787.

One gift supports 68 arts organizations and 145 artists

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