Performing Arts

Important Letter from the Arts Program About COVID-19 Response and Resources

Updated April 24, 2020


Dear arts sector colleagues,

We hope this finds you safe and well amid these uncertain times. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Arts Program is paying close attention to the evolving conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic – and, particularly, its immense impact on the arts sector.

DDCF understands that its current grantees are likely facing programmatic, operational and financial impacts as a result of the global pandemic. With curtailed travel, closing of public spaces, and cancellations of performances, classes, conferences and events, it is likely that your grant agreement is not at the top of your priority list – and we agree it shouldn’t be. As a result, we are offering flexibility to our current grantees. We are willing to work with you to adjust reporting requirements and funding allocations as needed. The DDCF staff is working remotely and available to you.

We are also concerned with supporting the arts and culture community beyond our current grantees as this public health and economic crisis rapidly unfolds. We realize we don’t have adequate resources to provide direct support to all the individual artists and organizations that need assistance right now, but we are working in partnership with fellow foundations to leverage our funding so that it reaches more of the performing arts community.

We are supporting the following efforts in coalition with other funders:

  • Artist Relief, which is a national partnership between seven arts grantmakers and a consortium of foundations that offers immediate, unrestricted grants for individual artists of all disciplines, as well as other information and resources to help those in need;
  • The Coronavirus Dance Relief Fund, which was started by Dance/NYC to help mitigate the growing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individual freelance dance workers and dance making organizations based in the metropolitan New York City area;
  • The Emergency Fund reinstated by the International Association of Blacks in Dance, which provides support to artists and organizations within its membership that are dealing with economic hardships brought about by the COVID-19 disruption;
  • The Jazz Road Quick Assist Fund, which was created by Jazz Road, a regrant initiative managed by South Arts in partnership with five other regional arts organizations, is a relief fund to support freelance jazz musicians across the country who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic (The application process for this grant closed at 11:59 pm on April 13th);
  • NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, which was formed by a coalition of more than two dozen funders to aid New York City-based nonprofit service providers struggling with the health and economic effects of the pandemic; nonprofits addressing arts and culture as well as healthcare and food insecurity will be given priority.

We will post information about other funding opportunities on our website as they become available.

Additionally, in response to the crisis, there are many other resources that are emerging for the performing arts community. At the following link you can find those that we are currently aware of: COVID-19 Resources for the Performing Arts.

We will continue to add to this list as we learn about more resources. Please check back for updates. We wish everyone safety and well-being.


Sincere regards,

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Arts Program staff –
Maurine Knighton, Brandi Stewart, Lillian Osei-Boateng and Jessica Van Grouw