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***This application is for eligible USVI artists. Artist in Puerto Rico, please apply here.***

In times of emergency, the artist community is one of the most disproportionately impacted communities. At Beta-Local, we recognize that the vast majority of artists in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean depend on freelance work to survive. The COVID-19 Caribbean Emergency Fund for Artists, which is made possible by the Open Society Foundations, is aimed at individual artists in Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are in serious need of financial support for housing, food, health care, dependent care expenses, etc. This is NOT an artistic production fund.

The COVID-19 Caribbean Emergency Fund for Artists has $200,000 available to be awarded as $2,000 grants to residents of Puerto Rico and the USVI.

Who is eligible?

Individual artists

  • Must be over twenty-one (21) years old
  • Must have a Social Security number or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
  • Must be a resident of Puerto Rico or the USVI
  • Must have at least three (3) years of professional experience or equivalent training in the cultural and/or artistic field
  • Must have experienced a loss of income and be in serious financial need due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Note: Those who have received other assistance and who meet the eligibility criteria may apply.

Who is not eligible?

  • Individuals who are independent contractors, administrators, board members of Open Society Foundations and/or Beta-Local nor family of the aforementioned.
  • Members of La Práctica 2019-20.
  • Recipients of the El Serrucho 2020 scholarship
  • Collectives, groups, non-profit organizations, and/or private corporations

How is “residency in Puerto Rico and the USVI” defined?

Local residents and individuals who have legally resided 100% of the time over the last two (2) years in Puerto Rico or the USVI.

How are “loss of income” and “serious financial need” defined?

This fund provides assistance to those in financial need due to loss of income because of COVID-19. This has resulted in the reduction of employment opportunities for artists, creating emergency situations that put their health, housing, sustenance, and well-being at risk.

Loss of income (at least one)

  • Loss of income from canceled events and/or projects: This includes, but is not limited to, exhibitions, public programming, presentations, seminars, shows, concerts, and other creative work.
  • Loss of income of artists who are teachers in educational institutions (schools, after school programs, universities, cultural centers, art centers, art organizations and nonprofits) due to canceled classes and closures
  • Loss of income of artists working full or part time in other industries and/or sectors: restaurants, retail sales, garden landscaping, security, customer service, advertising, tourism, etc.

Serious financial need (at least one)

  • Food and sustenance: purchasing food and basic necessities
  • Housing: payment of rent or mortgage on a primary residence
  • Health care: covering medical and/or health care expenses; This includes, but is not limited to, medical or health care professional services, important medical procedures, medicines, laboratories and hospitalization.
  • Dependent care: cover expenses for the care of minors, people with illnesses, people over 64 years old, and.or other dependents

Since this is an emergency situation, the application is designed to simplify the process, collect only the necessary information, and respect applicants’ privacy and time.  We trust that those requesting assistance from the fund are transparent and honest about their needs.

Eligible disciplines

We are supporting artists from various disciplines. We understand that many artists oscillate between disciplines. On the application, please select the category that best represents your artistic practice. We have designated the following disciplines as eligible:

  • Performing arts: theater, performance, dance, opera, spoken word, choreography, etc.
  • Visual arts: painting, installation art, drawing, printmaking, performance art, sculpture, curating, photography, video art, mixed-media, woodcarving, ceramics, textile, metal, etc.
  • Film: animation, documentaries, experimental and narrative films, etc.
  • New media: an intersection between digital design and new technologies
  • Music: composers, musicians, sound artists, singers, etc.
  • Literature, narratives, poetry, graphic novels, etc.

How to apply

The application is available online. In addition to the submission of personal data, the application requires:

  • A description of the serious financial need due to loss of income
  • Evidence of residency in Puerto Rico or the USVI
  • A brief description of yourself, your primary artistic practice, and your career.
  • Artistic experience: Must provide a CV/resumé and website or link to images of your work, and short artist bio

We reserve the right to request detailed evidence or documentation of applicants’ loss of income and/or serious financial need.

Selection process: Lottery system

Applications that meet all eligibility criteria and requirements will be accepted through the online platform and automatically entered into a lottery. Applicants will be randomly selected before an authorized notary. A weighted method will be used to prioritize applications based on financial need.

Once the online application is submitted, an email will be sent to confirm that it has been received. If the completed application meets the eligibility criteria and requirements, the applicant will be notified by email that it has been accepted and entered into the lottery. The applicant will also be informed by email of the status of the application when the lottery takes place.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Beta-Local, Inc. is committed to protecting personal data and respecting the privacy of individuals who apply to the COVID-19 Caribbean Emergency Fund for Artists. The demographic information collected from the application will be used for informational purposes and does not affect eligibility. Applicants’ data will only be viewed by Beta-Local staff and will not be published without prior authorization. Demographic data from the applications will be compiled for statistical purposes, and shared in reports to funders without revealing any applicant’s  personal data.

Payout, accountability, and taxes

To receive fund payouts, applicants must: (1) complete a form with their personal data and Social Security number or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number); and (2) sign the certification granting the aid.

Payouts will be made by direct bank deposit.

No detailed report or evidence of expenses is required.

Beta-Local is not required to submit any information about emergency grants awarded for tax purposes, unless solicited by the Puerto Rico's Department of Treasury and the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue. It is the responsibility of the grantee to be informed about tax laws that might apply to them individually.

Beta-Local does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender, functional diversity or age.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.