The ARTS SOUTH DAKOTA ARTIST EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND, provides short-term, immediate financial support for the individual artists, culture bearers, and creative workers within South Dakota who have been impacted by the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 health crisis. Rapid response funds of $500-$1,000 are available to those who meet the criteria and qualifications below, as funds are available.

Please find information below about the first round of relief funds available. As funding and needs develop, we will work to open up additional applications in the future. Arts South Dakota is grateful to the Bush Foundation for providing the funding for this initial round.

If you are a sole proprietor or business (including a non-profit), or do not qualify otherwise for this emergency relief fund, please see additional resources available to you at COVID-19 RESOURCES – Arts South Dakota. Please keep an eye on the resources page and on our email list for any updates of additional relief efforts that become available to the creative community in South Dakota. We especially encourage organizations and self-employed persons to look at the funding sources from the Small Business Administration loans, and expansion of Unemployment / Reemployment coverage.

Approval of applications will take place via a committee, with any possible conflicts of interest being accounted for. Upon approval for funding, you will need to fill out and return a W-9, after which funds can be distributed via check. If you have concerns with access to banking due to availability or health lockdowns, please reach out and alternate payment methods can be discussed. Funds to do NOT need to be repaid. Please note: Artists may need to claim the contribution as income; please consult with your tax professional.

Funding for the Arts South Dakota Artist Emergency Relief Fund are provided through the generous support of the the Bush Foundation, with administration and dispersement provided by Arts South Dakota.


Please email Community Development Director Andrew Reinartz with any questions about eligibility or the relief fund generally.

Timeline For Relief Fund Round One

  • June 10, 2020 – Applications open
  • June 25, 2020 11:59PM CT – Applications close
  • July 2, 2020 – Notice of awards sent
  • July 9, 2020 – Payments mailed


To be eligible to receive funds, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Individual artist, making an important portion of your income from arts activities / creative work (for example performing, selling work, educating, etc, in any creative discipline)
  • Have had your work interrupted due to the current COVID-19 health crisis, and are in need of short-term assistance in the next 2 months
  • Are a South Dakota resident
  • Are NOT a minor (<18 years of age)
  • Are NOT a full-time student (including college and post-secondary school)
  • Have NOT already applied to this emergency relief fund previously

Anyone meeting the above criteria is eligible for funding, with special consideration given to:

  • Artists in rural communities (population less than 20,000)
  • Artists living within OR current citizen of one of the 9 native nations with lands in South Dakota