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Populus Fund Emergency Grants

Grants to Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri Artists in Eligible
Locations for Support During the Coronavirus Crisis

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Union for Contemporary Art and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Deadline Date:

09/06/21 11:59 PM


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Grants of $1,000 to Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri individual artists in eligible locations for support during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. Funding is intended to assist local artists by addressing critical needs, such as food, medical bills, rent, and debts. Eligible artists live within an 80-mile radius of the Omaha metro.

Understanding the long-reaching effects of systemic racism and injustice, The Union will prioritize BIPOC applicants during this round of funding. It is their goal to give at least 55% of their awards to BIPOC artists.

Populus Fund emergency grants are meant to support visual artists in the communities with the greatest financial need. Applicants will be weighted based on nine risk factors. A spreadsheet will be created that weights reported risk factors. With each risk factor experienced, the applicant will be entered into the lottery system. For example, a single parent with unmanageable debt will be entered twice into the lottery system due to their two stated risk factors. The more risk factors, the more entries into the application pool.

The risk factors used to determine weighted lottery system include:

  • Lack of financial safety net
  • Chronic illness or underlying condition; or over the age of 60
  • Unmanageable debt
  • Medical expenses associated with a diagnosed or suspected case of COVID-19
  • Single parenthood
  • Pregnant or partner is pregnant
  • No health insurance
  • Refugee or citizenship status puts applicant at risk
  • Financially responsible for dependents (children / elders / others)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 193270

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible, artists must be able to say “yes” to ALL of the following:
- I did not receive a Populus Fund Emergency Grant in 2020.
- I am a visual/multidisciplinary artist working within the following disciplines: painting / drawing / sculpture / book art / ceramics / fiber / printmaking / digital/media works / film / video / photography / performance art / sound art / social practice and/or hybrid or interdisciplinary practice of any/all of the above;
- I live within a 80 mile radius of The Union (2423 North 24 St. Omaha);
- I am 18 or older;
- I can provide a W9 and Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) once selected to receive an award;
- I have experienced financial impact due to COVID-19;
- I can demonstrate an ongoing commitment to my artistic practice over the last two years;
- I am not a staff or board member of The Union for Contemporary Art or The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (nor do I have immediate family relation to staff or board members of either organization).

If you applied for a 2020 Populus Fund Emergency grant and did not receive it, you must re-apply this year.

Pre-Application Information:


- May 14 - Applications open
- Cycle 1: 6/6, 11:59 pm deadline
- Cycle 2: 7/9 deadline, 11:59 pm deadline
- Cycle 3: 8/1 deadline, 11:59 pm deadline
- Cycle 4: 9/6 deadline, 11:59 pm deadline

All eligible applications will remain in the lottery for future cycles, no need to re-apply.

Awardees will be notified and payments processed no later than two weeks after each cycle ends.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Please reach out to The Union team if you have an accessibility need or any questions about eligibility at or by calling 402-933-3161.

The Union
2423 North 24th Street
Omaha, NE 68110

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Iowa;   Missouri;   Nebraska

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