A.R.T./New York Relief Fund for NYC Small Theatres

JUMP TO: Overview | Program Goals | Timeline | Eligibility | Application Information | Evaluation Criteria | Info Sessions | Panel Process and Nominations

A Black woman with short blonde hair holding a piece of parchment paper and looking upward. Three people are onstage behind her in the background
Bathsheba’s Psalms, Or A Woman of Unusual Beauty Taking a Bath, produced by The Tank, a recipient of the 2019 NYTP Grant

The A.R.T./New York Relief Fund for NYC Small Theatres closed on November 9, 2020 at 5pm. If the fund reopens in the future, we will announce it on our social media channels and in our email newsletter.


In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its impact on New York City-based small theatres, the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York created the A.R.T./New York Relief Fund for NYC Small Theatres. Seeded by a generous gift from The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), the fund is intended to create an accessible relief fund for small theatres with annual budgets under $250k who are based in or primarily produce in New York City. Grant applications were reviewed and scored on a rolling basis by a diverse panel of theatre makers and administrators from a range of roles in the field, and nominations for grant panelists will be solicited from the public.

Grant funds received through this program may be used for any purposes the grantee needs. Funds may not be regranted. Grants will be made in amounts between $2,500 - $5,000. 

Applicants do not need to be members of A.R.T./New York to apply for the relief fund, and membership in A.R.T./New York will not be considered by or known to panelists scoring the applications.

For more information about applying to this program, please email [email protected].

Your contribution to this Emergency Relief Fund will directly support theatres impacted by COVID-19.To support the Fund, click here to make an online contribution or reach out to Melissa Sandor at [email protected] with any questions.

Program Goals

  • To provide financial relief to nonprofit theatre organizations (including those that are fiscally sponsored or “non-profit in spirit”) with annual operating budgets under $250,000 who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • To fund a vibrant mix of theatres working with diverse aesthetics and serving a wide range of cultural communities across New York City.
  • To support companies who are impacting the field in New York City and who have had limited access to relief funding and financial support.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Demonstrated Need and Impact of Grant (40%)
  • Impact and Service to the Community (40%)
  • Organizational Identity (20%)


  • Panelist Nominations:
    • Nominations opened: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
    • Nominations closed: Monday, September 28, 2020
  • Application:
    • Application opened: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
    • First rolling deadline: Monday, October 5, 2020 @ 5pm ET
    • Second rolling deadline: Monday, October 19, 2020 @ 5pm ET
    • Final rolling deadline: Monday, November 9, 2020 @ 5pm ET
  • Notifications and grant disbursements:
    • Funded applicants will be notified on a rolling basis. All applicants will be notified of whether their application was funded by Tuesday, November 24, 2020.
    • Grants will be disbursed on a rolling, bi-weekly basis and can be disbursed either by electronic ACH transfer or paper check.


You do not need to be a member of A.R.T./New York to apply for this grant program. To be eligible for this grant, you must:
  1. Be a theatre company, organization, or artist collective
    1. Applicant may be a 501c3, fiscally sponsored, or unincorporated entity that is “non-profit in spirit”.
    2. A.R.T./New York has an expansive definition of “theatre” as a discipline of live performance. If you call your art theatre, then you are eligible to apply for this grant! However, keep in mind as you write your application that a panel of theatre-makers will be evaluating your application for this theatre-based grant.
    3. This grant program does not fund individual artists, but artist-led theatre companies are eligible. If you are an individual artist looking for relief funding, please visit our resource page for links to other opportunities.
  2. Have annual operating expenses for either of the last two fiscal years of under $250,000. 
  3.  Be based in, or primarily produce in, the five boroughs of New York City. 
    1. Companies that create work in NYC and then tour nationally and internationally are eligible for this grant program.
  4. Be financially impacted by the coronavirus shutdown.


Application Information

The application consists of three parts:

  1. Theatre Information:
    1. Applicant Name
    2. Primary Contact information (Name, Title, Email, Phone Number)
    3. Secondary Contact information (Name, Title, Email, Phone Number)
    4. Theatre Mission Statement (100 words or less)
    5. Grant Amount Requested (between $2500 - $5000)
  2. Financial Information
    1. End date of your most recently completed fiscal year
    2. Operating expenses for your most recently completed fiscal year
    3. Operating expenses for your second most recently completed fiscal year
    4. Financial Impact of COVID-19
      1. Please provide the amount of lost income your organization has experienced as a result of COVID-19 (an estimate is fine if you do not have actuals).
      2. Please provide the amount of unanticipated expenses your organization has incurred as a result of COVID-19 (an estimate is fine if you do not have actuals).
  3. Short Answer
    1. Describe your company's mission, vision, and your organizational goals. What is your contribution to New York City and/or the theatrical field? 
    2. Who does your organization serve? If you serve a specific and explicitly defined ethnic, cultural, or geographic community, please include that here.
    3. Describe the impact that COVID-19 has had on your organization. How have you had to and/or how will you have to change the way you operate in response to the pandemic?
      1. Please share not only the quantitative impact of the pandemic, but also the qualitative. How has the pandemic impacted your ability to fulfill your mission, vision, and goals?
    4. How will this grant help your organization to address this impact?
      1. This is not a direct commitment of how you would utilize this funding if it is awarded, rather this is your opportunity to think expansively about the challenges and opportunities your company is facing, and what an unrestricted grant would allow your company to do.

Applications are accepted online through A.R.T./New York’s virtual platform.

If you are an A.R.T./New York member, you must log in with your staff username by first clicking the 'ARTNY Member Login' button.

If you are not an A.R.T./New York member, you must first register an account on our grants platform and log in with your email by clicking the 'Login as Non-Member' button.

Application Preview »
Download this PDF to preview the application before applying.

The application for the A.R.T./New York Relief Fund for Small Theatres is currently closed.



Information Sessions

A.R.T./New York will host two live info sessions for this grant, held over Zoom. Info sessions will review the grant information and the application process, and attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions during the session. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the application and guidelines before coming to the session.

Grant Info Session #1

Monday, September 21, 2020
6:00pm - 6:45pm ET

Online via Zoom

Grant Info Session #2

Thursday, October 15, 2020
1:00pm - 1:45pm ET

Online via Zoom

Recorded Info Session

Led by Director of Programs Corinne Woods
View recorded session on Vimeo

Panel Process & Nominations

A.R.T./New York accepted nominations from the public for grant panelists for the Relief Fund program. We looked to put together a diverse group of panelists across a range of roles and affiliations across the nonprofit theatre field and who have particular knowledge of or experience with the organizations eligible for this grant (New York-based, small organizations with annual budgets under $250k, inclusive of companies who have none traditional organizational structures including artist collectives and fiscally sponsored theatres). Self-nominations were absolutely welcome!

We selected 10 panelists for the program. Panelists (virtually) attended a pre-panel training and sat on two panel sessions over the course of October and November. Panelists received a stipend for the training and both panel sessions.

Applications were reviewed and scored by the panel on a rolling basis. Applications submitted by each rolling deadline were considered during the next panel session. Applications not selected for funding during a panel session were eligible for consideration in a future panel session.

Nominate A Panelist »
While panelist nominations for the Relief Fund are closed, A.R.T./New York accepts panelist nominations from the public for all grant programs.

The A.R.T./New York Relief Fund for NYC Small Theatres is made possible with generous funding by The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).