New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has partnered with The Maurice Sendak Foundation (MSF), which has seeded a new emergency relief grant program for children’s picture book artists and writers who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis. The Maurice Sendak Emergency Relief Fund, administered by NYFA, will distribute unrestricted grants of up to $2,500 apiece until the fund has run out. MSF has granted $100,000 to NYFA to begin the program. The initial goal for the fund is $250,000 with hopes that it will expand. Those interested in donating to the fund may do so here

The application will open in Submittable on Thursday, April 23 at 1:00 PM EDT, and will close once 600 applications are received. Funds will be awarded to eligible applicants in the order in which applications are received.

We encourage you to visit our regularly-updated Emergency Grants page for more COVID-19 specific resources that may be available to you during this time. 

Who can apply:

  • Applicants must be children’s picture book artists and/or writers who have published at least one picture book in the last five years (between 2015 and 2020) or who has a book currently under contract.
  • Applicants must be 21 years or older on or before April 23, 2020.
  • Applicants must show documented losses of income for the period of February 1 – July 30, 2020.
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents in any of the 50 states, District of Columbia or U.S. territories.

The fund will cover any documented lost income opportunities including, but not limited to: cancelled freelance commercial projects, teaching, speaking, or consulting assignments; lost temp work; layoffs or furloughs as a result of business closures, etc. Your income loss does not need to be specifically related to your practice as a picture book illustrator or writer. It can be connected to your part-time / temp / additional employment.

Applications Open: Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 1:00 PM EDT
Applications Close: Once 600 applications have been received
Application Review: Thursday, April 23 to Monday, May 4, 2020
Applicants Notified: By Friday, May 15, 2020

Please visit NYFA’s website for more information including a list of application questions and requirements for completing the application form.  All questions should be directed to

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