Arts Organizations Create “Literary Arts Emergency Fund”


Trustees of the fund noted a recent survey by the nonprofit Americans for the Arts which found that 253 literary organizations had reported losses of more than $7.2 million from the virus, often due to canceled events. The impact of these organizations is diverse and national, from bringing writers into classrooms, sponsoring festivals, and awarding scholarships.

“Writers create the vast and complex archives of humanity – they are the chroniclers of our joys and our fears, our varied inner lives, our humor, our angst and our determination,” said Elizabeth Alexander, poet and president of the Mellon Foundation, in a press release. “This unique emergency grant provides critical support both to these essential storytellers and to organizations that ensure their written work remains accessible to enrich

National Book Foundation executive director Lisa Lucas told The Associated Press that the idea for an emergency fund grew out of conversations between herself, academy of poets director Jennifer Benka and Mary Gannon, Group Director of Literary Magazines and Presses.

“We were all talking about what was going on and how everyone was having issues,” Lucas said. “A lot of these organizations are small, wondering what’s going to happen to them and what’s up with them when it looks like no help is coming.”

Submissions can be found at

This story corrects the application deadline to August 7.

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