Skip to main content

Announcing the Launch of The Texas Folk & Traditional Artist Covid-19 Relief Fund






A group of Folk and Traditional Arts organizations and stakeholders, with the support of Texas Folklife, will award grants of $500 to community-based folk and traditional artists impacted by COVID-19.

Grants are a one-time award made to individuals to assist with their financial well-being. 


Mon July 27, 2020 Austin, TX - In response to the substantial economic and social impact of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, a group of Texas folk and traditional arts organizations and stakeholders, convened by Texas Folklife, have come together to help offset the immediate and ongoing needs of the Texas folk and traditional arts community at large. While there are other covid relief efforts supporting artists and musicians, there are currently no emergency relief funds available specifically for Texas-based folk and traditional artists.  This fund seeks to fill that void and provide emergency support for our state’s traditional arts practitioners most in need.    



Folk and traditional artists are acutely impacted by the economic and social impact of the ongoing pandemic. Folk and traditional artists are those artists who are practicing an art form that is held by a shared community of people - with community defined by ethnicity, occupation, region, gender, place of origin, religion, etc. Learning in this community is accomplished by one-on-one interaction through a long period of instruction between master/teacher and student, or through a more formal apprenticeship. Formal learning through classroom instruction is not the usual form of instruction for folk and traditional art forms.  Often the art or skill is passed from older generation to younger generation, or through a peer network. 

For these artists, practitioners and organizations, the situation is especially acute because their work is significantly dependent on social interactions. The situation for those reliant on support from community and public events, as well as revenue from art sales, worsens as gatherings remain closed for the foreseeable future. In addition, several factors might impact them more adversely than the artist community at large:

Traditional artists are spread out throughout the state in remote areas and not necessarily clustered around urban areas, nor affiliated with supporting organizations, making them harder to reach and serve.

The digital divide that we are aware of means some artists might lack  the technological access to leverage communications in these tough times.



Artists in need of assistance can fill out the short Relief for Texas Folk and Traditional Artists Application.  Nominators can also fill out the application form on behalf of an artist in need. 


Application is also available in Spanish:
Solicitud de ayuda para artistas folclóricos y tradicionales de Texas afectados por el COVID-19

To be eligible for this $500.00 one-time grant, the following conditions need to apply:

1.  You must currently live in Texas.

2.  You must identify as a traditional or folk artist (see above) and be currently active as a traditional artist.

3.  You must indicate a financial need.


If you would prefer a phone call to complete this application, please call 512-441-9255 or email and indicate if you would like to be contacted in a language other than English. 


Applications will be reviewed by a panel of people working in the field of folk and traditional arts.  Applications must be received by August 14, 2020 and awards will be distributed no later than September 1, 2020. The panel will be intentional in the distribution of awards, striving to reach a statewide dispersal and to reach those most in need.  All decisions are final and non-acceptance does not indicate a dismissal of the applicant or the applicant's art form. Texas Folklife will unfortunately not be able to fund all applications but hopes to raise money to fund subsequent rounds of grants.


Those who wish to donate to the Texas Folk & Traditional Arts Relief Fund may do so here:

We appreciate your generosity in direct support of artists experiencing economic hardship.


Artist Relief Fund Image



Charlie Lockwood / Executive Director, Texas Folklife / 512-441-9255 /


Texas Folklife, Art Spark TX, Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, Full Gallop, Texans for the Arts, Conjunto Heritage Taller, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, Texas Folklore Society, Dance of Asian America, Norma E. Cantú - Trinity University / President, American Folklore Society, Cecelia Ottenweller, Catherine Ragland, Pat Jasper, Kay Turner, Andres Amado, Susan Hurley-Glowa, Anina Moore, Ernesto Luna, Anuradha Naimpally - Austin Dance India, Emily Socolov, Sonia Seeman, Suzanne Serrif, Lori Najvar - PolkaWorks, Jakes Srinivasan, and many more. 





Texas Folklife is a statewide 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. TXF is designated by the National Endowment for the Arts as the official folk and traditional arts organization for the state.  Since 1984, Texas Folklife has honored traditions passed down within communities, explored the importance of traditional arts in contemporary society and celebrated the state’s vibrant heritage by providing arts experiences enjoyable and accessible for all generations. For more information, visit



#     #    #