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#ShowUpForChicago A List of Organizations Providing Covid-19 Support and Relief Funds

Updated: May 19, 2021


The most direct and effective way to give support to your community right now is donating—this way, organizations don’t need to worry about spending time and money shipping out merchandise and can use those extra resources to keep their operations running. Below, we’ve compiled a list of places to donate, broken down by category. Every cent and dollar counts, no matter how little—so only donate what you feel you can responsibly sustain in these difficult times, just know every donation of every amount is invaluable to these organizations! If you can’t donate, please do your part and share.


** If you would like to suggest an organization or relief fund, please don’t hesitate to reach out!**


Local Resources for Musicians


provides financial relief to workers and organizations in the creative industries impacted by COVID-19. It is estimated that Illinois arts organizations will lose nearly $85 million in revenue due to a suspension of public-facing programs or exhibitions just through the end of April, impacting 24,228 individual events or performances and nearly 2.5 million audience members or participants. 


Chicago Artists Relief Fund offers support to Chicago artists most vulnerable due to the halting of the arts and entertainment industry in recent weeks. The fund “prioritizes artists who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Queer, Trans+, Non-Binary, and Disabled, but will endeavor to support as many Chicago artists as possible.”


Chicago Dancers United has set up a fund to help dance professionals who have COVID-19 related medical expenses. 


For the People Artists Collective   is offering emergency micro-grants to Illinois-based artists and freelancers of color and is currently seeking donations to supplement their fund supply! 


Lawyers for the Creative Arts (LCA) is Illinois’ only provider of pro bono legal services dedicated to individuals and organizations in all areas of the arts. Donating helps them service our creative community during these unprecedented times. 


Molasses Chicago helps distribute funds to Black and Brown transgender and gender-nonconforming folks affected by the pandemic. 


Riot Fest has compiled a centralized page to donate to all of Chicago’s beloved music venues. Links to each individual venue’s donation fund are available on Riot Fest’s page.  



Illinois Arts + Entertainment


Arts for Illinois Relief Fund provides financial relief to workers and organizations in the creative industries impacted by COVID-19. It is estimated that Illinois arts organizations will lose nearly $85 million in revenue due to a suspension of public-facing programs or exhibitions just through the end of April, impacting 24,228 individual events or performances and nearly 2.5 million audience members or participants. 


Chicago Artists Relief Fund offers support to Chicago artists most vulnerable due to the halting of the arts and entertainment industry in recent weeks. The fund “prioritizes artists who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Queer, Trans+, Non-Binary, and Disabled, but will endeavor to support as many Chicago artists as possible.”


Chicago Dancers United has set up a fund to help dance professionals who have COVID-19 related medical expenses. 


For the People Artists Collective   is offering emergency micro-grants to Illinois-based artists and freelancers of color and is currently seeking donations to supplement their fund supply! 


Lawyers for the Creative Arts (LCA) is Illinois’ only provider of pro bono legal services dedicated to individuals and organizations in all areas of the arts. Donating helps them service our creative community during these unprecedented times. 


Molasses Chicago helps distribute funds to Black and Brown transgender and gender-nonconforming folks affected by the pandemic. 


Riot Fest has compiled a centralized page to donate to all of Chicago’s beloved music venues. Links to each individual venue’s donation fund are available on Riot Fest’s page. 


Illinois Food + Service Industry 


Eater Chicago has complied a centralized list of local restaurants’ donation pages. Visit this page for a substantial compilation on how to donate to all of your favorite food spots and restaurants around the city. 


Illinois Civil Rights, Living Assistance, and Healthcare 


A Better Chicago is collecting donations to fund the nonprofits serving Chicago’s low-income students and their families during this crisis.  


Brave Space Alliance runs a crisis pantry program servicing Chicago’s South and West sides. They are currently accepting donations for dried goods or financial payments. They have also partnered with Trans Liberation Collective to establish a relief fund for transgender, nonbinary and intersex individuals—also specifically in the South and West sides. Information about all of these forms of donations can be found here.


CAIR-Chicago is in urgent need of donations, as they are at risk of closure to the financial strain caused by COVID-19. CAIR Chicago is a nonprofit Muslim civil rights organization that helps with civil rights, political empowerment, media monitoring, and community outreach adjacent issues. 


Chicago Abortion Fund ensures those who are seeking abortions have the emotional, logistical, and financial support they need to receive this form of essential healthcare during the pandemic. Many states have deemed abortions to be non-essential during social distancing restrictions, creating a greater risk for people seeking abortions. Abortion funds help ensure the continued safety of these healthcare workers and patients during this period of heightened risk.  


Chicago Workers Collaborative provides relief to worker activists who’ve lost work due to COVID-19, as well as providing COVID-19 prevention kits to temporary workers still working. As an organization, the CWC promotes the creation of stable, living wage jobs with racial and gender equity for temporary staffing workers. 


Gage Park Latinx Council (GPLX) started a mutual aid fund for Chicago’s Southwest Side undocumented families who cannot qualify for governmental aid during this crisis. Funds such as this are crucial in helping to support those in our communities discriminated against by unfair, exclusionary government policy.  


National Organizations 


Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (Food/Bev) is providing relief to bartenders and beverage industry members and has partnered with many organizations to match your donation. 


Freelancers Relief Fund (Arts) offers support to freelancers of any kind affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 


James Beard Foundation (Food/Bev) is seeking financial donations that will be redistributed to independent food and beverage businesses in need.


MusicCares (Arts) is accepting donations through this link, where Spotify will match all donations up to a collective $10 million. Run by The Recording Academy, MusiCares has established its COVID-19 Relief Fund to help those in the music community affected by the pandemic. Funds are used to help with basic living assistance (rent + mortgage) as well as compensation for cancelled work. 


Musicians Foundation (Arts) is giving out grants to performers, educators, and composers in the United States with at least 5+ years of professional experience. 


Music Maker Relief Foundation (Arts) is currently matching all donations made up to $60,000 dollars as part of their fundraising campaign for COVID-19 relief. Music Maker was founded to preserve American musical traditions “by directly supporting the musicians who make it, ensuring their voices will not be silenced by poverty and time.” 


Mutual Aid Fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC Folks (LGBT) prioritizes helping LGBTQI+, non-binary, gender fluid, and gender non-conforming people of color due to their historic lack of support from welfare systems and because the US government’s response to COVID-19 has “only deepened pre-existing hierarchies that make people vulnerable to premature death.” More details about how funds are distributed can be found on the GoFundMe page. 


National Bail Out (Family) helps bail out Black mothers and caregivers in jail, as those who are locked up are at heightened risk of contracting the virus and suffering greater complications due to a negligent lack of medical care.  


Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund (Arts) is organized by Shade Literary arts and prioritizes getting funds to queer trans women of color and queer disabled writers of color. 



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