India Center Foundation Launches Arts Resiliency Fund for South Asian Artists Affected by COVID-19

India Center Foundation Launches Arts Resiliency Fund for South Asian Artists Affected by COVID-19

The non-profit arts organization India Center Foundation (ICF), in partnership with MELA Arts Connect (MAC), has announced the formation of The South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund, a grant program for South Asian artists and arts workers in the U.S. in the fields of performing arts, film, visual arts or literature who have been impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19 due to postponed or canceled performances, events or exhibitions.

ICF will provide launch funding of $20,000 towards this important initiative. The fund will be co-managed by MAC and supported by a crowdfunding campaign and multiple live streaming experiences and more. With the community’s support to reach the targeted goal of $500,000, the fund will be able to provide grants to hundreds of arts workers around the country. The expectation is that this milestone will be outmatched because of generous support from arts patrons and philanthropic communities, who can donate funds through this Go Fund Me Page.

In an ongoing survey about the economic impact of the coronavirus on the arts sector, Americans for the Arts has captured a crippling loss of more than $114 million as of April 4, 2020. “And the situation is only going to get worse, before it gets better,” said Raoul Bhavnani, ICF Co-Founder. “Communities count on the arts to rally around, to gather and to find connection, especially in times of crisis, and the South Asian community is no different. With necessary physical distancing in place for the foreseeable future, the arts community — artists, producers, agents, managers, administrators, technicians — are unable to perform or produce their work for audiences and are losing their livelihoods.  Losses will only continue to mount unless we choose to support artists NOW, and we hope individuals, corporations and other arts organizations will join us in this critical endeavor.”

“We want to encourage South Asian voices in the arts at all levels and make sure that our growing representation in all sectors of creative fields does not diminish because of this pandemic,” said ICF Co-Founder Priya Giri Desai. “The Resiliency Fund can ensure that our South Asian voices continue to be heard and that South Asian artists can feel secure in their choice to pursue a life in the arts.”


The development, creation and presentation of work requires the time and expertise of a multitude of people, not just the artist. As such, the fund will provide support for artists and arts personnel in the U.S. through project grants on a rolling basis for the development of work, particularly during the ongoing pandemic.
Examples of Projects:

Creation of music, dance, theater, film, visual arts or literature projects (ongoing or new)

Research for development of music, dance, theater, film or visual arts projects (ongoing or new)

Strategic planning by a manager or agent for an artist

Content creation for project deployment

Creation of resources for artists to support careers in the arts


Eligible applicants are United States-based, South Asian arts workers in the performing arts, film, visual arts or literature who can demonstrate loss of income because of canceled or postponed engagements due to COVID-19.
Arts Workers are defined as:

Artists such as: dancers, choreographers, musicians, poets, actors, comedians, playwrights, directors, filmmakers, writers, composers, visual artists, etc.

Arts personnel such as: technicians (lighting, sound, costume, stage management, production, editor), independent curators / presenters, producers, agents, managers, etc.

*Grants will be targeted to at least $1,000, depending on eligibility and financial need. The arts community can apply starting April 13th at the organization’s website,

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