COVID-19 HELP

Arlene Morris, detail of book art

What follows is a random assortment of links that we have found that may be of interest to artists and fiber-related businesses (hover your mouse over the link to see it turn orange which means it is "live" and you can go directly there). NOTE on May 21, 2020: The following notices and links are posted as we get them, i.e. newest ones are on top:

ARTISTS WANTED for a new project: "The Jack Pine Project" is a collaboration between the Maine Folklife Center, UMaine Hutchinson Center and Belfast Creative Coalition. "Where Crisis Meets Community Arts." It is intended to help Maine respond to and recover from the coronavirus pandemic through the arts. They are hiring artists to conduct workshops with cohorts of affected people throughout the state, using different art forms to help them tell their stories and express their feelings about the current crisis. They currently do not have a fiber art workshop planned but would like to hear from interested instructors. More information, as well as the instructor proposal form, can be found at www.jackpineproject.com (https://umaine.edu/mainestudies/jack-pine-project/). Also Kreg T. Ettenger, 207-581-1840, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Director, Maine Folklife Center & Maine Studies Program

SERIES OF EDUCATIONAL WEBINARS offered by USDA Farm Service Agency. June 16 CFAP National Program Specialists will discuss what non-specialty crop and livestock producers should know to sign up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) which ends August 28, 2020. Newsletter: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MEDACF/bulletins/28f4b0c Website: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/outreach-and-education/webinars/index?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

A small compendium of current (as of May 21) Maine Covid resources with live links, provided by Representative Seth Berry: Download the PDF here.

WORKING CAPITAL Support for Rural Businesses and Farms: WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21, 2020 – U.S.Department of Agriculture is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. B&I CARES Act Program loans must be used as working capital to prevent, prepare for or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The loans may be used only to support rural businesses, including agricultural producers, that were in operation on Feb. 15, 2020.

  • USDA intends to consider applications in the order they are received. However, the Department may assign priority points to projects if the demand for funds exceeds availability.
  • USDA announced the expanded B&I CARES Act Program authorities in a notice published in the May 21 Federal Register (PDF, 217 KB). Program funding expires Sept. 30, 2021.
  • Eligible applicants may contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where the project is located.
  • USDA is developing application guides for lenders and borrowers on the B&I CARES Act Program. The Agency also will host two webinars to provide an overview of program requirements.
  • To register for the webinar on Wednesday, May 27 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, visit https://globalmeet.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1322642&tp_key=7a700acddd.
  • To register for the webinar on Wednesday, June 3 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, visit https://globalmeetwebinar.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1324161&tp_key=6067315417.
  • USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

The MAINE FIBERARTS Gallery and Red Studio are closed to the public for the duration of the COVID-19 "stay at home" directives. We are going ahead with modified plans for the rest of the year which will be announced as we know them. Christine is available by phone or email or by contact form.

FOR FARMERS—FIBER AND OTHERWISE: This is a link to am email from Maine Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources highlighting, comparing and explaining the expanded and renewed agricultural funding programs (EIDL and PPP): https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MEDACF/bulletins/287d017

MAINE ARTS COMMISSION ANNOUNCES RESOURCES FOR MAINE ARTISTS and organizations amidst the COVID-19 crisis. https://mainearts.maine.gov/Postings/Blogs/Detail/Maine-Arts-Culture-Sector-Can-Prepare-for-the-Caronavirus

MAINE ARTIST RELIEF FUND is awarding grants of $500 to artists who are permanent Maine residents. Applications open April 1, 2020. https://mainearts.maine.gov/Postings/Blogs/Detail/Maine-Artist-Relief-Fund-Information

EMERGENCY RELIEF GRANT. A new emergency relief grant will be launched by "Anonymous Was A Woman" in partnership with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), to support women artists age 40 and older who have lost income or opportunities due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new grant will distribute a total of $250,000 in funding, up to $2,500 for each grantee, to eligible women-identifying visual artists in the US and its territories. Applications are only being taken from April 6, 10:00 am EST, until 6:00 pm EST, April 8, 2020. First come first served. The link won't be available until Monday April 6 at 10:00 am. FMI: https://www.nyfa.org/Content/Show/Anonymous-Was-A-Woman-Emergency-Relief-Grant, questions should be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COVID-19 EMERGENCY HEALTH GRANT FOR ARTISTS. If you have friends or family near Los Angeles, there is another grant launched by the Women’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW) in Los Angeles, California announced it would adapt its 2020 Emergency Health Grant, offering a shorter form application and a rolling weekly deadline for $1,000 awards. This grant is for “Low-income artists who work in any genre or medium, who identify as a woman, as trans or nonbinary, and/or as a person of color, who live in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside or San Bernardino Counties are eligible to apply,” the WCCW explains. Opens April 3, https://womenscenterforcreativework.com/eh-grant/

MAINE CRAFTS ASSOCIATION offers their list of resources. Some are the same as above. Take a look at this link: https://mainecrafts.org/covid-19-resouces-for-craft-artists-small-businesses/

MOFGA offers a way to support local Organic farms through shopping directly from the producer. Only MOFGA-certified organic producers are listed. FMI: https://www.mofga.org/find-organic

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension (UMCE) offers a map of producers not limited to organic with ways for customers to shop for and pick up products directly from the farmer, even during the COVID-19 restrictions. FMI: https://extension.umaine.edu/agriculture/farm-product-and-pickup-directory/

COVID-19 ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN APPLICATION: https://www.sba.gov/page/disaster-loan-applications

FOR FACEBOOK USERS: https://www.facebook.com/100000899760768/posts/3852301254809829/?d=n gives a list of places artists can visit for relief fund assistance or to donate. For the live links visit Americans for the Arts. https://www.americansforthearts.org/by-topic/disaster-preparedness/coronavirus-covid-19-resource-and-response-center or you can download a PDF file with live links.

ADDED ON APRIL 4, 2020: The following links are mostly specific to Maine resources and information to help us get through theses extraordinary times. Some of the following links may repeat those above. Some are quite long so make sure if you click on them you have the entire URL in your browser address bar.

AG PRODUCERS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE PPP: The Department of Treasury (Treasury) and Small Business Administration (SBA) has released an interim final rule on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Agricultural producers are eligible to participate in the program and should reach out to their bankers and/or agricultural lenders to apply. While SBA still needs to confirm some administrative details, loans will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis and producers can get started on the application now.
https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20--%20Overview.pdf
https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP--Fact-Sheet.pdf
https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf

TAX EXTENSION: Deadlines to file and pay both State and Federal taxes have been extended to July 15, 2020.

A Maine Department of Labor FATSHEET and COVID-19 webpage to help navigate unemployment insurance benefits.
https://www.maine.gov/labor/news_events/article.shtml?id=2241241 AND https://www.maine.gov/labor/covid19/

The website for small businesses to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans through the US Small Business Administration. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

A compilation of resources created by Maine Equal Justice for folks with concerns about health care, food security, evictions, court proceedings and other issues during this time. https://maineequaljustice.org/people/covid-19-resources/?link_id=1&can_id=cadc2661605ed0ede497509674d5892d&source=email-grappling-with-covid-19-upcoming-remote-actions&email_referrer=email_752486&email_subject=grappling-with-covid-19-upcoming-remote-actions

Detailed information on the FAME COVID-19 Consumer Loan Guarantee Program offering low-or-no interest loans to qualifying applicants. https://www.famemaine.com/business/programs/covid-19-relief-loan-programs/

Is your business essential? An online application for businesses that believe they should be classified as essential under Gov. Mills's March 24 Executive Order. https://appengine.egov.com/apps/me/essentialservicerequest

A resource to get answers any time by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Find your nearest food bank: https://www.gsfb.org/get-help/food-map/

Here's a link to yet another map. This ones' about LOCAL FOOD PURCHASING. https://www.gsfb.org/get-help/food-map/

Gov. Mills launched "Maine Helps," a website that outlines ways Maine people can help their communities and our state. Take a look to see how you can lend a hand. https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/covid-19/maine-helps

If you’re a willing and able health care worker in Maine, whether retired or not, register for Maine Responds, an initiative gathering volunteer resources to assist our health care system during the COVID-19 crisis. https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/covid-19/maine-helps

Information on COVID-19 for MAINE NONPROFITS. Financial Relief for Nonprofit Businesses and Employers:
https://www.nonprofitmaine.org/learn/resources/covid-19/financial-relief-for-nonprofit-businesses-and-employers/

And a slew of information sent to Christine from ORNAMENT MAGAZINE excerpted here into a PDF file. It contains many live link.  This ocument includes lists of gallery and museum closures and other events nationwide and internationally that are affected. Download and/or view the PDF file here.

UNITED STATES ARTISTS has launched a new website, Artist Relief, an emergency initiative in support of artists facing dire financial emergencies due to this global health crisis. This emergency, non-restricted fund will grant $5,000 to individual artists facing financial hardship; serve as an informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Research Partner Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists moving forward. FMI: https://www.artistrelief.org To apply for relief: https://www.artistrelief.org/apply