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Fundraising Initiatives in the Indian Creative Sector

Compiled and maintained by Yadhukrishnan TM

Through the trials of the pandemic in India since March 2020, a number of fundraising initiatives, grants, and programmes to support artists and cultural workers have emerged. This is a compilation and listing of information.

ACRI has been trying to map and document the shifts in the industry and its consequent implications due to the spread of coronavirus in India. Our study on the impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries was released earlier this month. The British Council India team and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) along with us conducted this study and the initial round of insights have reaffirmed our belief that immediate funds to just keeping afloat is the necessity of the moment for most of us.

Continuing the thought, we have shortlisted some of the emergency funding opportunities that have emerged from within the sector for the sector.

1) ADAA - Assistance for Disaster Affected Artistes

4) COVID-19 Artists Fund

5) Fund for supporting Art & Culture during COVID-19

6) Introspection - Online Fundraiser Exhibition

7) StayIN aLIVE Artist Emergency Fund

8) Swarit Foundation Fundraiser

9) Together for Tomorrow (TFT) 10) 200 million artisans: COVID-19 India Support Hub 11) Let’s Folk Together - Artist Relief Fund

ADAA - Assistance for Disaster Affected Artistes For - Performing artists and instrument makers from rural India A small group of independent artistes and individuals working with the arts namely, Aneesh Pradhan (musician and scholar), Arundhati Ghosh (cultural practitioner), Mona Irani (producer & casting director), Rahul Vohra (actor, director & arts consultant), Sameera Iyengar (cultural practitioner) and Shubha Mudgal (musician) came together to raise Rs. 35 lakhs through a fund-raising campaign titled ADAA (Assistance for Disaster Affected Artistes). The money raised was distributed to the families of 100 artists across India who were affected by the pandemic. ADAA managed to collect around 42 lakhs which were disbursed through 10 art organisations working in the grassroots in 10 different states of the country. Team ADAA has been advocating for various plans by which we can revive the sector. They have written to various governmental organisations and ministries as well. Click here to know more about the advocacy plans they have proposed.

Status: Closed

For - Emerging visual artists to sell their works

Art Chain India is an initiative to assist and encourage the development of the visual arts community through peer support.

Founded by Ayesha Singh and Purvi Rai, Art Chain India started off as a platform to help young visual artists sell their work through Social Media and support themselves during the pandemic. Now they have grown to include mentorship programmes as well as being a platform to network and learn for young visual arts professionals.

Instagram: @artchainindia

Status: Active

For - Artist communities of India who rely on performing for sustenance

#ArtMatters is an initiative by Teamwork Arts, to help create awareness about the new reality of various art communities across India, action change, and develop support channels for them. As a part of the initiative, various donation channels have been set-up in order to provide immediate relief to artists and their families.

The campaign also seeks to mobilise industry leaders, art connoisseurs and art lovers, building a single umbrella of communication that underlines the difficulties faced by the community.

Instagram: @teamworkarts

Status: Active. You can donate through their website (link above).

COVID-19 Artists Fund

For - To support marginalised artists

Carnatic vocalist and author T.M. Krishna with others raised around Rs 32 lakh to be distributed among 919 artists who were battling loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The funds supported makeup artists, Bharatnatyam dancers, instrument makers, light and sound technicians, and members of regional theatre. The aim of the funds were to support artists in the margins. The initiative is both crowdfunded and supported by the Sumanasa Foundation and the Bhuvana Foundation.

Update: The fundraiser is still active and has raised and distributed around 26 lakh rupees.

Fund for supporting Art & Culture during COVID-19 (FSAC-19) For - Providing grants to artists

India Foundation for the Arts from Bengaluru has initiated a fundraiser with the aim to expand and continue grantmaking, ensuring that funds are made available to many more artists across their programmes.

Instagram: @indiaifa

Status: The fundraiser is still active. You can click here to donate.

Introspection - Online Fundraiser Exhibition

For - Supporting underprivileged artisans

Shrishti Art Gallery from Hyderabad put together ‘Introspection’ - an online fundraiser with more than 90 artists and 130 artworks. They collaborated with the American India Foundation, a non-profit, to support underprivileged artisans by donating 50 percent of the sales from the fundraiser to the foundation.


Status:The fundraiser was open from 7 May to 7 June 2020.

StayIN aLIVE Artists Emergency Fund For - Artists working in the live entertainment space Created by organisations from the arts and live entertainment space, to help out performing artists from the industry who have lost jobs, income, and other opportunities due to the COVID-19 crisis. As a platform, they have been raising funds for their grants by hosting multiple events. They organise music performances, stand up comedy, poetry recitals as well as workshops and mentorship classes to generate capital for the grants. Capped at INR 20,000, SAAEF is inviting applications for its fourth cycle now. The fund supports artists, who are most affected due to the COVID-19 crisis and help tide over these difficult times. The applications to these grants are available in both Hindi and English at the links below:

Form in English - Click here

Form in Hindi - Click here Website: Instagram: @stayinaliveorg

Status: Active

Donate: Here

Deadline to apply for grant cycle 4 is 19 August.

Swarit Foundation Fundraiser

For - Classical and folk artists and Instrument Makers

Swarit Foundation has started a fundraising campaign for Indian Artists & Instrument Makers in collaboration with A-Field Productions from Mumbai.

The foundation which aims at promoting traditional Indian music, both classical and folk, along with cultural and spiritual discourses is organising a string festival from 24 July showcasing the best of young musical talents digitally as a part of their fundraiser initiative.

The amounts raised will be donated to support the livelihoods of instrument makers around the country. You can read more about the initiative here.

Website: Click here

Status: Active

Donate: Click here

Together for Tomorrow (TFT)

For - Workers in Performing Arts Industry

Spectal Management, a New Delhi-based talent and brand agency, announced Together for Tomorrow to raise funds for non-salaried skilled and unskilled freelancers in the live events sector, with a focus on cultural workers who are not artists. This initiative was launched in partnership with Universal Music-backed non-film platform VYRL Originals, and new media enterprise OML Entertainment.

The funds raised through TFT will be collected and disbursed through Anahad Foundation that works towards preserving and empowering folk music and musicians across India.

Status: Active

200 million artisans: COVID-19 India Support Hub

For - Professionals working in the crafts industry

A platform for artisans acting as a connector for all things crafts, they connect organisations working on ground with crafts communities as well as artisans who are in need for support. The platform also features organisations working in the crafts pan-india and amplifies their voices. Here is a list of resources they have Image Credits: United Nations, Unsplash put together for crafts communities

and organisations.

Website: Let’s Folk Together - Artist Relief Fund

Paris based Believe Entertainment in collaboration with Anahad Foundation launched an artist relief fundraiser to support folk artists and their families in India. They launched a series of digital concerts for the public on Facebook which saw participation from the likes of Shankar Mahadevan, Amit Trivedi and other top musicians from the Indian music scene. Through the fundraiser, they managed to raise around 40 lakhs INR and were able to cover food and ration for nearly 1500 artists. The success of the Let’s folk together has inspired the team to initiate one more fundraiser which will be launched in September this year.

Status: Active The Podlist X The Artist Project The Podlist and the The Artist Project have joined hands to help raise funds for Artists’ and their families in need. The Founder of the Chennai based Artist Project, Abhinaya, started the platform to help rural artisans sell their work. During the pandemic, they started auctioning of the artisans work through their Instagram page to raise support for them. The works they showcase on their channel is auctioned for two to three days and the highest bidder on the comments sections get the artwork.

The project aims to support the artists whose primary business models were small workshops or pushcarts that rely on footfall. They have also started a fundraiser on Milaap which you can support. Website: Instagram: @theartistprojectindia


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