Frequently Asked Questions

We hope this information  will serve as a helpful introduction to CERF+’s emergency relief programs. For complete details about these programs, please read CERF+’s guidelines for assistance.

  1. What kind of emergency relief does CERF+ provide?
  2. Who can receive CERF+ emergency relief?
  3. What does CERF+ consider craft?
  4. What does CERF+ consider a career-threatening emergency?
  5. How does CERF+ determine that an applicant’s livelihood is from craft?
  6. How do I apply for CERF+ emergency relief?
  7. How long does it take to receive emergency relief from CERF+?
  8. Can I apply for a grant, loan and brokered assistance?
  9. Once found eligible, how much financial assistance will I receive?
  10. Once found eligible, how much brokered assistance will I receive?
  11. I have a big craft show coming up soon, but due to my emergency, I can’t make it. The show producer won’t give me a booth fee refund. Can CERF+ help?
  12. Does CERF+ provide emergency relief to fine artists or photographers?
 

What kind of emergency relief does CERF+ provide?

CERF+ provides grants and no-interest loans. CERF+ also works with businesses in the craft community to broker craft supplies, equipment and services (such as booth fees at craft fairs) at no or low cost to those found eligible for emergency relief assistance.

Who can receive CERF+ emergency relief?

CERF+ provides emergency relief to professional craft artists who have had a recent career-threatening emergency and are U.S. residents. Craft artists with a recent emergency whose livelihood is not from their craft may qualify for CERF+ assistance through the more stringent Alternative or Emerging Professional support categories.

What does CERF+ consider craft?

A detailed definition is in the CERF+ emergency relief guidelines, but CERF+ considers craft to be the creation of original objects by the skillful manipulation of materials. While objects may be created out of traditional or non-traditional materials, and be functional or non-functional, they should reference a traditional craft form (chair, vessel, garment, implement, etc.) and/or craft technique.

What does CERF+ consider a career-threatening emergency?

A detailed definition is in the CERF+ emergency relief guidelines, but CERF+ regards a career-threatening emergency as a recent, unforeseen or triggering event that has significantly and adversely affected your ability to produce your work. Financial distress that results from the normal uncertainties of doing business is not considered an emergency for CERF+ eligibility purposes.

How does CERF+ determine that an applicant’s livelihood is from craft?

To be eligible for CERF+ assistance you must have earned at least 50% of your income from the sale of your craft during the three years previous to your recent emergency. Tax returns showing craft income during that period are required supporting documents. Additional information on craft income is in the CERF+ emergency relief guidelines.

How do I apply for CERF+ emergency relief?

Fill out and send in a CERF+ confidential application for assistance along with all necessary supporting documentation. This may be done through the mail or online.

How long does it take to receive emergency relief from CERF+?

Within two weeks of receiving a complete application and all necessary supporting documentation, CERF+ will notify you of the eligibility determination, and if eligible, the award determination. A check will be mailed after you have signed and returned the grant and/or loan agreement(s).

Can I apply for a grant, loan and brokered assistance?

Yes, but loans are not available if you receive assistance through the Emerging Professional Craft Artist category.

Once found eligible, how much financial assistance will I receive?

The maximum potential grant is $4,000 ($2,500 through the Emerging Professional Craft Artist category). The maximum potential loan is $8,000. Most artists receive less than the maximum grant and loan amounts. In addition to the relative severity of the emergency (for grant requests) and the ability of the artist to assume debt (for loan requests) a review committee evaluates each application on a number of criteria that affect the final grant and loan amounts.

Once found eligible, how much brokered assistance will I receive?

When an applicant requesting brokered assistance is found to be eligible, CERF+ does its best to match the needs of the craft artist with the offers of goods and services from the craft business community. Sometimes no matches are found and sometimes the matches take months to find and complete. For those receiving brokered assistance, the average value is $1,000 to $2,000.

I have a big craft show coming up soon, but due to my emergency, I can’t make it. The show producer won’t give me a booth fee refund. Can CERF+ help?

CERF+ will not ask a show producer to change their refund policies. If you are found eligible for CERF+ assistance, we will approach the show producer about a booth fee waiver or discount for a future show for which you've not yet submitted payment. 

Does CERF+ provide emergency relief to fine artists or photographers?

No, but there are links to other emergency relief resources for artists on CERF+'s Studio Protector website. If you are unsure if CERF+ would consider your art craft, review the eligibility guidelines carefully and then contact the CERF+ staff if you still have questions.

 

Have other questions about CERF+’s emergency relief assistance for professional craft artists? Complete our Emergency Assistance Inquiry form and we will contact you.