The Exploring COVID Impacts through Visual Art program will provide $2,500 of direct financial support for artists (up to 6 nonprofits, individuals, or small businesses) to create visual art reflecting the impact of COVID-19 on their community. The program is a partnership between New Sun Rising and RiverWise, supported by The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Emergency Action Fund.

Successful applicants will receive funds and technical assistance to support their project. All applicants must agree to the following conditions: 

  • Interested applicants must complete an application by July 3, 2020 at 11:59PM at the link provided below.  Applications received by the deadline will be notified of their status within one week. 
  • If selected to participate in the program, artists must complete their artwork by July 24th. Digital art should be submitted directly to New Sun Rising. Other forms (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc) will be digitally reproduced by a photographer hired by New Sun Rising. 
  • Successful applicants agree to attend two, 1-hour virtual meetings with other Artist Exchange grantees. During these sessions, artists will share about their practice, project, and community with other artists from Allegheny and Beaver Counties.
  • All artists agree to allow digital use of their art by New Sun Rising and RiverWise. Although artists will retain the original artwork and the rights to sell and reproduce such work, New Sun Rising and RiverWise will also be granted ongoing permission to reproduce and display (but not monetize) submitted artwork. Permission must be granted to New Sun Rising and RiverWise in writing as part of the grant agreement, and will persist indefinitely. 
  • Artists understand that two grantees will be selected as overall winners, will be printed on vinyl, and will be displayed via wallscapes at two public locations: Millvale Food + Energy Hub and a site yet to be determined in Beaver County.
  • Artists agree to submit their work in landscape format, understanding that their work (if selected as overall winners) will appear on a large vinyl screen that is 5’ x 8’ in size.
  • Artists recognize that program funds will be reported as 1099 activity for individuals and for-profit businesses, and as an award to non-profits.



Nonprofits, individuals, and businesses in Allegheny and Beaver County are all eligible to apply. Applicants are not eligible if they are seeking support for candidate campaigns or other partisan activity as restricted by the IRS.

Applications to the Fund are to be completed online using the button below or, if technology creates a barrier, through an application interview scheduled by emailing All applicants will be vetted by a diverse Fund Committee, composed of New Sun Rising, RiverWise, and community representatives, following the established Selection Criteria (see below).  

Not Currently Accepting Applications



As part of the COVID Artist Exchange program, New Sun Rising, RiverWise, and partners will provide recipients with capacity building support. This could include education and resources on topics such as operations, human resources, finances, and leadership resilience to support them through the COVID-19 crisis.



Due to the rapid response nature of this Fund and evolving community conditions, the following criteria will be used to guide due diligence.  All decisions will be made by a diverse Fund Committee, including New Sun Rising staff and community representatives, according to the NSR Vibrancy Score Rubric and prioritized using the following criteria:

  1. Values: Applicants who demonstrate a commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion throughout their staff, the people they serve, and community partners that are most impacted by racial and economic inequities will be prioritized. (e.g. communities of color, immigrants, refugees, formerly incarcerated residents, youth, low-wage workers, people with disabilities, low-income residents, LGBTQ community members, etc.)
  2. Need: Applicants who demonstrate a critical need for funds due to unemployment or underemployment since the COVID-19 breakout will be prioritized. 
  3. Impact: Applicants whose projects best communicate the experience of people and communities during COVID-19 will be prioritized.  Production and display must occur within publicly accepted and government mandated public health and safety standards.

The COVID-19 Artist Exchange program is made possible through the responsive support of The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Emergency Action Fund.

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