Micro-Grants Available for Philly Artists & Designers Affected by COVID-19

We selected two winners for this contest: Emerson Ruffin and Andre Chaney, both talented artists local to Philadelphia. You can find them on instagram at emersontheartist and andrenchaney. Congrats to these wonderful artists!

We all know the impact that COVID-19 has had on our culture, economy, and health over the past 4 weeks. As people struggle to adjust to the quarantine, the government has been struggling to issue loans and process unemployment claims to keep the economy afloat.

While we are all patiently waiting on government assistance, we believe it’s the duty of those who are able to give back to do just that.

With that said, as of April 15th, 2020 we’ve announced a series of micro-grants of $500, starting with a pool of $1,500 and increasing as the funds become available, to any Artist in Philadelphia who has a substantial need.

To apply, all you need to do is fill out the form below and create a visual #QuarantineBuddy to inspire the rest of the community. We believe that through collaboration and mutual support we can all make the world a better place.

Challenge to All Visual Artists: Create a #QuarantineBuddy!

To Qualify

  • Must have a valid address in the greater Philadelphia region
  • Must be currently unemployed and financially affected by COVID.
  • Must have a primary career in the arts, design, etc.

The Challenge

What if you could have your own little friend to keep you company during times of isolation? How would your buddy cheer you up or inspire you? Maybe they’d sing you a song or play a game? Get creative! Decorate the template however you like in the program of your choosing, and submit a brief description of your design. The three most creative submissions (as chosen by OpenForge) will be selected to receive a grant of $500.

Save the template below and fill it in with your own design, and feel free to make it your own with whatever creative tools are at your disposal!


Use this as a starting point to create your own #QuarantineBuddy


  • Why Designers & Artists?
    • We have a lot of friends in the artist community and we know how hard they’ve been impacted. We’d love to support everyone, but it’s just not financially possible. We have to pick our battles, but we’d encourage other businesses to support other types of folks!
  • When will the winners be decided?
    • Judges will be selecting winners on Tuesday April 21st, 2020.
  • What’s the deadline?
    • The deadline for the first round is Monday, April 20th, 2020.
  • Why create a #QuarantineBuddy?
    • We hope that your creation is inspiring, and inspires others as well. We don’t want this to be a job, we want this to be a fun outlet that may give you the ability to receive a micro-grant
  • What are the criteria of judging?
    • We’ll be evaluating the creativity of the #QuarantineBuddy, how much it inspires the community, and the individual needs as submitted in the form.
  • Will everyone who applies win?
    • Unfortunately no, we will be starting with a pool of $1,500 which will be divided into 3 grants of $500 / piece. If more individuals contribute or more funds become available, we will extend this.
    • However, will keep your contact information and if we encounter any other community opportunities we will try our best to let you know!
  • If you have any questions, please reach out to us over Facebook or Twitter

Best Regards from the OpenForge Team, and stay safe out there!

Comments are closed.