Arts Activation Fund: Corona Memorials (2020-21)


$600 ($700 if involving collaborating artists)


Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs


May 31, 2021 - 12:00 am


Selections of mini-grant recipients are made on a monthly basis until all funds are expended or May 31, 2021, whichever comes first.


Rafa Vaca, DCA Grant Associate

Through Corona Memorials—a re-envisioning of the Arts Activation Fund (AAF) for 2020-21—the City of Los Angeles continues to support artists who live and work in Los Angeles to act as collective-thinkers for our collective awareness and community healing.

Corona Memorials seeks to commission approximately 70 creative-tributes by 70 lead artists who will receive seed-funding of $600 each to reflect the lifetime of a person who has died from COVID-19 by engaging the family or dearest friends of the deceased.

In the end, Corona Memorials may be songs, poems, paintings, photographic presentations, or a mix of these, as well as any other forms, that can be revealed within set of expression to be shared online for the general public.

Arts Activation Fund: Corona Memorials is a public-private partnership between the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and Community Partners. The City of Los Angeles has allocated no less than $142,000 as seed funding for this program. Community Partners manages payments and collects final presentations. Community Partners will also maintain a philanthropic fund that will allow the general public to support this general initiative. Tax-deductible contributions to Arts Activation Fund: Corona Memorials will expand the selection process to add more commissioned artists.

Between January and August 2021 the public will be able find a growing list of artists and proposed projects online. The link to that site will be given at a later date.



All lead-applicants should meet the following five criteria:

  • Be an individual who resides within the municipal boundaries of the City of Los Angeles (any collaborating artists involved in an ensemble project may reside anywhere in the world). Depending upon the volume of applications, preference may be assigned to projects: a) involving cultural communities hardest hit be COVID-19, and b) projects with a majority of artists who reside in the City of Los Angeles.
  • Be an individual artist who has at least three years of experience presenting artworks in any type of public forum (this includes family events if you regularly perform at private homes). And hopefully the applicant-artist’s biography demonstrates that they have presented that same type of craft which will be a part or all of the proposed tribute.
  • Explain the geographic nexus, cultural connection, and/or human bond between the lead artist and the person to be memorialized.
  • Be able to carry out contracted project activities with an understanding that these micro-grants are reimbursable and payable only after final presentations are posted online and a brief project report is submitted to the Department of Cultural Affairs.
  • Upon selection, provide a W-9 form that matches the name and address of the applicant-artist, because this micro-grant would count as Miscellaneous Income on that lead-artist’s 2021 tax-returns.

Please note Individuals may be considered for funding only once, as either a solo artist or as a part of an ensemble.



Eligible individual artists may request $600 to (a) research the lifetime of a person who has died from COVID-19 with permission from the family and/or dearest friends of the deceased, and (b) produce and present one tribute presentation (a Corona Memorial). Individuals must post their Corona Memorials online for the general public on any platform (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) within two months of receiving the first payment of the micro-grant.

Artists who do not wish to work solo may request an additional $100 to pay their collaborating artists as well as an additional one additional month (for a total production time of 3 months) to use any crowd-sourcing platform they choose to raise additional funding for themselves, collaborating artist fees, and creative production costs. Lead artists determine the number of people in proposed ensembles and the size of each artist fee (recognizing that once the initial designation of $600+$100 is provided to a lead artist, she or he may build the project to whatever scale they wish for involving other paid artists, who may collaborate from near or far in deepening the theme(s) of each memorial-artwork).

A tribute does not need to be composed of only original materials, such as new drawings, poems, or songs. It can be composed of existing photographs, videos, and compositions, as long as those materials are properly credited to their original makers the end of your original presentation. For example, a rendition of an existing favorite or appropriate song is perfectly fine as long as it is credited to the proper sources (writer, composer, lyricist, performer, etc.). And a collection of photographs can be credited to specific individuals or the family in general. Thanks those who provided materials with a formal ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS section at the end of your presentation is an expected part of your tribute, which demonstrates the depth of your research and thoughtfulness.

When creating the idea for a tribute, applicants are invited to think about the best way to honor the deceased, beginning with at least one photograph, shown with the subject’s full name, as well as their birth and death dates. We invite you to select, edit, and credit elements that best represent the individual character, personal accomplishments, cherished objects, and life experiences of the deceased. Since each tribute can be 5 – 20 minutes long, it may include new voice recordings or voice-overs of family, friends, and work-mates documenting their cherished memories. Thank you in advance for taking the proper time to be inclusive and comprehensive.

Tributes which are mean-spirited or rude are unlikely to be selected or sponsored.

Because COVID has affected some communities more deeply than others, it is DCA’s intention to fund artists and proposed-projects that represent the closest kinds of geographic nexus, cultural connection, and/or human bond between the lead-artist and the deceased.



Applications will be accepted starting in late December 2020 and will be accepted on a rolling basis until May 31, 2021 (or as soon as all funds are exhausted). Applications must be submitted electronically via the online application form available here.

In the online application, applicants will be asked to provide the following:

  • Legal and Professional Name, Phone, and Email Address
  • Primary place of residence (i.e. the address used for tax purposes) located within the municipal boundaries of the City of Los Angeles (for non-solo projects, the lead applicant may live anywhere within the City of Los Angeles and preference will be give to ensembles which contain a majority of LA City residents)
  • Applicant brief biography or resume, AND list of recent presentations demonstrating three or more years of experience. An ensemble resume is welcome when the lead artist is applying on behalf of an existing group of band-members or ensemble-members.
  • A sample of the applicant’s prior work (which may be an ensemble work where the lead artists can be identified and connected to the nature of the artwork proposed as a Corona Memorial. The artistic sample can be a set of photos, a video, a weblink to a video, or the lead-applicant’s website. Other types of samples may be submitted upon special request.
  • Name of person being memorialized, with their: city of birth, date of birth, city of death and date of death.
  • Five-sentence narrative about your connection to the deceased: Ensure you describe the geographic nexus, cultural connection, and/or human bond between you and the deceased.
  • Five-sentence narrative about your project: Demonstrate your ability to research, plan and implement your project in 2 months by describing: 1) what the project is; 2) who is involved; 3) when, where, and how the presentation of your Corona Memorial will be presented.
  • For your chosen online-platform, please estimate the minimum viewership of your project, and describe how past metrics (viewership size and demographics) are generally known. In order to be eligible we ask that you certify that your project will be available to at least 100 online project-engagers and/or viewers.
  • Certification of permission to research and produce a Corona Memorial from the friends and/or family of the deceased, established through one brief support letter (an attachment to your proposal) This letter may be from anyone in the immediate family of the deceased, and may be as short one sentence, giving the name of the writer, their relationship to the deceased, and their endorsement of your proposal to create a Corona Memorial in the name of there dearly beloved relative.

Selected applicants will be notified and invited to provide an IRS Form W-9 and enter into micro-grant service agreements with Community Partners.

Applicants will receive 80% of funding upon signing a mini-contract, and the remaining 20% upon reporting the active URL link to the online project with data analytics showing viewership of no less than 100 persons via a brief online reporting form.


Program Timeline:

  • Application guidelines are available online starting late December, 2020.
  • The program will be active in two rounds (December – March 10, 2021, and April 10 – June 10, 2021).
  • Selections of mini-grant recipients are made on a monthly basis until all funds are expended or May 31, 2021, whichever comes first.
  • Mini-grant recipients must post their Corona Memorials online for the general public within two months (three months, if collaborating with other artists) of receiving the first payment of the micro-grant.
  • All Corona Memorial projects must be posted online no later than August 10, 2021.
  • DCA recommends that Corona Memorials remain posted online, until at least September 10, 2021 or longer if possible.


Informational Webinars

DCA grants staff will be hosting informational webinars in April. To participate in the webinar, please register here.


Receive notes about art, culture, and creativity in LA!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Department of Cultural Affairs, 201 North Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90012, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact