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Leeway Foundation Introduces Immediate Relief Funds for Individual Artists in the Launch of the 2021 Community Care Fund

Thursday, February 4, 2021

PHILADELPHIA – In response to the continuing financial impacts on the arts and culture community, Leeway Foundation is launching the WOO Community Care Fund in 2021. We are thrilled to announce that the Fund is opening with $100,000 in funding thanks to the generous support of the Independence Public Media Foundation (IPMF), the Samuel S. Fels Fund, as well as the William Penn and Andrew W. Mellon Foundations as part of their joint relief and recovery support effort for Philadelphia arts and culture organizations.

Last March, in the wake of COVID-19, Leeway, like our peers in the philanthropic sector was tasked with how to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. We were forced to examine how our engagement work and grantmaking could move into virtual spaces and ways to support grantees and partner organizations as they cancelled, postponed and reimagined events, workshops, and arts happenings. The impact on artists and cultural producers in this community was immediate and devastating.

The necessity of immediate, no-strings-attached funds for individual artists was clear to us– particularly for the women, trans, and gender nonconforming artists and cultural producers Leeway serves. As a result, we re-allocated funds from other areas of our grantmaking and were able to establish a relief fund for Leeway grantees as a second branch of the Window of Opportunity (WOO) grant. The WOO Relief Fund went live in April 2020.

From April to December 2020, the WOO Relief Fund granted $75,055 to 112 Leeway grantees.

We are grateful for crucial support we received from our colleagues at IPMF, Sundance Institute, and the Surdna Foundation in support of the relief fund last year.

Like the WOO Relief Fund, the Community Care Fund will provide financial assistance of up to $1,000 to Leeway grant or award recipients experiencing financial need due to the continuation of the pandemic’s impact on artist lives and livelihoods.͘ The application and guidelines are available now on


ABOUT LEEWAY: Leeway Foundation supports women and trans* and gender nonconforming artists and cultural producers working in communities at the intersection of art, culture, and social change. Through our grantmaking and other programs we promote artistic expression that amplifies the voices of those on the margins, promotes sustainable and healthy communities, and works in the service of movements for economic and social justice. For more information about Leeway, visit

*Leeway is a trans-affirming organization committed to gender self-determination, and we use the term “trans” in its most inclusive sense, as an umbrella term encompassing transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, Two-Spirit people, and anyone whose gender identity or gender expression is nonconforming and/or different from their gender assigned at birth

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