Museum Workers Relief Fund

A Museum Workers Speak Initiative

It has become clear to us that when our institutions will not stand in solidarity with us, we must stand in solidarity with one another.

The Museum Workers Relief Fund operates by the principles of mutual aid: organized by and for museum workers, founded on equity, trust, solidarity, and empowerment of our members, without conditions. We will gather the voices of museum workers offering and asking for aid and, together, we will advocate for a transformation of museum culture that will center dignity, justice, and humanity.

Museum Workers Speak rogue session at American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting in 2015. 

Museum Workers Relief Fund Updates

MARCH 31, 2021
Help us spread the word--we've created a flyer you can print out and post around your workplace to make more folks aware of the relief fund.

MARCH 20, 2021

Great news! We're excited to announce that we have re-relaunched our relief fund. The new application form can be found here. If you previously applied to our fund in 2020 and were not selected, please re-apply using the new form if you still wish to be considered. 

We're also kicking off a new round of fundraising! Since we retired the original GoFundMe campaign in December, we are now hosting our fundraising efforts through our fiscal host, Open Collective. With this new structure we are able to accept both one-time gifts of any amount as well as recurring contributions for those who are able to commit to a monthly giving plan. 

DECEMBER 12, 2020 by Paula Santos, Organizer

We did it! We have met our $100,000 goal. Thank you for your end of the year contributions and the effusive support you’ve shown for all of our efforts this year. You have made mutual aid a force to be reckoned with in our field.

Our collective will be fully focused on getting funds to 40 more museum workers in the next few weeks. We are pausing our GoFundMe fundraiser until 2021. Stay tuned for what is ahead for Museum Workers Speak.

Wishing everyone a safe and restful December.

Who should donate?

Museum workers who are still employed, people who love museums, museum board members, museum donors, and anyone looking to support people who bring arts and culture to you daily. We recognize that even for those museum workers who have not been adversely affected by pay cuts and job losses, many are still on tight budgets. Small acts of solidarity add up to a movement! If 5,000 people donated $12 (or 1% of one stimulus check) right now, we would easily meet our initial goal and then some. If you have more than $12 to give, we gratefully welcome your support. 

We are currently fundraising $100,000 and will distribute $500 each to 200 applicants (UPDATE: WE DID IT!). Applications for funding will open once we hit our initial fundraising milestone of $10,000. We hope that funding will be available in multiple rounds (UPDATE: IT IS!). To donate to our Open Collective page, click here.

If you are an organization, you can donate through our fiscal host. Email for details. 

Who should apply to receive funds?

Any museum worker in the U.S. who has been laid off, furloughed, or otherwise severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds are intended for museum workers in the most precarious financial situations, even pre-crisis, including but not limited to the following:

We are fundraising for these people primarily, and we trust museum workers to self-select in applying. Recipients will be chosen by lottery. 

How can recipients use the funds?

Funds are for recouping financial loss, buying food, paying rent, or whatever the recipient deems necessary to stay afloat during this unprecedented time. 

What is the application process?

Our 2020 application form has been retired. If you are applying for the first time, OR if you applied in 2020 and would still like to be considered, please fill out our 2021 Application Form. Please note that previous fund recipients are not eligible to reapply at this time.