Populus Fund logo with the words in multi color letters against a black background

Populus Fund

Populus Fund is a regranting initiative organized by The Union, through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in order to support innovative artist projects throughout Omaha–Lincoln metros. Populus Fund was founded to provide essential support for projects that expand our understanding of how art exists in the world, address community needs, and exemplify new ways of working in, for, and with the public.

Applications for 2021 Cycle of Populus Fund $1,000 Emergency Grants are now CLOSED.

Due to the ongoing financial impacts of COVID-19, many artists are in need of critical financial support. Populus Fund’s 2021 grants were designated as unrestricted emergency funds to support vital needs such as medical bills, rent, debts, and food. The fund awarded One hundred and five $1000 grants using a weighted lottery system for a total of $105,000 awarded to artists by the end of 2021.

To be eligible, artists must be able to say “yes” to ALL of the following:

  • I did not receive a Populus Fund Emergency Grant in 2020
  • I am a visual/multidisciplinary artist working within the following disciplines: painting / drawing / sculpture / book art / ceramics / fiber / printmaking / digital/media works / film / video / photography / performance art / sound art / social practice and/or hybrid or interdisciplinary practice of any/all of the above;
  • I live within a 80 mile radius of The Union (2423 North 24 St. Omaha);
  • I am 18 or older;
  • I can provide a W9 and Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) once selected to receive an award;
  • I have experienced financial impact due to COVID-19;
  • I can demonstrate an ongoing commitment to my artistic practice over the last two years;
  • I am not a staff or board member of The Union for Contemporary Art or The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (nor do I have immediate family relation to staff or board members of either organization).

Understanding the long-reaching effects of systemic racism and injustice, The Union will prioritize BIPOC applicants during this round of funding. It is our goal to give at least 55% of our awards to BIPOC artists. Race and ethnicity demographic questions will be optional in the application process. However, this info must be stated in order to be eligible for the award pool specifically for BIPOC applicants.

If you applied for a 2020 Populus Fund Emergency grant and did not receive it, you must re-apply this year. If you did receive a 2020 Populus Fund Emergency Grant, you are ineligible to receive the award this year. For full eligibility requirements + to learn about our weighted lottery process, visit our FAQ page.


Applications opened May 14. There were 4 weighted lottery draw cycles. Applications received by June 6, 2021 will be considered in all lottery draws. However, if you miss that deadline you may still submit your application to be considered. All eligible applications will remain in the lottery for future cycles, no need to re-apply.

MAY 14 - Applications open
6/6 deadline (11:59pm)
7/9 deadline (11:59pm)
8/1 deadline (11:59pm)
9/6 deadline (11:59pm)

The above video is a virtual Q+A for visual artists interested in applying for Populus Fund emergency grants. Recorded on May 22, 2021.

QUESTIONS + Accessibility

Curious about something that is not answered above or on the FAQ page? Drop us a question at populusfund@u-ca.org.

Please reach out to The Union team if you have any questions about eligibility or would like assistance reading or filling out your application at populusfund@u-ca.org.

ASL Interpretation of Application


If you are interested in expanding our support for artists by contributing to the Populus Fund to, please contact our Manager of Individual Giving Caitlin LaVelle, caitlin@u-ca.org.

  • More Funding Opportunities for Omaha-area Artists

    Omaha nonprofit Amplify Arts promotes unity, innovation, and progress in the arts to build strong and vibrant communities. This work includes an Artist Grants program for area artists of many disciplines.


In accordance with Andy Warhol’s will, the mission of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is the advancement of the visual arts. The foundation manages an innovative and flexible grants program while also preserving Warhol’s legacy through creative and responsible licensing policies and extensive scholarly research for ongoing catalogue raisonné projects. To date, the foundation has given over $218 million in cash grants to over 1,000 arts organizations in 49 states and abroad and has donated 52,786 works of art to 322 institutions worldwide.

Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Logo - two-tone portrait of Warhol and his signature - 4


Populus Fund is generously supported by The Sherwood Foundation.

The Sherwood Foundation Logo