Guggenheim Mutual Aid

We aim to provide much-needed financial assistance to employees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York who have been negatively impacted as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Guggenheim Museum staff, including on call and contract workers, who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic are welcome to apply


Everyone is encouraged to support the fund via donations, which are tax deductible. We are accepting donations through March 31st.

Who is eligible for aid?

The fund is open to requests for assistance from current Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum staff whose households have been financially impacted by the pandemic and former museum staff who lost employment at the museum due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fund has been set up to help those who lost their sole source of income and health care due to layoffs, those who are among the numerous part-time educators, installers, fabricators, and exhibition construction workers who lost a large portion of their income, are contract employees through other companies (Allied Universal, Crothall, Event Network, Harvard, Restaurant Associates, etc.) who have been impacted, or are current employees who are experiencing additional medical or transit costs due to the pandemic or whose households have lost sources of income.

Please note that due to legal and tax constraints, the fund is only open to current staff of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and former staff of the museum who lost employment at the museum due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Request Aid

How are funds being disbursed?

The funds we raise will determine how many people we can help. We'll be distributing $500 per person, so if we hit our goal of $20,619, then we can help 40 people.

We will select applicants using a weighted lottery. An applicant will have additional chances to win in the lottery if they:

  1. identify as BIPOC
  2. are part-time/contract/on-call
  3. are former full-time employees who were laid off.

Using this criteria, a BIPOC person who works part time has a greater chance to be selected than a full-time employee that has retained employment who is white. We decided on this disbursement process because BIPOC and those without health care or stable/consistent pay have been most adversely impacted by COVID-19. We trust applicants to self-select in applying.

If selected, we will contact applicants directly via phone and email. Applicants will need to provide verification of their connection to the Guggenheim, e.g. picture of staff ID, bank statement showing direct deposit of wages, picture of paystub, or W-2. Applicants must indicate that they've been financially impacted by COVID-19 via their application form in order to qualify for funds. Once the application has been vetted, we will distribute $500 to the applicant.

Since ioby is our fiscal sponsor, we must provide proper documentation of all cash disbursements. That means we can only pay the person who applied directly. It also means that we will save receipts of the disbursements that will include the person's name, zip code, and/or the last 4 digits of their phone number and share them with ioby, since they are audited each year.

Personally identifiable information (including but not limited to names, emails, phone numbers, zip codes) will not be shared publicly. To protect the privacy of fund applicants, this information will only be seen by a select few of our organizing group, who will sign confidentiality agreements.

We may publicly share anonymized data that is collected via the form, e.g. "30% of applicants identify as BIPOC" or "40% of people who applied are on-call workers" to help demonstrate our impact and encourage other communities to start mutual aid groups and funds.

Request Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

Will this help custodial, retail, and restaurant staff?
Yes, the fund is open to staff in these departments (who work through contract companies, Crothall, Event Network, and Restaurant Associates respectively), and we are actively outreaching and encouraging staff in these groups to apply.

Are materials available in Spanish?
Our fund application and on-site flyers have been translated into Spanish. We are also investigating with our outreach network if there are other languages that we should translate materials into.

Have BIPOC been involved in the fund organizing?
At the moment, fund organizers are all white. This group was formed based on responses to an email sent in November 2020 to all Guggenheim Museum staff and former staff still involved in the Guggenheim community, which announced the intent to set up a mutual aid fund. We also reached out to BIPOC colleagues who we knew were interested in the fund to see if they would like to be involved. They expressed support for the fund and our efforts, but declined to participate. As white people in positions of relative privilege, we decided to proceed with this work without expecting our BIPOC colleagues to take on extra volunteer labor. We welcome BIPOC Guggenheim community members to share feedback with us and to join the mutual aid fund organizing team if interested.

When will funds be disbursed to applicants?
We plan to start distributing cash assistance directly to qualified applicants by April 15, 2021. Due to the nature of our fiscal sponsorship with ioby, we have to wait until the fundraiser is complete before we can disburse funds.

What will Guggenheim Mutual Aid become after this fundraiser?
This is a great question for which we don't yet have an answer! We're all committed to seeing the disbursement of these funds through, and plan to consider what this could be for the Guggenheim community once we are able to accomplish this initial task. We're open to advice or feedback on what you want to see from Guggenheim Mutual Aid in the future!

Who we are

We are a group of current staff and one former staff member who saw the great need for mutual aid and financial support given the tremendous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main team organizing the fund included: Eric Heist (Art Handler), Cristina Linclau (Manager, Exhibitions and Collections Information), Olivia Manno (Social Media Producer), Rebecca Mir (formerly Associate Manager, Digital Media and Online Learning from 2013-16), and Joan Young (Senior Director, Curatorial Affairs).

A larger team helped kick off the effort and review our work at key milestones. We thank that group: Lindsey Cash (Senior Assistant to the Director & Manager, Director's Office), David Horowitz (Assistant Curator), Jonita Luti (Senior Security Manager), Carol Nesemann Klebanoff (Registrar, Outgoing Loans), Shelby Patterson (Associate Manager, Individual Development), and Jeannette Sharpless (Assistant Registrar for the Collection).

We hope Guggenheim Mutual Aid continues beyond this fundraiser and can help connect current staff with one another in positive ways. Please reach out if you would like to get involved or if you have any questions or ideas.