Our volunteers help photographers, painters, poets, musicians, playwrights, graphic artists, dancers, crafts groups, filmmakers, theatre companies, orchestras, arts councils and others pursuing artistic endeavors. Problems that are not considered arts-related include traffic violations, personal injury, criminal and family law matters. Not an artist or with an arts organization? Find legal service providers.
Individual Artists & For-Profit Creative Businesses
To receive free assistance, you must be a Missouri or Southwestern Illinois artist with an arts-related problem and meet our income guidelines. Individual artists (all disciplines) with incomes less than $38,640 per year (+$13,620 for each additional member of the household) qualify for free assistance. This represents 300% of the current federal poverty guidelines and is the highest allowable income for attorney pro bono services. For partnerships, gross receipts less expenses of operation using individual artist guidelines; for limited liability companies and corporations, net income plus salaries of principals not exceeding $50,000. Please submit the individual artist application above or the referral request below. Your application can be filled out online, but your $15 referral fee must be paid by credit card or check must be received before we can process your request.
If you are ineligible for free services because your income exceeds our guidelines, we will provide names of lawyers and/or accountants who accept fee-generating clients. There is a $15 fee for this service, which must be paid by credit card or check before we can process your request.
To receive free assistance, you must represent a Missouri or Southwestern Illinois arts organization with an arts-related problem and meet our operating budget guidelines. Nonprofit organizations with annual budgets under $500,000 qualify. Applications can be filled out online, but your $25 referral fee paid by credit card or check must be received before we can process your request. Please note that we cannot do audits and that Form 990-EZ preparation may not be able available on a pro bono basis.
Forming a New Organization
New organizations requesting assistance with incorporation and applying for tax-exempt status should request a copy of our Nonprofit Incorporation Workbook and the accompanying worksheets, which must be completed before meeting with a volunteer. Your application can be filled out online, but your $100 referral fee paid by credit card or check must be received before we can process your request.
“Just weeks before launching one the biggest projects of my career, I got hung up on an unexpected copyright issue that drained my confidence. VLAA empowered me with the knowledge to come back and tackle the work with integrity.”