HArT Grant Resources

HArT Recovery Program website.

Important Update 11/10, 7pm:

Revenue Loss for Direct Support All state and federal covid related income does NOT count towards your year over year revenue loss. This means, in your total revenue calculations, PPP, EIDL, NEA Cares Act grants, RISCA’s cares act grants, Take It Outside, and other commerce grants should NOT be included. They should be noted in the next section, “Federal and/or State Assistance Received.”

One other question I know many of you have been asking is what is the start date that expenses are eligible. For the ESR Grant, the expenses must be between the date of application submission and December 30, 2020. For the Direct Support Grant, expenses between March 1st and December 30, 2020 are eligible. Reminder: you can not apply either Direct Support or ESR funds towards expenses you have applied other federal or state covid relief to (for example, Direct Support Grant funds can NOT be used to cover the same period of payroll that you got a PPP Loan to cover).

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is a state holiday, so I am going to do my best to actually take the day off. I do have another HArT office hour session on Thursday from 10-11:30am: https://fb.me/e/1EacNOdWu. And, if anything major happens tomorrow with anything HArT related, we’ll get on our work email for a few minutes and let you know (someone at commerce promised to text me if anything came up).


Does staff salary only include w2 employees?

When determining whether your organization reaches the 20% fixed cost threshold, staff salaries include W2 employees as well as 1099 contract workers.

Compensation for either W2 employees or 1099 contractors are eligible direct support and ESR expenses.

Do the programming activities need to take place in 2020?  For example, if we were to contract with artists to engage in 2021 programming, yet pay them in 2020 would that type of expense be eligible?

When can expenses be billed against?

Direct support can cover all eligible expenses between March 1 and December 30, 2020.

ESR can cover all eligible expenses between the date the application was submitted and December 30, 2020.

All costs must be incurred and activities undertaken by December 30, 2020. Programming may continue through to 2021 but cannot be funded with CRF funds. As an example: Advertising costs for events in 2021 are allowable if the advertisement runs in 2020.

Do libraries qualify for HArT grants? 

Libraries qualify for ESR grants but not for direct support grants.

Note: As public entities, municipal libraries do not qualify unless they are applying as an eligible 501(c)3.

Do municipal nonprofits/city-owned entities qualify (e.g., Roger Williams Botanical Gardens, Museum of Natural History and Planetarium)?

State and municipal entities are not eligible for either program.

What counts as revenue for the revenue loss calculation in Section 2-2 of the application?

Applicants for the HArT program should use TOTAL revenue (i.e. all revenue sources–including earned and contributed income) in their revenue loss calculations (Section 2-2). That includes fundraising and endowment revenue. Fundraising revenue also includes specific donations to support during COVID-19.

The only exception is all federal or state grants or forgivable loan funds received through the Coronavirus Relief Fund or other state/federal sources since March 1, 2020 related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to: PPP, Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) Advance, RestoreRI, FEMA Public Assistance Program, or other federal or state-sponsored COVID-relief programs. These COVID-related federal/state funding sources can be excluded from the total revenue used in the revenue loss calculation (Section 2-2) but should be included in Section 2-3 Federal and/or State Assistance Received.

Does PPP additionally count as revenue?

PPP should be included in the financial calculations within the “federal and state funding” line (Section 2-3). It should be treated as COVID-response funding, not a grant.

This is only true if you have been or will be forgiven for a PPP loan.

Loans that must be paid back are not included as revenue.

This is the same for EIDL Advance.

Does a RIDE SAIL grant count as revenue?

SAIL grants should be included in the financial calculations within the “federal and state funding” line.

Can events be online events funded by ESR?

Yes. Online programming, including online performances and events, are an eligible proposal for the ESR program.

Can arts orgs with fiscal sponsors apply? (For ESR and/or direct support?) 

Organizations with fiscal sponsors are not eligible for direct support. For ESR grants, organizations with fiscal sponsors are eligible to apply. However, the fiscal sponsor will be treated as the legal recipient of the grant and, accordingly, must meet all eligibility criteria and fulfill all other program requirements on behalf of the sponsored organization, if awarded a grant.

Does NEA stimulus funding count as revenue? 

NEA stimulus funding should be counted as “federal and state funding” in the revenue calculations

Is a seasonal organization that is in operation part year, does planning full year, and does not have year-round costs, eligible for either direct support or ESR?

Any organization that qualifies for ESR based on the revenue loss calculations and other requirements is able to apply. Seasonal organizations that fit the direct support parameters are also able to apply. However, seasonal organizations should be aware that direct support funds can only cover eligible expenses between March 1 and December 30, 2020 while ESR funds can only cover eligible expenses between the date the application was submitted and December 30, 2020.

Can artist pay be included in eligible expenses for Direct Support or ESR, paid as independent contractors? Or is it only salaried employees?

Yes, pay for artists–as independent contractors–is allowed under ESR or direct support

In general, are there other things that could count for fixed cost aside from space rental and staff salary? 

Mortgage payments can also be considered as fixed costs.


Q:When do funds have to be expended?

A: By the end of the day December 30, 2020.

Q: What is the grant deadline?

A: For the ESR grant, applications will start being reviewed the afternoon of November 9th. Applications can be received through November 19th at 4pm, but funds will be awarded based on eligiblity on a first come first served basis, so we recommend getting your ESR application in as close to Monday as possible. For the Direct Support Grant, the deadline is Thursday, November 12th at 4pm. All Direct Support applications will be reviewed once the deadline has passed.

Q: If eligible, can my entity apply for both ESR and Direct Support?

A: Yes.

Q: What is the maximum funding I can receive?

A: Between the two programs combined, you can either receive up to $1 million OR the amount of revenue loss you are showing – whichever is lower.

Q: How can I get more help?

A: You can email questions to hart.recovery@commerceri.com and/or mollie.flanagan@arts.ri.gov. We would prefer you email both. Mollie at RISCA is also holding drop in office hours specifically for folks working on any of the commerce grants (HArT, Restore RI, or Business Adaptation):

November 9, 11am-1pm: https://fb.me/e/2Xr3w97bu

November 10, 2-3pm: https://fb.me/e/1hfc2bZQb

November 12, 10-11:30am: https://fb.me/e/1EacNOdWu.