Federal Stimulus funding available for small and medium size arts organizations

RISCA announced the availability of  COVID-19 emergency funding for small and medium sized arts organization through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  This funding comes through the CARES Act, a federal program that supports the non-profit arts community in Rhode Island as it attempts to recover from the financial challenges created by the COVID-19 health crisis.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recognizes that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an important sector of America’s economy. RISCA, on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts, will award funds to nonprofit arts organizations in Rhode Island to help these entities and their employees endure the economic hardships caused by the forced closure of their operations due to the spread of COVID-19. These funds are intended to help save jobs in the arts sector and keep the doors open to the hundreds of organizations that add value to Rhode Island’s economy and the creative life of our communities.

In the latest funding opportunity, RISCA is making available $75,000 in grants of $3,000 or less to support non-profit arts organizations with budgets under $300,000.  RISCA has already awarded funds to its operating support recipients in the first phase of this emergency granting program. The second phase is designed to support small and medium sized non-profit arts organizations who did not participate in Phase I. Funding can be used for salaries, fees for artists or facilities costs for the period from May 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

In keeping with RISCA’s Strategic Plan and its emphasis on cultural equity and inclusion, a priority in Phase II funding will be to support Rhode Island non-profit arts organizations that are led by and serve communities of color (e.g. their audiences or artists, boards and staffs are African American, Asian American, Native American or Latino, their artistic products typically reflect a non-Western European cultural tradition, etc).

According to guidance from the NEA, these funds can only be used for one or more of the following purposes: salaries; fees for artists and other contracted personnel; or facility costs (rent, utilities, etc.)

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Organizational quality, as shown by a mission that is arts-focused, and the presentation of high quality arts programming to a diverse audience.
  • Impact of COVID-19 on your organization, as shown by the information you provide regarding the challenges the organization has faced since the start of the pandemic.
  • Plans for use of these funds, and what effect it will have on the continued operations of the organization.

Deadline to apply is June 19th. You can see a PDF copy of the application questions here. 

Click here to go to RISCA’s online application system to begin your application. Contact Randall Rosenbaum for questions or assistance.

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