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Higgins announces availability of arts grants funded through American Rescue Plan


Tue, Jul 6th 2021 02:10 pm

Monies now available through National Endowment of the Arts to assist arts organizations recovering from pandemic

Congressman Brian Higgins announced the availability of more than $135 million in funding and competitive grants for arts organizations allocated through the American Rescue Plan. Facilitated by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), 40% of the funding will be provided to state, jurisdictional and regional arts organizations, while the remaining 60% will be awarded to arts and cultural organizations, as well as local art agencies through competitive grants.

“COVID forced most local art organizations and programs to temporarily go dark, leaving a void in our cultural community, impacting local jobs and hurting the Western New York economy,” Higgins said. “The American Rescue Plan provides the resources to help organizations recover and put people back to work. We encourage eligible local organizations and artists to apply.”

According to Arts Services Inc., the arts industry has a $352.1 million economic impact on Western New York, supporting more than 10,000 jobs.

A press release said, “The funds, to be awarded by the NEA through the American Rescue Plan, signify a historic commitment to the arts, recognizing the value of the arts and cultural sector in our nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike other project-based grants facilitated by the NEA, these funds are intended to support jobs in the arts sector, keep the doors open at arts organizations across the country, and aid in the field’s postpandemic recovery. There are two separate competitive opportunities: grants to organizations and grants to local art agencies for sub-granting.”

Organizational grants are intended to fund staff salaries, stipends for artists, facilities costs, health and safety supplies for staff, visitors and audiences, as well as marketing and promotional costs. Applicants can request awards of $50,000, $100,000, and $150,000 based on organizational needs. The NEA anticipates giving approximately 800 awards to organizations across the country.

Local art agencies that are eligible to subgrant and have a history of grantmaking within the past 10 years of the submission deadline can request funding for sub-granting programs in the amounts of $150,000, $250,000, or $500,000. Agencies can also request up to $50,000 to support their own operating costs. The NEA anticipates giving approximately 80 awards to local agencies.

The press release stated, “The deadline to apply for grants funding sub-granting programs is July 22, and the deadline for organizational grants is Aug. 12. Local art agencies cannot apply for both the sub-granting and organization opportunity. The NEA intends to make awards to diverse groups of applicants. Organizations that serve underserved communities in both urban and rural areas, small and medium-sized organizations, and those who are applying for a grant through the NEA for the first time are encouraged to apply. To learn more about whether your organization or agency qualifies and how to apply for the available grants, please visit www.arts.gov/grants/american-rescue-plan-grants.”

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