The National Endowment for the Arts is now taking applications for $75 million in grants to nonprofit arts organizations from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The money has been earmarked to combat job losses and hardship related to the spread of Covid-19.
Organizations, including publishers and literary institutions, that have received NEA awards in the past four years are eligible to apply for a direct $50,000 grant. Funds can be used for staff salary support, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs. The deadline to apply is April 22, with the earliest news of approval or rejection coming by June 30.
Forty percent of the funds are allocated for state and regional arts agencies to distribute through their funding programs starting April 30; the remaining 60% is being given directly to nonprofit arts organizations. With the current funding, the number of direct awards will be limited to 900 and many organizations are likely to be shut out; in 2019, more than 2,250 organizations received grants and will be eligible to apply, as will all the recipients from the previous three years as well.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is thankful to the President and members of Congress for recognizing the cultural and economic contribution to America made by the 5,100,000 men and women employed in the arts sector across the United States," said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the NEA. "In an effort to provide funding to save as many jobs as possible, as quickly as possible, these time frames are faster than the schedule used in 2009 to distribute relief funds. I am proud of the professionalism and organizational excellence demonstrated by our tireless staff and look forward to doing all that we can to help save jobs in the arts sector and keep the doors open to the thousands of organizations that add value to America’s economy and the creative life of our communities,”