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Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Commission grants eclipsed $5.5 million in FY20

Emergency relief assisted 346 artists and arts organizations

Grants distributed in 44 counties


For Immediate Release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – In recently completed FY2020, South Carolina Arts Commission grants totaling $5.59 million went out into state communities to assist 835 artists and providers of arts and arts education.

While this represents a rise of more than $1.1 million and 377 grants over FY2019, it is important to note that extenuating circumstances render comparisons difficult. Fourth-quarter Arts Emergency Relief grants in 2020 pushed its overall numbers up. Additional funding from the state general assembly nudged the non-relief grant totals higher than FY2019 by just less than $685,000 with 489 grants awards versus 458. A new impact map available on the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) website provides visual representation of the statewide impact of agency grants (and their related programs).

Arts Emergency Relief was a factor

Arts Emergency Relief grants, announced in April, added $506,736 to FY2020 totals. Those provided support funding to arts organizations and artists who could prove losses from shutdowns caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of CARES Act funding was granted to the National Endowment for the Arts for distribution in part to state arts agencies like the SCAC. The subgranted funding was designated solely to provide relief to arts organizations. The SCAC made 177 grants totaling $381,636 to South Carolina arts organizations as a result, helping those groups to offset losses and help keep them operating. Additional relief funding was provided by the South Carolina Arts Foundation. A separate entity that supports the SCAC, the foundation raised money through a spring fundraising drive that contributed around $50,000 of the $125,100 the SCAC spread among 168 individual artists. Both arts organizations and individual artists continue to suffer losses because of the pandemic’s prolonged effects and find themselves in need of additional relief. A recent Brookings Institution study estimated losses in South Carolina’s arts and creative sectors of $1.2 billion.

It was still a big year

The SCAC’s normal grant categories experienced a big year. Grants that provided funding support to the SCAC’s three service areas of arts education, artist development, and community arts development increased to nearly $5.1 million in FY2020. Grants were made in 44 of 46 counties, and one out-of-state grant covered programmatic obligations to South Arts, a regional arts organization and frequent partner in the SCAC’s work. One big factor was the January introduction of School Art Materials grants. This new grant provided one-time money for arts teachers to purchase supplies and other needed materials to assist them in providing quality arts education. There were 63 grants awarded totaling $396,000. The largest single grant category remained General Operating Support, which enable arts organizations across the state to provide arts experiences to residents and visitors alike. $1.9 million was distributed among 129 such organizations. Another $112,000 was awarded in operating support to smaller arts organizations. While the majority of the SCAC’s funding comes from state appropriations, it is grateful for additional generous funding support from the Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF. Funding from those sources is applied to two SCAC grant categories: Subgranting and Arts Project Support.
  • Partnering arts agencies in South Carolina receive grants they may subgrant to artists and arts organizations in the communities they serve. CCF support helped seven awards in the category total $70,000 in FY2020.
  • A grant from the John & Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF helped the SCAC fund arts projects for artists (14) and arts organization (18) in 12 counties totaling around $30,000.
As of the start of FY2021 on July 1, 2020, the state is operating under a continuing resolution that holds its budget at FY2020 levels until January, when lawmakers expect to have a clearer picture of the effect of the pandemic on the state’s finances. The SCAC is working to ensure that state lawmakers are aware of losses suffered by arts providers and practitioners while we wait for the budget to be resolved.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued, and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Jason Rapp

S.C. opens CARES Act non-profit grant relief

Application period runs Oct. 19-Nov. 1


Today, the South Carolina Dept. of Administration (Admin) announces two new SC CARES Act grant programs: the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program and the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program.

These programs will award grant funds to small and minority businesses and nonprofit organizations to reimburse qualifying expenditures for providing services or for revenue loss due to COVID-19. Admin, working with Guidehouse, a professional grant management services provider, has been authorized to provide these grants from the Coronavirus Relief Fund pursuant to Act 154 of 2020.
  • Grant awards for the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program will range from $2,500 to $50,000. To qualify for the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program, an organization must be designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by the IRS and registered as a public charity in S.C., be physically located in South Carolina, be in operation from Oct. 13, 2019, to present, and have experienced a business impact due to COVID-19. Together SC will be partnering with Admin to assist South Carolina's nonprofits in receiving aid from this fund. To view more information on the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program, visit https://accelerate.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/NonprofitGrantProgramOverview.pdf.
  • Grant awards for the Minority and Small Business Grant Program will range from $2,500 to $25,000. To qualify for a grant from the Minority and Small Business Grant Program, a business must employ 25 or fewer employees, be physically located in South Carolina, be in operation from Oct. 13, 2019, to present, and have experienced a business impact due to COVID-19. To view more information on the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program, visit https://accelerate.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/SmallandMinorityBusinessGrantProgramOverview.pdf.
The online application process for both programs begins on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. Applications must be received no later than Nov. 1, 2020. To access the online application, visit https://accelerate.sc.gov/cares-act/applying-sc-cares-act-funds. During the application process, if a business or nonprofit organization needs assistance or has questions, please contact the SC CARES Call Center 803.670.5170 or SCCares@admin.sc.gov. The call center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning Oct. 13.

Who is eligible?

Nonprofit organizations that meet the following criteria:

  • Designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by the Internal Revenue Service
  • Registered as a public charity with the South Carolina Secretary of State
  • Physically located and providing services in the State of South Carolina
  • In operation from October 13, 2019 - present
  • Can demonstrate a financial or operational impact due to COVID-19

What is covered?

  • Up to $25 million in grant funds are available to reimburse qualifying expenditures for providing services or revenue loss due to COVID-19
  • Grant awards will range from $2,500 - $50,000
  • Qualifying expenditures include:
    • Organizational staffing costs (e.g. payroll and associated employee benefits, temporary and/or contract labor costs)
    • Organizational operating costs (e.g. supplies, raw materials, technology, marketing, communications)
    • Facility costs (e.g. rent, lease, or mortgage payments; equipment leases and purchases; utility costs)
    • Personal Protective Equipment (e.g. protective/sanitation supplies and equipment, installation of protective barriers, temperature detection equipment, disinfecting services)
  • Revenue loss

An important note for arts organizations

This grant program is offered and administered by the South Carolina Dept. of Administration and its designated agent(s), which do not include the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC). Any assistance throughout the process must be provided by Admin via the phone number or email address provided above. Priority shall be given to applications for expenditures related to: (1) food assistance, including prepared meals; (2) rent or mortgage assistance; (3) utilities assistance; (4) mental health counseling; (5) health care services, including access to health care supplies, mental health, and behavioral health; (6) criminal domestic violence and children’s advocacy services; and (7) arts and cultural items or activities.

Jason Rapp

Artist Relief announces emergency fund extension

Artist Relief approaches $20MM as need increases

Female and male musicians leaving concert stage after performance

In response to the overwhelming need for emergency financial assistance in the creative community, the coalition of organizations administering the Artist Relief fund announces it has raised nearly $20 million and will extend grantmaking through December.

The coalition—the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists—will also continue raising awareness and funds as the precarity faced by artists has only worsened with coronavirus infection rates spiking again alongside the end of nation-wide eviction moratoriums, additional unemployment benefits, and other resources. Since opening the fund for applications on April 8, Artist Relief has received over 130,000 applications from artists in all states and territories, and across ten disciplines: Craft, Dance, Design, Film, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Art, and Writing. To date, Artist Relief has distributed $13.5 million in funding to 2,700 individuals, at an average rate of 100 unrestricted $5,000 grants per week. To extend grantmaking through December, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has contributed an additional $2.5 million to the fund since its initial $5 million seed gift. Additional and recent funding also includes a $1 million gift and partnership with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, increased support from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation COVID-19 Relief Effort, and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and new funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bonnie Cashin Foundation, Cy Twombly Foundation, Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, The Herb Alpert Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Poetry Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), Walter & Elise Haas Fund, and additional partners listed here. In addition to the continued support of foundations, Artist Relief has received generous contributions totaling almost $1 million from thousands of individuals across the country working together to provide relief to the nation’s artists. “Over the last six months, we have witnessed artists face extraordinary fiscal challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. At Mellon, we have continued to work closely with Artist Relief and many other partners across the country to support artists as they navigate this difficult time,” noted Elizabeth Alexander, president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a poet and memoirist. “We need artists as we work to heal and recover, and we continue to call on others to join us in supporting artists so they may continue to illuminate our path forward from this prolonged pandemic.”

 To date, Artist Relief has distributed $13.5 million in funding to 2,700 individuals at an average rate of 100 unrestricted $5,000 grants per week.


[caption id="attachment_45561" align="alignright" width="250"]Black male musician sitting at piano and interacting with audience Booker T. Jones photographed at Hardley Stricly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA October 7, 2018©Jay Blakesberg[/caption] Due to demand, applicants demonstrating the most severe needs in four categories—rent, food, medical, and dependent care—have been prioritized. The coalition adopted an explicit equity lens in building the application and selection process to address structural access barriers to relief grants encountered by disabled artists, individuals of color, low-income communities, and other vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Of the 2,700 grantees supported across the initial six grant cycles, artists have ranged from those early in their careers to others who are established pillars in their fields, revealing the precariousness of the arts economic ecosystem as a whole. Since April, evidence has shown that the needs of artists are becoming increasingly dire. Based on data from the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers administered by Research Partner Americans for the Arts: 62% of artists became fully unemployed because of COVID-19. 95% experienced income loss. 80% of artists do not yet have a plan to recover from the crisis. “As this public health crisis continues to rage, it has become clear that there is no real safety net for artists. As institutions reopen, they do so without their education departments, positions once filled by artists. Musicians have seen their gigs vanish, and poets and writers who lack healthcare find themselves more vulnerable than ever before. And now, as fall begins, swaths of creative practitioners nationwide might lose their adjunct positions,” says Jennifer Benka, president and executive director of the Academy of American Poets, a coalition partner. “It is imperative that we continue this fund to provide this bridge of relief for as many artists as we can.” Artist Relief was launched to provide an economic lifeline to artists and spread awareness through resources and partnerships. It was also an experiment in rethinking how nationwide grantmaking might work. Rather than relying on one organization to administer this relief effort, Artist Relief sought collaboration among existing entities, each bringing different expertise. ' “It has been deeply humbling to administer this fund and work alongside colleagues to maximize support for artists at this time,” adds Stacy Tenenbaum Stark, executive director of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a coalition partner. “By working together, collectively we have assisted a larger population of artists than any of our individual organizations could have reached on our own.”
  • Artists needing support can apply online at artistrelief.org.
  • Tax-deductible donations can still be made at artistrelief.org; 100 percent of donations will be applied directly to aid and will help extend the fund for as long as possible.

About Artist Relief

Artist Relief is an initiative organized by the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists that have come together in this unprecedented moment guided by the understanding that the wellbeing of artists has financial, professional, social, and mental dimensions, and should be fostered with a holistic framework of support. The coalition is supported by CERF+, The Design Vanguard, and Sundance Institute as Field Partners, Americans for the Arts as Research Partner, dozens of cultural nonprofits as Review Partners, and many generous Funding Partners. All partners listed here.

Jason Rapp

Arts a priority in S.C.’s CARES Act Phase 2 funding

An alert from the S.C. Arts Alliance


Today (September 23), the Legislature adopted H.3210, the state’s CARES Act Phase 2 funding allocation.

If you’ve been following the SCAA blog, you know that while both the House and Senate versions had a “nonprofit grant program,” only the House version put the arts as a priority service area for those grants. A conference committee (3 House members and 3 Senators) was appointed to work out the differences between the two versions of the bill, and they adopted their compromise yesterday, on Sept. 22. That Conference Committee Report was then adopted by both the House and Senate today and is on the way to the governor for his signature. Where did the arts land in all of this? In the best position possible. Here's the shortlist:
  1. Arts INCLUDED as a priority nonprofit service area.
  2. Arts Commission given a seat on the grant panel.
  3. Grants of $2,500-50,000
Click here to get additional details from the S.C. Arts Alliance.
 

Jason Rapp

Midlands music school expands virtual services, offers scholarships

Freeway Music School serves Columbia area


In response to the pandemic, Columbia's Freeway Music launched new virtual and socially distanced technique lessons, showcases, recitals, studio time and music videos, along with new scholarships, positively impacting hundreds of students across the region.

A small business, Freeway Music is rooted in face-to-face interaction and in-person instruction. Once the COVID-19 pandemic limited its ability to open studio doors at its five Columbia locations, the music school brought instruction and opportunities into the homes of its students by incorporating virtual lessons, showcases and recitals in different formats. It has also introduced new technology in order to make lessons even more productive.
“Music is a vehicle for creativity, healing, emotional expression, and so much more,” says Don Russo, founder and chief operating officer of Freeway Music. “It offers hope and is vital during these isolating times. We are committed to showing our music family that they don’t need to physically be together to play together.”
Founded in 2011, Freeway Music offers student-centered music education that also benefits the broader community, making a positive impact through lessons for all skill levels and ages, as well as music therapy, theater, showcases, recitals, and partnerships with various charities, organizations and community events. Freeway Music has locations in downtown Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Northeast and within Sims Music. In addition to its virtual services, Freeway Music is now offering in-person, socially distanced lessons and free studio time as a new experience for its students, enabling them to take home their own recordings. The school is also using technology like Sound Slice, which allows students to see their music notated online, control tempo, and loop sections with which they may be struggling. This summer, Freeway Music students held outdoor, socially distanced concerts at Steel Hands Brewing and Market on Main in downtown Columbia, giving kids the opportunity to perform safely in public with adult supervision. “Our goal is to create opportunities for our students to continue to learn and showcase their work during this hectic time,” says Tony Lee, co-founder of Freeway Music. “Music and creative expression should be accessible to everyone, which is why we’re creating safe and innovative solutions to meet the needs of every family.”
As the pandemic began to alter lives for businesses and families alike, Freeway Music recognized a need within its own music community–families who no longer can afford lessons and instructors who have lost their jobs. As a result, Freeway Music created “Jam for the Fam,” a virtual concert benefiting those in need. Local musicians volunteered to perform, and the event provided 10 scholarships for students to continue lessons and benefitted four instructors who have recently experienced significant loss. “Freeway Music is so much more than a music school — they are our extended family,” says one scholarship recipient’s mother. “When COVID-19 hit and my family was down to one income, they stepped in to help my daughter continue her lessons with a special scholarship. With their help, my girls could continue doing what they love, making music.” Freeway Music believes that music transcends barriers of all kinds and unites people from all walks of life, and the school uses its resources to uplift and encourage the entire Columbia region and beyond. Its philanthropic support of local organizations and community outreach include the following:
  • Co-partnership of the Freeway Music Festival, which unites the music community and celebrates local and regional talent. The 2019 event raised money to help build a new greenhouse at City Roots Organic Farm.
  • Fundraising and performances for many local causes and charities including The Conner Foundation, Palmetto Children’s Hospital, Harvest Hope Food Bank, The Women’s Shelter, Pets Inc., Pawmetto Lifeline, Trustus Theatre, Girls Rock Columbia, the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, and the South Carolina Philharmonic, among others.
  • Lesson donations and performances for local schools including Bethel-Hanberry Elementary, St. John Newman, Heathwood Hall, the University of South Carolina, Columbia College, Blythewood  and Irmo high schools, St. Andrews Middle School and many more.
  • Volunteerism and support of local events including the Festival of Trees, Rooftop Rhythms, St. Pat's in Five Points Parade, Palmetto Christmas, the MG&C Long Run, the Heart and Sole Run, Get in the Pink Race, Vista Lights, First Thursdays on Main, and more.
  • Music scholarships including the Friends Grant in partnership with The Christopher Conner Foundation to help students that can’t afford music lessons, and the Davis Cripe Scholarship, which was created in loving memory of Freeway Music Irmo/Ballentine drum student Davis Cripe.

About Freeway Music

Founded in 2011, Freeway Music is the Columbia region’s premier music school with five locations in downtown Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, the Northeast, and within Sims Music. Freeway Music offers private lessons for all skill levels, styles, and ages on a wide range of instruments including piano, voice, ukulele, drums, bass, strings, woodwinds, horns, mandolin, banjo, and more. Freeway Music’s mission is to equip students in music and life to make a positive impact in their community. Freeway Music is the exclusive music school partner of Sims Music, a locally owned and nationally recognized music store. For more information visit www.freewaymusic.net or call 844.537.7661.
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

Jason Rapp

‘The show can’t go on’

P&C  reviews hard times in the arts


Hub readers know the devastation felt in South Carolina's arts community because of the pandemic's economic effects.

Know, though, the story is reaching broader audiences. Today, the Greenville outpost of the Post & Courier published a story that paints a bleak picture throughout the state. From the story:

“You know the old adage, ‘The show must go on.’ Well, this is one of those times when the show can’t go on,” said Graham Shaffer, technical director at the Greenville Theatre. “We just have to sit here until we can.”

Some hoped for salvation via a federal coronavirus relief package that hasn’t materialized. Now, the South Carolina Arts Commission has asked the state General Assembly to approve $3.8 million in nonrecurring funds to prop up the ailing industry until it can recover. Originally, the arts commission asked for that amount to help venues make repairs to aging buildings.

Now it just hopes to keep the buildings open.

Read Nate Cary's full story here. Subscription possibly required.

Jason Rapp

Pandemic impact to S.C. arts, creative sector totals $1.2B

Devastating numbers revealed in new report


A Brookings Institution report released this month says South Carolina's arts and creative sectors lost $1.24 billion from April to July this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the report, "the COVID-19 crisis hits hard at arts, culture, and the creative economy" which includes industries like film, advertising, and fashion and the arts/creative sector occupations you would expect: musicians, artists, performers, and designers." From the report: We estimate losses in sales of goods and services, employment, and earnings for creative industries and creative occupations at the national, state, and metropolitan levels over the period of April 1 through July 31, 2020.
  • Based on our creative-industry analysis, we estimate losses of 2.7 million jobs and more than $150 billion in sales of goods and services for creative industries nationwide, representing nearly a third of all jobs in those industries and 9% of annual sales. The fine and performing arts industries will be hit hardest, suffering estimated losses of almost 1.4 million jobs and $42.5 billion in sales. These estimated losses represent 50% of all jobs in those industries and more than a quarter of all lost sales nationwide.
  • Based on our analysis of creative occupations, we estimate losses of more than 2.3 million jobs and $74 billion in average monthly earnings for the creative occupations. These losses represent 30% of all creative occupations and 15% of total average monthly wages. Again, creative occupations in the fine and performing arts—which include the visual arts, music, theater, and dance—will be disproportionally affected, representing roughly a third of wage employment losses.


Southern states hit hardest

“While all regions, states, and metropolitan areas of the country will be seriously impacted, the effects of the COVID-19 crisis will hit some places harder than others. The South is estimated to suffer the most losses in employment for both the creative industries and creative occupations, followed by the West and the Northeast, respectively,” Brookings said. South Carolina was 14th in percentage change in estimated cumulative losses in creative occupations, slightly above the national average of 30.3%. In all, the report says South Carolina's COVID-19 financial impact was $1.24 billion in cumulative revenues (sales) and a total loss of 32,161 jobs. Click here to read a summary and download the report from Brookings.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Update on relief funding awards to S.C. arts orgs

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Columbia

The Columbia Museum of Art announces it has been selected as a recipient of a CARES Act economic stabilization grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The $150,000 award will support public programming associated with the upcoming major exhibition Visions from India: 21st-Century Art from the Pizzuti Collection. “I am pleased that the Columbia Museum of Art has received funding allocated through the CARES Act,” says Congressman James E. Clyburn. “The museum serves as a community center, art studio and entertainment venue. We must continue to support them as they strive to provide safe opportunities to participate in meaningful cultural experiences and connect with others.” From Oct. 17, 2020, through Jan. 10, 2021, the CMA will present Visions from India, a breathtaking sweep of 21st-century painting, sculpture, and multimedia works from India and its diaspora. The museum is eager to showcase this exhibition for diverse local and regional audiences and believes it will make an important impact on the community. The NEH is generously providing support for exhibition-related activities that require retaining humanities staff to maintain and adapt critical public programs.

Greenville

Local arts organizations have received another infusion of COVID-19 relief funds thanks to a $100,000 contribution from Hollingsworth Funds Inc. The funding, which is being distributed by the Metropolitan Arts Council, was awarded to the following groups: Artisphere, Centre Stage, Greenville Chorale, Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Greenville Theatre, Metropolitan Arts Council, Peace Center, South Carolina Children’s Theatre and Warehouse Theatre. Each of the 10 organizations will receive $10,000 within the next few days, said Alan Ethridge, executive director of the Metropolitan Arts Council.

Jason Rapp

The show can go on, governor says

S.C. arts venues, festivals cleared to reopen Aug. 3

[caption id="attachment_27031" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Artisphere Artisphere in Greenville, 2016. File Hub photo.[/caption]

Arts centers and festivals may resume holding public events, albeit within guidelines that call for reduced capacity and social distancing, Gov. Henry McMaster announced yesterday afternoon.

The announcement covers performing arts centers and festivals, but also amphitheaters, concert venues, and theaters of all types, among others. Special requirements pertaining to the arts include mandatory mask usage; capacity of 50% or 250, whichever is less; and the cessation of alcohol sales by 11 p.m., already required of bars and restaurants. [caption id="attachment_36942" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Well, not like this, but you get the idea.[/caption]

Additional reopening materials for arts and culture

Our partners at the South Carolina Arts Alliance developed a reopening guideline in June that might help arts leaders walk through reopening. These guidelines are referenced in the Festival/Event guidelines above but are not necessarily part of the "required" guidelines issued by the Governor. Click here to read more. The SCAC is tracking reopening resources on its COVID-19 response page. As with most things in 2020, the situation here is evolving. The intent of the SCAC, and therefore The Hub, is to provide constituents factual information so they can decide their best path through the pandemic for themselves.

Jason Rapp

CARES Act funding announced for 7 S.C. NEA grantees

Awards total $350,000


Washington — The National Endowment for the Arts announces the nonprofit arts organizations recommended for direct funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

These 855 organizations—located in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—will receive a total of $44.5 million in nonmatching funds to support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs.

Grants of $50,000 are offered to 846 organizations while nine local arts agencies will receive $250,000 each to further award to arts organizations in their area. The National Endowment for the Arts received more than 3,100 eligible applications requesting $157 million for the $45 million available in direct assistance. To review the applications, the agency used more than 200 application readers and panelists to review and score each application using the published review criteria.

“All of us at the National Endowment for the Arts are keenly aware that arts organizations across the country are hurting, struggling, and trying to survive and that our supply of funding does not come close to meeting the demand for assistance,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “That said, I am enormously proud of the over-and-above efforts of the Arts Endowment staff to swiftly and professionally manage such a large amount of additional work in a relatively short period of time on behalf of the American public.”


These awardees represent the diverse nature of arts organizations around the country. Overall funding is divided nearly evenly between small, medium, and large arts organizations. Also, 18% went to organizations either in rural (non-metro) areas or in metro areas with populations below 250,000.

Seven NEA grantees in South Carolina received $50,000 grants each. They are:
  • Aiken Music Festival (Joye in Aiken) - Aiken
  • Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County - Camden
  • Spoleto Festival USA - Charleston
  • Columbia Film Society - Columbia
  • Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art - Pawleys Island
  • Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music (POSAM) - Pickens
  • Hub City Writers Project - Spartanburg
  • View the full list of nationwide recipients by clicking here.

In April, the agency announced the distribution of the required 40 percent of the CARES Act’s $75 million appropriation to the state and regional arts agencies for their granting programs. Each agency has its own process and timeline for awarding those funds, however, the Arts Endowment anticipates that together those entities will make between 4,200 and 5,600 awards.

From the beginning, the Arts Endowment has pursued both speed in making awards, and maintaining the agency’s reputation for organizational excellence. Just 12 days after President Trump signed the CARES Act legislation, the Arts Endowment posted guidelines for direct funding applicants. In less than three weeks, the agency had announced awards to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. This press release marks less than 14 weeks since the legislation was made into law.

Arts and culture are a key component of the U.S. economy that contribute $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017 and employ over 5 million wage‐and‐salary workers who collectively earned $405 billion. This funding will help support those jobs and those nonprofit organizations during this time of great need so that arts and culture will persevere as a significant contributor to the American economy.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.