(UNDATED) – An additional sixty-one Midwestern arts and culture organizations received COVID-19 relief grants today from Arts Midwest through Phase 2 of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund.
The Resilience Fund’s goal is to invest in historically under-resourced arts and culture organizations across the United States as they work to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with these priorities, thirty-two of the funded organizations are based in rural areas, twenty-five are led by and serving people of color, and five are led by and serving Native and Indigenous communities.
The sixty-one selected organizations will each receive between $10,000 – $50,000 as a one-time investment. Recipients may direct United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund grants to their most pressing needs and opportunities, from response activities to investments that build resiliency and sustainability.
The impact of COVID-19 has created incredible financial obstacles for the arts, with Americans for the Arts estimating current losses for the creative sector at over $14.5 billion dollars and counting. These losses exacerbate deep, existing inequities present across the Midwest and the nation. Historically under-resourced communities and organizations now face an additional lack of access to critical support, investment, and capitalization to weather the pandemic, putting their work acutely at risk.
The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund began in June 2020, when each of America’s six Regional Arts Organizations, a national collective of place-based nonprofit arts service organizations, received allocations of a $10 million emergency grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Arts Midwest invested its initial $1.5 million share from the Mellon Foundation into thirty mid-to-large size organizations across the region. This investment was then matched by an anonymous donor, with Phase 2 supporting additional smaller organizations with annual budgets between $50,000 – $249,999.
To ensure that rural communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color were integral voices in the funding process, Arts Midwest shaped an equity-focused trust-based philanthropic model. Decision making on how to allocate all Resilience Fund grants has been guided by rural culture makers and arts leaders of color from across the Midwest as well as representatives from Arts Midwest’s nine partner State Arts Agencies.
In total, over eight hundred Midwestern organizations have been nominated by community members to receive money through the Resilience Fund. All nominated organizations will have access to free capacity building resources and webinars put on by Arts Midwest in the coming months
“As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the nation, smaller arts and culture organizations are deeply hurting.” says Torrie Allen, President and CEO of Arts Midwest. “We are grateful to the Mellon Foundation and our anonymous funder for investing in the creative core of the Midwest. We are hopeful that these funds will help organizations across our region weather the storm so that they can keep serving their communities for years to come.”
|Shawnee Theatre of Greene County||Bloomfield||IN||$30,000|
|Beachfront Dance School||Gary||IN||$15,000|
|Iibada Dance Company||Indianapolis||IN||$25,000|
|Indiana Performing Arts Theatre||Indianapolis||IN||$20,000|
For more information on the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, please visit the Arts Midwest website.