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NEA Releases Guidelines for CARES Act Funding

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has released guidelines for the distribution of $75 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that will attempt to mitigate the worsening economic fallout as the United States tries to curb the spread of COVID-19—to nonprofit arts organizations that were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NEA will divide 40 percent of the funds among state and regional arts agencies, which will then award the monies through their own funding programs, and sixty percent of the funds will be given to nonprofits across the United States through direct grants. The municipal agencies will receive the funds by April 30, and the grant recipients will be announced by June.

More than 3,700 organizations that have received NEA awards in the past four years are eligible to apply for a direct grant. Funds can be used to pay employees, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs. The direct grants will not require a cost share or match and will be for a fixed amount of $50,000. Designated local arts agencies eligible to subgrant may request $100,000 or $250,000 for subgranting programs.

Applications will be reviewed by panels convened by the NEA and judged on the basis of artistic excellence and merit, which includes the organization’s potential to have a significant and immediate impact on the arts workforce and its ability to carry out an award. The deadline to apply is April 22. More information about the application process can be found here

“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, chair of the NEA. 

Carter added that the NEA is striving to get the funds to those who need them as quickly as possible and that the agency looks 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.”