On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan which includes funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to support organizations and jobs in the arts sector that have been impacted by the pandemic. The $135 million allocated for the Arts Endowment in this historic legislation represents a significant commitment to the arts and a recognition of the value of the arts and culture sector to the nation’s economy and recovery.
The Arts Endowment is moving quickly to develop guidelines and application materials for the competitive funding process. The goal is to craft a process which factors in important issues such as equity and access and which will benefit as many nonprofit arts organizations as possible.
At this time, the agency anticipates releasing the guidelines by late April. Additionally, per the Arts Endowment’s legislation, 40 percent of the $135 million will be directed to regional arts organizations and state arts agencies to be distributed through their funding programs. These funds and the 60 percent awarded directly by the Arts Endowment will not require cost share/matching funds from grantees.
Based on an analysis of historical NEA grants data, the NEA Office of Research and Analysis estimates that the $135 million from the American Rescue Plan will result in:
• Support for approximately 234,000 jobs.
• Reaching an estimated 107 million people across 1,000 distinct communities—23 percent of which are likely to be rural or non-metropolitan—through the organizations that are awarded grants.
Funding through the American Rescue Plan will provide critical relief to the arts sector, which is a key factor in the economic recovery of the country. Data derived from a partnership of the Arts Endowment and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, finds that the arts and culture sector contributed $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017 and employed over five million wage‐and‐salary workers who earned $405 billion. This represents a larger share of the nation’s economy than transportation, tourism, and agriculture.
Guidelines and application materials for American Rescue Plan funding will be posted in the grants section of the Arts Endowment’s website where information is also available on other NEA funding opportunities. Information from the Arts Endowment’s COVID-19 resource page is here. To stay up to date on news from the Arts Endowment, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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