As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the National Endowment for the Arts allocated funds for state arts agencies to regrant to arts and culture organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Arizona Commission on the Arts will administer the AZ CARES Grant program in support of arts and culture organizations across the state of Arizona.

AZ CARES Grant guidelines will be published at on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. The application portal will open the same day. In the meantime, we can offer the following details:

AZ CARES Funding Available

The Arizona Commission on the Arts will distribute $428,700 in CARES Act funding via grants to arts and culture organizations.


Operating support grants of $5,000-$7,500 will be awarded to applicant organizations who demonstrate strong alignment with review criteria and program funding priorities. (Review criteria will be explicated in the grant guidelines, which will be available on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Great care is being taken to ensure the application is as simple as possible.)


  • Guidelines available and application open: Tuesday, May 12, 2020
  • Applications due: Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 11:59 pm
  • Application review: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 to Friday, June 26, 2020
  • Grantees notified: Week of July 6, 2020
  • Funding Period: July 6, 2020 to September 1, 2020


Eligible applicants are organizations that:

  • Received an Arizona Commission on the Arts Community Investment Grant (CIG) in Fiscal Year 2019 or Fiscal Year 2020.
  • Incurred or will incur expenses related to salaries, artist fees, contract personnel, or facilities costs during a period of time beginning March 1, 2020, and ending September 1, 2020.

Estimated Number of Awards

Based on an estimate of 200 eligible applicants, this program will likely award up to 65 grants. This represents 33% of applications funded, or a 1 in 3 opportunity to receive a grant.


NEA CARES, the parent funding program, acknowledges the economic hardship caused by the closure of arts and culture organizations due to the spread of COVID-19, and focuses support on key organizational expenses, including salary support, artist and contractor fees, and facilities costs. AZ CARES will build on this foundation by giving priority to organizations that are centering and upholding commitments to Arizona’s creative workforce—artists, makers, tradition bearers, educators, designers, and other content creators—during the COVID-19 global pandemic and beyond.

Further, in alignment with the NEA’s stated commitment for its program as well as the Arts Commission’s public agency mission, racial equity, geographic parity, and other dimensions relevant to access and community benefit will be considered as part of decision-making.

Visit on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, for more information.