As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, we at the Arizona Commission on the Arts are actively searching for the most current sources of information and assessing how we can best support you, our partners in the arts sector.
While we are certainly not experts on matters of public health, we aim to offer guidance and resources as we know the arts sector is uniquely susceptible to the risks and challenges of this current moment.
First, we have compiled a resource list on our website at https://azarts.gov/news/
We are sorry to report that at this point in the Arts Commission’s current fiscal year, there is no unallocated funding that can be repurposed for emergency support grants. However, we are examining all of our existing grants and services to determine if there are ways we can ease restrictions, move funding out ahead of schedules, convert project grants to operating support, and offer more flexibility around the scope and timeline of previously-awarded grants. (The amount of arts funding for next fiscal year has not been determined as the state budget has not yet been finalized.)
We are also in conversation with other local arts funders. In these discussions we are encouraging each other to move swiftly and think expansively about releasing restrictions, repurposing unallocated funds if available, and together, taking steps to implement and scale up emergency support programs.
Additional conversations are taking place between service organizations and policymakers at local and national levels to vigorously support the inclusion of the arts sector in stimulus and relief programs as they take shape, and we are taking an active part in those discussions as well.
Beyond all of that, we know this is a stressful and scary situation, and that each of you has expansive, layered responsibilities–and we see that you are already making choices that mere weeks ago would have been unthinkable. We are sorry that these pressures are bearing down on you, and still, we believe in the unique potential of your work. If you can, remember to engage some of your most powerful skills: to perceive and listen, to imagine and reimagine, to create, organize, and collaborate.
More importantly, hang on, try not to despair, and please, take care of yourselves so you can take care of each other.
We’ll provide more information as it becomes available, and welcome your inquiries, suggestions, and stories. We are all in this together.
Executive Director, Arizona Commission on the Arts
The Arizona Commission on the Arts will administer $428,700 in CARES Act funding via the AZ CARES Grant program in support of arts and culture organizations across Arizona.Read more
In the coming weeks, the Arizona Commission on the Arts will host or cohost several online conversations and convenings. We will add to the list below as new events are scheduled.Read more
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today its guidelines to swiftly distribute funding to nonprofit arts organizations from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to preserve jobs and help support organizations forced to close operations due to the spread of COVID-19.Read more
Initially seeded with $130,000 from the Arizona Community Foundation and another $25,000 from other partners, the fund can provide approximately 150 grants. More than 500 applications were submitted in the 8 hours the application portal was open.Read more
We know the need is substantial. At its current level we expect the fund can support about 150 artists. Thus far, thousands of individuals have shared and visited the ERF page on our website.Read more