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
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