On Wednesday, July 1, 2020, the National Endowment for the Arts announced the nonprofit arts organizations recommended for direct funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These 855 organizations—located in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—will receive a total of $44.5 million in nonmatching funds to support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs. $1.2 million will come to Arizona through grants made to 16 Arizona nonprofit arts organizations and local arts agencies.

Grants of $50,000 are offered to 846 organizations while nine local arts agencies will receive $250,000 each to further award to arts organizations in their area. The National Endowment for the Arts received more than 3,100 eligible applications requesting $157 million for the $45 million available in direct assistance. To review the applications, the agency used more than 200 application readers and panelists to review and score each application using the published review criteria.

“All of us at the National Endowment for the Arts are keenly aware that arts organizations across the country are hurting, struggling, and trying to survive and that our supply of funding does not come close to meeting the demand for assistance,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “That said, I am enormously proud of the over-and-above efforts of the Arts Endowment staff to swiftly and professionally manage such a large amount of additional work in a relatively short period of time on behalf of the American public.”

Overall funding was divided nearly evenly between small, medium, and large arts organizations. Also, 18% went to organizations either in rural (non-metro) areas or in metro areas with populations below 250,000.

Organization Size Percent Budget Size Category Percent
SMALL 32% Less than $250K 15%
 $250K – LT $500K 16%
MEDIUM 36% $500K -LT $2M 36%
LARGE 32% $2M+ 32%


In April, the agency announced the distribution of the required 40 percent of the CARES Act’s $75 million appropriation to the state and regional arts agencies for their granting programs. Each agency has its own process and timeline for awarding those funds, however, the Arts Endowment anticipates that together those entities will make between 4,200 and 5,600 awards.

The Arizona Commission on the Arts will announce the recipients of AZ CARES grants later this month.

CARES Act Grantees in Arizona

Number of Grants: 16
Total Dollar Amount: $1,200,000

Flagstaff Arts Council
$50,000 Flagstaff, AZ

Hopi School (aka Hopitutuqaiki)
$50,000 Hotevilla, AZ

East Valley Children’s Theatre
$50,000 Mesa, AZ

Arizona Opera (aka Arizona Opera Company)
$50,000 Phoenix, AZ

Ballet Arizona
$50,000 Phoenix, AZ

City of Phoenix, Arizona
$250,000 Phoenix

Phoenix Conservatory of Music
$50,000 Phoenix, AZ

The Phoenix Theatre Company 
$50,000 Phoenix, AZ

West Valley Arts Council
$50,000 Surprise, AZ

Childsplay, Inc.
$50,000 Tempe, AZ

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona
$250,000 Tucson, AZ

Lead Guitar (aka Lead Guitar)
$50,000 Tucson, AZ

Museum of Contemporary Art (aka MOCA)
$50,000 Tucson, AZ

Southwest Folklife Alliance, Inc.
$50,000 Tucson, AZ

Tucson Symphony Society (aka Tucson Symphony Orchestra)
$50,000 Tucson, AZ

Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts
$50,000 Wickenburg, AZ