To offset the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vermont arts and humanities organizations can again apply for emergency relief funding through the Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Humanities.
A total of $1.2 million in grants seeded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and funded through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) were made available starting June 21 through the new Covid-19 Cultural Recovery Grant Program co-administered by the Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Humanities.
Early in the pandemic, in 2020, the two organizations jointly gave over $780,000 in Covid-19 Emergency Relief Grants to 123 cultural organizations, located in all 14 counties in Vermont. The Arts Council also administered $5 million in Economic Recovery grants allocated by the Vermont state legislature in July 2020 to further support Vermont cultural organizations.
In the spring and summer of 2020 alone, Vermont cultural organizations sustained over $35 million in lost revenue. Vermont’s arts and culture sector provides more than 40,000 jobs annually and comprises 9.3% of all employment in Vermont, higher than the national average.
“Vermont’s museums, galleries, art centers, and performance venues have been creative and resilient at managing the impact of the pandemic, but they continue to suffer losses in the millions,” said Vermont Humanities Executive Director Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup. “These grants will help fill in part of the gap, but we also urge the public to step in and contribute to their favorite cultural places.”
Any arts and/or humanities organizations that are incorporated in the state of Vermont with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status may apply for the grant. Organizations that received a grant in 2020 from the Vermont Arts Council or Vermont Humanities and/or a Vermont Economic Recovery Grant for Cultural Organizations from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), or other state or federal Covid-19 relief grants, are also eligible to apply for the new round of grants.
Grant amounts will be based on organization size:
· Annual operating budgets of up to $250,000: $5,000 grant
· Annual operating budgets between $250,000 and $750,000: $10,000 grant
· Annual operating budget larger than $750,000: $15,000 grant
“As we all emerge from the storms of the past fifteen months, we are proud to provide this vital support to arts and culture organizations that are community anchors in towns across Vermont,” said Arts Council Executive Director Karen Mittelman. “Rebuilding and strengthening Vermont’s vibrant arts and culture sector is essential as we chart a course forward for Vermont communities.”
The Arts Council and Vermont Humanities aim to fund a diverse range of organizations of different disciplines, geographic locations, and backgrounds through the new grants. The deadline for applying for the first round of grants is July 21. Applications for a second round of grants will be due September 14.
The funds may be used to cover general operating costs; efforts related to preparing, responding to, and recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic; the expansion of outdoor and virtual programming; salary support; and more. Funded activities for all grantees must start no later than December 1, 2021 and must end no later than November 30, 2022.
For full details and to apply for the Covid-19 Cultural Recovery Grant, applicants can visit either the Vermont Arts Council application page at www.vermontartscouncil.org/culturalrelief(link is external) or the Vermont Humanities application page at www.vermonthumanities.org/c19-grants(link is external).
Forty percent of the $135 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds allocated to both the NEH and NEA is distributed to state, jurisdictional, and regional arts and humanities organizations for regranting through their respective funding programs. The remaining 60 percent of the ARP money is awarded by the NEA and NEH directly to non-profit organizations to assist the field in its response to and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The NEH has already launched its American Rescue Plan grants for humanities organizations, and applications are now under review. Guidelines and application materials for ARP funding to arts organizations from the NEA are expected soon.
About the Vermont Arts Council
The Vermont Arts Council envisions a Vermont where all people have access to the arts and creativity in their lives, education, and communities. Engagement with the arts transforms individuals, connects us more deeply to each other, energizes the economy, and sustains the vibrant cultural landscape that makes Vermont a great place to live. Since 1965, the Council has been the state’s primary provider of funding, advocacy, and information for the arts in Vermont. Learn more at vermontartscouncil.org(link is external)
About Vermont Humanities
A statewide nonprofit organization founded in 1974, Vermont Humanities seeks to engage all Vermonters in the world of ideas, foster a culture of thoughtfulness, and inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning. Learn more at www.vermonthumanities.org