Thirty Midwestern arts and culture organizations received new COVID-19 relief grants today from Arts Midwest through the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund.
The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund’s goal is to invest in historically under-resourced arts and culture organizations across the United States as they work to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with these priorities, 22 of the funded organizations are led by and serving people of color and/or Indigenous communities, and 11 are based in rural areas. Recipients may direct United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund grants to their most pressing needs and opportunities, from response activities to investments that build resiliency and sustainability.
The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund began in June 2020, when each of America’s six Regional Arts Organizations, a national collective of place-based nonprofit arts service organizations, received allocations of a $10 million emergency grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
To distribute its $1.5 million share, Arts Midwest shaped an equity-focused trust-based philanthropic investment model to ensure that rural communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color were integral voices in the funding process. Decision making on how to allocate Resilience Funds was guided by rural culture makers and arts leaders of color from across the Midwest as well as representatives from Arts Midwest’s nine partner State Arts Agencies.
In total, over five hundred Midwestern organizations were nominated by community members to receive money through the Resilience Fund. The thirty selected organizations will each receive $50,000 – $55,000 as a one-time investment.
The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund will continue to support organizations across the Midwest beyond this first wave of funding. Thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor, an additional $1.5 million in support will be invested in additional Midwest organizations that are small, rural, and/or led by and serving people of color and Indigenous communities in late November 2020.
“These organizations play a critical role in the civic and economic vitality of our communities and are core to our quality of life in the Midwest,” says Torrie Allen, President and CEO of Arts Midwest. “We are proud to be partnering with our state arts agencies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and our fellow U.S. Regional Arts Organizations on this recovery effort, and are humbled by the continued need for support within and beyond these communities.”