Home News & Events Arts Midwest and State Agencies to invest over $8 million in the Midwest creative sector

Arts Midwest and State Agencies to invest over $8 million in the Midwest creative sector

Arts Midwest is partnering with our nine member state arts agencies to distribute more than $8m in funding to the arts sector across the Midwest. These funds are part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan, an act designed to fuel the nation’s recovery from the devastating economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Photo credit: Dane Van / CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

American Rescue Plan dollars are intended to provide relief for American workers and build a bridge to an equitable economic recovery. The plan included a historic $135 million allocation to the National Endowment for the Arts to support organizations and jobs in the arts sector that have been impacted by the pandemic. These funds are intended to save jobs, keep the doors open to arts organizations nationwide, and assist the field in its response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of this allocation to the Arts Endowment, Arts Midwest and its nine member state arts agencies are receiving $8 million in federal funding to distribute to artists and organizations across the region. Arts Midwest is working closely with those state arts agencies to design granting programs that suit the needs and opportunities of each state.

“The creative sector is a critical component of the Midwest’s economy,” shared Torrie Allen, President & CEO of Arts Midwest. “This historic investment in the arts via the American Rescue Plan signals a significant recognition of the value and strength of arts and creativity in our country. It shows widespread understanding that creativity is essential to our local economies, the health and wellbeing of our communities, and our collective happiness. It also recognizes the incredible losses sustained by the creative sector during the COVID-19 pandemic and directs much-needed support into our industry.”

In 2019, The Bureau of Economic Affairs estimated that the Midwest’s creative sector accounted for more than $104 billion of the region’s economy and 858,00 jobs. In 2021, Americans for the Arts estimated that the Midwest’s creative sector had sustained significant losses in revenue and workforce, with 65% of organizations expecting severe financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last year, Arts Midwest has worked in partnership with its nine member state arts agencies to invest more than $2.95 million in the resilience and sustainability of the Midwest creative sector. These investments are in addition to funding distributed directly by state arts agencies, and are thanks to allocations from the 2020 CARES Act, support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

For more information on the American Rescue Plan, please visit our FAQs. You can access current information on open opportunities for artists and arts organizations in your state at our Current Opportunities page.