Home Programs United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund Guidelines + Process

Guidelines + Process

The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund is a national recovery and resilience initiative of the United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and an anonymous donor.


About The Fund

The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund will provide financial support to catalyze recovery and build resilience for arts and cultural organizations facing disruption and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Non-matching relief and resilience grants will be awarded to small and mid-sized arts organizations in the Midwest, with an intentional focus on historically under-resourced organizations and organizations representing under-resourced populations and communities. This fund will prioritize arts and cultural organizations in rural communities and organizations led by and/or serving indigenous people and people of color.

Phase 1

Phase 1 focused on organizations with annual budgets between $250,000 – $10 million. The nomination period for organizations of that size ran from June 11 and July 8 and is now closed. During this initial phase, Arts Midwest will provide non-matching grants of $30,000 – $75,000 to a select number of organizations, totaling more than $1.5 million.

Phase 2

Phase 2 focused on smaller organizations with annual budgets between $50,000 – $249,999. The nomination period for organizations of that size ran from August 13 to August 28 and is now closed. During Phase 2, Arts Midwest will provide non-matching grants of up to 20% of the organization’s annual operating budget, totaling $1.5 million.


Guidelines for Phase 2

During Phase 2, Arts Midwest will provide non-matching grants of up to 20% of the organization’s annual operating budget. Organizations that are invited to submit proposals will be asked how these funds can assist in their transition from recovery to resiliency, with a long-term goal of thriving in a new environment during the grant period of December 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.

Eligibility

An organization is eligible for consideration in Phase 2 if they meet the following criteria:

  • Is a small or mid-size arts organization of any artistic discipline and practice.
  • Is led by and/or represents and serves populations and communities that have historically had unequal access to resources for support, investment, and capitalization.
  • Is a 501c3 nonprofit organization or is or part of a federally recognized tribal government..
  • Has a DUNS (Dunn and Bradstreet number), which is free and can be obtained here.
  • Is located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, or the Native nations that share this geography.
  • Has an annual organizational budget of $50,000 – $249,999 (pre-COVID19).

Eligible Expenses

The goal of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund is for organizations to direct funding to their most pressing needs and opportunities. Awards may support a wide variety of expenses, ranging from immediate response activities or costs associated with planning or program investments that reimagine work and build resiliency and sustainability. This may include expenses such as the following:

  • General operating support for staff and infrastructure
  • Future scenario planning
  • Support for media or technical needs (including adaptations, new methods of program delivery, or acquisition of software and hardware for online programming).
  • Costs related to collaboration


How to apply for Phase 2

Organizations with budgets between $150,000 – $249,999 (pre-COVID-19) that were nominated in Phase 1 (June 11-July 8) did not need to submit a new nomination form. To confirm whether your organization was nominated, please email [email protected], or call 612.238.8019.

Step 1: Nominations

Nominations for the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund Phase 2 are now closed as of August 28, 2020. Anyone could nominate an arts organization by filling out a simple online form. Organizations could also self-nominate to support their own work. The number of nominations will not be a determining factor if the organization is invited to submit a proposal.

Step 2: Proposals

Selected nominated organizations will be notified in early October and invited to submit a proposal by October 23, 2020. The proposal will consist of the following.

  • DUNS number
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion statement
  • Biographies of the organization’s leadership
  • Recent 990 or audit from most recently completed fiscal year budget (pre-COVID19)
  • A resilience plan that demonstrates how these grant funds will have a positive impact on the organization’s long-term resilience through immediate stabilization, financial recovery, and/or planning toward the future
  • Participate in a recorded phone conversation (with questions provided in advance) to be shared with the advisory group

Review and Selection Process for Phase 2

Nominations will be reviewed by an external advisory group composed of one representative from each of our nine state arts agencies and colleagues from the field who are committed to equitable funding practices and connected to under-resourced arts organizations, populations, and communities.

Full proposals will be evaluated by advisory group members and Arts Midwest on these criteria:

  • Exceptional artistic, cultural, and community impact
  • Visionary leadership (staff and volunteer)
  • Demonstrated community engagement, connection, and support
  • Commitment to equity and inclusion
  • Track record of stability in fiscal management and ongoing operations
  • Local state, regional, and/or national impact

The advisory groups and Arts Midwest will review proposals and determine the final selected organizations to receive this support.

The final selection will be approved by the Arts Midwest’s Board of Directors. Notification is scheduled to be sent on November 20, 2020.

 


Outside the Midwest?

Check in with our partner Regional Arts Organizations to see how to apply for the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund in your region:

  • Mid America Arts Alliance (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas)
  • Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia)
  • New England Foundation for the Arts (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island)
  • South Arts (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee)
  • WESTAF (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming)


The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund is an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, South Arts, and Western States Arts Federation made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Funding for smaller organizations in Arts Midwest’s region is generously supported by an anonymous donor.