Bridge fund announced for arts and culture nonprofits in Northwest Arkansas

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 544 views 

The regional arts service organization (RASO) at the Northwest Arkansas Council is partnering with the local arts community to provide grants through a new bridge fund for small and mid-sized arts and culture nonprofit organizations challenged by COVID-19.

“The world is changing quickly and many are in need of additional support to address new and unexpected challenges,” Allyson Esposito, RASO executive director, said in a statement.

The program is supported through a grant from the Walton Family Foundation. It will provide grants between $10,000 and $50,000 per organization for transition and long-term planning, and to add some runway to prepare for what’s next, according to a news release. Grant size will be based on the organizational budget size, the extent of lost immediate revenue and non-recoverable expenses incurred due to COVID-19 and the strength and feasibility of the organization’s plan to adapt in response to the current pandemic.

Funds may be used to support transition planning and may be used for activities including, but not limited to:

  • Developing new business models, paradigms, staffing models, programs and strategies.
  • Sunsetting previous programming or operations where needed.
  • Planning new activities for revenue generation.
  • Building capacity, tools and infrastructure to take programming online.
  • Re-imagining creative production.

The funding is available to arts and culture organizations in Washington and Benton counties that have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations must hold 501(c)3 nonprofit status and have a total annual operating budget of $3 million or less during the organization’s most recently completed fiscal year.

Organizations can apply until 5 p.m. on April 30 and the grants will be awarded between May 8 and 15.