Arts Council awards 103 grants to nonprofit art groups

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 255 views 

The Arkansas Arts Council has announced 103 nonprofit arts organizations have been awarded $491,692 as part of the CARES Act Relief Grants.

“Our nonprofit arts organizations are struggling financially from quarantining, cancellations and closures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “Our Relief grants will help our creative industry survive and thrive. Helping our creatives now improves the quality of life and overall economy for all Arkansans.”

The Arkansas Arts Council CARES Act Relief Grants were awarded to Arkansas nonprofit arts organizations that are in need because of COVID-19 and were made possible through funding by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.

Congress recently appropriated $75 million to the NEA as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The money is meant to support arts organizations and preserve jobs nationwide. The Arkansas Arts Council was awarded a $441,500 grant, which was used to create “subgrants” for nonprofit arts organizations in Arkansas. The Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism added another $50,000 to further support the arts in Arkansas.

An independent panel reviewed about 120 applications submitted by organizations statewide. The panel’s decision was then reviewed and approved by the Arts Council’s advisory board.

“Our goal is to support, encourage and help keep the arts strong in Arkansas,” said Patrick Ralston, director of the Arkansas Arts Council. “We worked hard to make sure as many qualified arts organizations as possible receive much-needed financial relief.”

Awardees have been notified and funding will be issued in the next few weeks.

The Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of Arkansas Heritage, advances the arts in Arkansas by providing services and supporting arts endeavors that encourage and assist literary, performing and visual artists in achieving standards of professional excellence. In addition, the Arkansas Arts Council provides technical and financial assistance to Arkansas arts organizations and other providers of cultural and educational programs.