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Message from CAH on Artist Resources

Monday, April 13, 2020

Dear Friends,

As you know, along with the rest of District government, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) remains operational during the public health emergency. We are operating on a telework status and have made modifications to how some services are being provided, which are listed here. Today, we wanted to take a moment to share information for the arts community, as it relates to COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.  

The recently enacted federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes an allocation of $75 million to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), designated to preserve jobs in the country’s arts and cultural sector and provide assistance to organizations forced to close due to the spread of COVID-19. Last week, the NEA began accepting applications for CARES Act grants from nonprofit arts organizations. You can learn more about this grant program by visiting the NEA’s website at www.arts.gov.

The NEA will also distribute a portion of the $75 million CARES Act funds to the nation’s 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies (SAA), which includes CAH. The NEA has directed the SAAs to utilize the CARES Act funds to support salaries, administration costs, and related subgranting to the nonprofit arts sector, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will share information on this relief when available in the coming weeks.

Separately, a nationwide consortium of funders has announced the creation of the Artist Relief Fund, a $10 million national emergency relief fund for artists and creative workers that will provide $5,000 no-strings-attached grants. It is intended for anyone who earns income from their creative or artistic practice and who has also been affected by COVID-19. Alongside the grant opportunity, Artist Relief co-launched the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists. More information can be found at www.artistrelief.org.

CAH and the rest of the District government are committed to pressing on through this public health emergency in support of and in service to our residents and our arts and cultural community. Already, we have expedited remaining payments to our current grantees so that funds are received now – when they are most needed – and we will continue working closely with our grantees to help them navigate the coming months. Additionally, we have posted a number of arts-specific resources to coronavirus.dc.gov, and we encourage everyone to visit that site often for the District’s COVID-19 recovery and response information and resources.  

Yours, in service and support,

Kay Kendall, Chairperson
Heran Sereke-Brhan, PhD, Acting Director
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

About the Commission
CAH is an independent agency within the District of Columbia government that evaluates and initiates action on the arts and humanities. CAH is the designated state arts agency for the District of Columbia and is supported primarily through DC government funds and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. | dcarts.dc.gov