Friday, April 30, 2021

The arts and culture field got big news this week from the National Endowment for the Arts about the first round of funding to come out of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan—and there are notable changes from previous grant opportunities that are designed to open access and broaden the use of relief funds across the sector. Help is on the way. In other recovery news, we joined 113 chambers of commerce from 46 states in sending a letter to Congressional leadership urging specific infrastructure funding to support the creative economy—if your local chamber is among the signees, please take a moment to thank them!

Also this week: we explored ways to build long-term organizational sustainability, learned about the National Queer Theatre and how it’s carving out space for marginalized artists during COVID, and hosted a webinar on the ways creative placemaking can help achieve community goals through the arts. If you've ever been interested in our webinars but needed support to participate, our new ArtsU Support Program is for you! Read on to learn more and sign up today.


Member Spotlight: Tom Werder by Linda Lombardi
Located in Morristown, New Jersey, Morris Arts builds community through the arts via arts in education programs, arts programming in the community, grants, scholarships, advocacy, creative placemaking events, and support for artists and arts organizations. Since 2012, Tom Werder has served as the executive director of the organization.

Six Steps to Building a More Sustainable Organization by Sheri Chaney Jones
How can arts organizations ensure that the maximum benefits accrue to all aspects of your operations, beneficiaries, and stakeholders, regardless of what external forces come into play? Here are six ways that you can lay the groundwork for successful performance management initiatives and work toward long-term sustainability in 2021.

Arts Spaces for Queer BIPOC During COVID: The Show Must Go On by Cedeem Gumbs
For queer-BIPOC identifying individuals, the endless and unique intersections of one’s identities can make it difficult to find yourself authentically represented in the arts. Working to carve out space for marginalized queer artists, The National Queer Theatre (NQT) elevates those who have been historically, and continue to be, underrepresented in the theater field.

News Room

ArtsU Support Now Available!
Through complimentary registration, the ArtsU Support Program is designed to increase equitable access and provide learners the opportunity to expand their knowledge on timely topics pertaining to the arts and culture field such as arts advocacy, cultural equity and leadership, arts management, public art and civic design, arts marketing, and more.

First Phase of American Rescue Plan Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Announced
More than $52 million in funding will go to state and jurisdictional arts agencies and regional arts organizations, the first recommended awards of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The remaining funds will be awarded directly to nonprofit organizations to help support jobs in the arts sector and assist the field in its response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 110 Chambers of Commerce Deliver Letter to Congress Supporting $18 Billion in Recovery Support for Creative Economy
Building on two previous letters of support for relief and recovery efforts to help the arts, culture, and the creative sector, a coalition of 113 chambers of commerce in 46 states delivered a letter to U.S. House and Senate leadership asking that $18 billion be allocated within the forthcoming infrastructure recovery bills specifically to support creative economic recovery.


Using Creative Placemaking to Lay the Groundwork for Lasting Community Change
Since 2011, the National Endowment for the Arts has supported over 600 creative placemaking projects across the country through the Our Town grant program. This webinar explores two unique local creative placemaking projects in a discussion about how creative placemaking work can help establish new and lasting ways of working toward community goals, with arts and culture in the mix.

Pictured: Youth folkloric dancers in South Wenatchee, Washington, participate in an interactive park design workshop. Photo by Jorge Rivas, provided by Trust for Public Land.