ARPA for the Arts Helps St. Louis City Artists and Arts Organizations to Recoup Losses from Pandemic
The Regional Arts Commission to Administer More Than $3 Million in Revenue Replacement Grants
The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC), in partnership with the City of St. Louis, is providing ARPA for the Arts Revenue and Income Replacement grants through funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for eligible St. Louis City artists and arts organizations. The funding provided under ARPA provides a unique opportunity for local governments to enhance financial stability and cover temporary shortfalls while economic conditions continue to normalize within the arts and culture sector.
The ARPA for the Arts Revenue and Income Replacement Grants, which are managed and distributed in accordance with requirements set by the United States Treasury Department, are one-time grants to working artists and arts organizations in the City of St. Louis. Recipients are required to verify financial loss between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our arts and culture sector was hit hard during the pandemic, and we are still feeling the effects of widespread revenue loss,” said Vanessa Cooksey, RAC President & CEO. “ARPA for the Arts is a vital, necessary step towards making St. Louis’ creatives whole after doing so much to lift our spirits and keep us connected, during and following the height of the pandemic.”
Grant applications open August 1, 2023 and close October 15, 2023. Awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis or until funds are depleted. Individuals applying are reminded that ARPA for the Arts grant awards are considered taxable and should seek the appropriate tax advice.
RAC, in accordance with ARPA federal guidelines and the City of St. Louis, is prioritizing artists who live in a Qualified Census Tract (QCT). A QCT, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Qualified Census Tract that must have 50 percent of households with incomes below 60 percent of the Area Median Gross Income (AMGI) or have a poverty rate of 25 percent or more.
Artists who do not reside in a QCT are still encouraged to apply. RAC will waitlist non-QCT applications and provide updates by mid-September. Artists can visit RAC’s website to use an online tool to determine if they live in a QCT. Arts organizations are not required to be in a QCT.
St. Louis City artists and arts organizations may receive in-person assistance with applications by scheduling an appointment with a member of the ARPA for the Arts team located at RAC’s pop-up location at City Foundry STL. Appointments can be scheduled through RAC’s website.
“The ARPA for the Arts team is ready and eager to help applicants navigate this process, so they can focus on what they do best – creating art that enriches the lives of every St. Louisan and making our city a vibrant, welcoming place,” said Tracey Morgan, APRA for the Arts Lead.
RAC received $10.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding from the passage of Board Bill #66 in late October 2022. St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones initiated the legislation that received unanimous approval from the City of St. Louis’ Board of Aldermen as well as support from Comptroller Darlene Green. The Community Development Administration (CDA) partners with RAC on the administration and monitoring of the ARPA for the Arts funds.