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Coronavirus & RAC Grant FAQs

General Operating Support Grants

What is RAC doing to assist arts organizations and artists during this pandemic?

Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Arts Commission has been working diligently over the past several weeks to adjust some of our procedures in support of our grantees and the arts community. We immediately reaffirmed that all grants awarded through this 2019-2020 grant cycle would be honored in full, ensuring grantees would receive 100% of their RAC funding through June 30, 2020.  We also recognized the dire economic circumstances of so many of our local working artists, and as the only major funder with a mandate to support individual artists, RAC established the Artist Relief Fund.

 

Aside from grantmaking, does RAC provide other resources for arts organizations and artists?

RAC continues to be a vital resource to the St. Louis arts community. We have been providing guidance to our constituents with links to resources and other critical information on federal government programs and other funding opportunities throughout the country. This information is posted on our website.  Additionally, we have convened ongoing conversations with local and statewide organizations and agencies who fund and support our local arts organizations to find ways we might work in partnership to help address the growing number of issues facing our arts community today and in the future.

 

With the number of hotels experiencing more cancellations, will RAC’s hotel/motel tax, its primary source of revenue, be negatively impacted?

Due to the global pandemic, hotel/motel occupancy has dropped significantly, and we are uncertain when pre-COVID-19 occupancy trends will resume. Due to this impact, RAC will experience cuts to its tax revenue in this fiscal year. This limitation will inevitably result in major reductions to our grantmaking.

 

How long should grantees anticipate a reduction in funding?

The Commission remains steadfast in our mission to support local artists and arts organizations in these uncertain times, but RAC will have very limited financial resources over the next year. We believe we will have a clearer picture of our actual available funds for the July, August and September payments by early summer.

 

How much of a reduction should General Operating Support grantees expect for the next grant cycle?

Based on our best estimates we are anticipating a reduction in RAC’s revenues of approximately 75% for the first half of the 2020-2021 grant year. These reductions will be passed through to our grantees. For example, if RAC receives 25% of our revenues for the first quarter of the 2020-2021 grant cycle that will translate to our General Operating Support (GOS) grantees as follows:  A GOS grantee that normally receives $10,000/month would receive $2,500/month for that quarter. We will adjust up or down for each quarter as the numbers become more certain.  All reductions will be pro-rata across all our GOS grantees.

 

When will I be notified of the specific reductions?

As soon as we are able, we will communicate with you regarding specific reductions to your organization.

 

If I have any questions about these changes, who should I contact?

Any questions pertaining to your 2020-2021 grant, please feel free to reach out to Erika Fiola, Interim Director of Grants, at erika@racstl.org.

 

Program Support Grants

What is RAC doing to assist arts organizations and artists during this pandemic?

Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Arts Commission has been working diligently over the past several weeks to adjust some of our procedures in support of our grantees and the arts community. We immediately reaffirmed that all grants awarded through this 2019/2020 grant cycle would be honored in full, ensuring grantees would receive 100% of their RAC funding through June 30, 2020.  We also recognized the dire economic circumstances of so many of our local working artists, and as the only major funder with a mandate to support individual artists, RAC established the Artist Relief Fund.

 

Aside from grantmaking, does RAC provide other resources for arts organizations and artists?

RAC continues to be a vital resource to the St. Louis arts community. We have been providing guidance to our constituents with links to resources and other critical information on federal government programs and other funding opportunities throughout the country. This information is posted on our website.  Additionally, we have convened ongoing conversations with local and statewide organizations and agencies who fund and support our local arts organizations to find ways we might work in partnership to help address the growing number of issues facing our arts community today and in the future.

 

With the number of hotels experiencing more cancellations, will RAC’s hotel/motel tax, its primary source of revenue, be negatively impacted?

Due to the global pandemic, hotel/motel occupancy has dropped significantly, and we are uncertain when pre-COVID-19 occupancy trends will resume. Due to this impact, RAC will experience cuts to its tax revenue in this fiscal year. This limitation will inevitably result in major reductions to our grantmaking.

 

How long should grantees anticipate a reduction in funding?

The Commission remains steadfast in our mission to support local artists and arts organizations in these uncertain times, but RAC will have very limited financial resources over the next year. This limitation will inevitably result in major cuts to our grantmaking. Based on our best estimates we are anticipating a reduction in our revenues of approximately 75% for the first half of the 2020-2021 grant year. These reductions will be passed through to our selected grantees.

 

When will I be notified of the specific reductions?

We believe we will have a clearer picture of our actual available funds for the September payment by mid-summer. As soon as we are able, we will communicate with you regarding specific award amounts and disbursements to your organization.

 

GRANT GUIDELINES AND INFORMATION FOR THOSE RECEIVING PROGRAM SUPPORT FUNDING IN 2020-2021:

  • Program support grants will not be dependent on program completion this year, therefore in alignment with our founding legislation and bylaws, we will be funding only organizations with an arts-focused mission. This decision also applies to organizations included in the 2020-2022 multi-year program.
  • We will be funding only arts organizations who received a rating of a 3+, 4 or 4- in the 2020-2021 and 2020-2022 (multi-year) Program Support review process. Please login to the online grants portal to view your rating and feedback.
  • For organizations receiving funding, we are estimating that the 2020-2021 Program Support Grants will be decreased to 40% of their original award amount. Due to this decrease, we recognize programs may not be able to be completed as written in the application, therefore funding can be used to support your organization’s general operating expenses.
  • For organizations receiving funding, the 2020-2021 Program Support Grants will be disbursed in four payments on a quarterly basis in amounts that align with our projected revenues. Currently, we are anticipating the following disbursements schedule and in this approximate amount. We will adjust up or down for each quarter as the numbers become more certain.
    • Disbursement #1 18% of award (September 1, 2020)
    • Disbursement #2 18% of award (December 1, 2020)
    • Disbursement #3 29% of award (March 1, 2021)
    • Disbursement #4 35% of award (June 1, 2021)

INFORMATION REGARDING THE REVISED APPEALS PROCESS:

Because there was no in-person discussion of the applications by review panelists this year, the appeals process will be amended. If an applicant believes a misstatement of fact was made in the comments received that adversely affected their final rating, they should indicate in the online portal a request to discuss their concern with a staff member.

Applicants should communicate this to RAC staff if they believe a misstatement of fact, that can be evidenced by written information found in the application, impacted their final rating. New information not originally included in the application cannot be offered as evidence of the misstatement. Dissatisfaction with a rating or denial of an award is also not sufficient.

RAC staff will review all requests and should staff require more information, the applicant will be invited to participate in a conference call. Should RAC staff find the misstatement of fact to be justified, RAC staff will contact the applicant via email to notify them of an increase to their rating.

 

If I have questions about my grant, who should I contact?

For questions pertaining to Program Support grants, please contact Program Manager- Grants, Emily Parker, at emily@racstl.org.