Due to the ongoing financial impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) has been working diligently to adjust our annual grantmaking programs to ensure alignment with RAC’s strategic priorities, and in response to feedback from the arts community.
In spring 2020, RAC 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. Because of the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and to be as supportive of arts organizations, 2020-2021 Program Support grants were awarded as general operating support funding and were not dependent on program completion.
RAC 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 that has now been able to support almost 600 local working artists with a total of over $500,000 to help cover the costs of life-sustaining expenses such as housing and utility payments, groceries and food, medical expenses, and child-care services.
We took these actions while RAC grappled with the reality that our primary source of funding, the hotel/motel tax, had been severely impacted. Hotel/motel occupancy has dropped significantly, and we are uncertain when that will improve. 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 has inevitably resulted in major cuts to our grantmaking that will continue for some time.
During this unprecedented time, we will continue to do what we can with the resources we have to support our arts community. More information about future grant programs will be announced in spring 2021.
For questions about RAC’s grantmaking, please email firstname.lastname@example.org