South Arts to Distribute $1.65M in Grants as Part of United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund

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Atlanta – South Arts is launching the South Arts Resilience Fund, a part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund with the nation's six Regional Arts Organizations. Through this fund, South Arts will provide grants of $30,000 - $100,000 supporting the long-term resilience of under-resourced, visionary, and impactful arts and culture organizations across the nine-state primary service area of AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, and TN.

Read the South Arts Resilience Funds Guidelines and Self-Nomination Form

The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund is supported by a $10 million investment from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the six Regional Arts Organizations: Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), South Arts and the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). Each organization will be distributing funds to small- and mid-sized arts and culture organizations in their respective regions.

As the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic and response come into perspective, arts and culture organizations face historic budgetary shortfalls and programming dilemmas. Creating shared experiences or hosting events – practices at the core of many arts organizations’ business models – are no longer feasible due to health concerns. Many organizations have temporarily pivoted to new online distribution models, yet the viability of many organizations remain in constant flux.

“We and our fellow RAOs found ourselves asking: how can we support the long-term resiliency of these vital resources?” says Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts, “Through these funds and the support of the Mellon Foundation, we can begin answering this question.”

Grants from this fund are available to small- and mid-sized arts organizations (for this fund, defined as having an annual budget between $250,000 and $10,000,000) with a history of visionary leadership and deep impact across their state and the region. Emphasis will be given to historically under-resourced organizations as well as those that represent under-resourced populations, communities, and/or art forms. These grants will allow arts organizations to reimagine their work, increasing their resilience and sustainability as cities and states re-open.

“Arts organizations are in uncharted territory and reinventing themselves quickly to deal with the current situations,” continued Surkamer. “There is a lot of creativity in figuring out how to share arts experiences remotely. With these funds, we will help organizations learn and grow from this with careful planning and deep investments into the next phase of their work.”

The activities that can be supported by the South Arts Resilience Fund are wide in scope, but must address the concept of what an organization needs to do in order to be resilient during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This might include forward-looking activities such as future-scenario planning, support for new media needs (including adaptations, new methods of program delivery, and/or acquisition of software and hardware for online programming), help with the costs of collaborations as well as operating support such as infrastructure and salary for critical staff.

Applications to this program will be accepted on an invitation-only basis. The primary method with which South Arts will invite organizations to apply is through a nomination process. Additionally, organizations may self-nominate themselves for an invitation by visiting Nominations must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Organizations selected to submit a full application will be notified on July 6, 2020.