The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod has been selected to receive an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the region’s arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic.
The AFCC is receiving $150,000 that will be used to distribute grants in Barnstable County to eligible recipients to save jobs as well as to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation.
The AFCC is one of 66 arts organizations nationwide which have been selected to receive a total of $20.2 million in grants from the NEA.
“The region’s creative sector has been decimated by the pandemic. Along with the loss of jobs and loss of revenue due to prolonged shutdowns, cultural organizations have invested significant dollars in implementing safety protocols to protect the health and safety of patrons and staff,” said AFCC Executive Director Julie Wake. “Our sector continues to recover from the events of the past 20 months. And nonprofits are still struggling to meet capacity due to legitimate concerns from patrons over Covid. We’re grateful to the NEA for helping our region take a significant step forward in its recovery process so the arts remain an integral part of our community.”
Wake also credited the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners and County Administrator Beth Albert for their support of the AFCC which allowed it to apply for the federal grant. “They clearly care about the arts and understand its importance to the Cape,” Wake said. “Because of their support, we are now in a position to make a significant and much-needed investment in the Cape’s creative economy.”
In announcing the awards, NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers highlighted the critical role the arts play at the local level in our country.
“The NEA’s significant investment in local arts agencies, including the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, is a key element in helping the arts and culture sector recover and reopen, while ensuring that American Rescue Plan funding is distributed equitably. These grants recognize the vital role of local arts agencies and will allow them to help rebuild local economies and contribute to the well-being of our communities.”
The AFCC’s next step will be to identify a process to award grants to cultural nonprofits in the region that adheres to the requirements of the federal funding.
The AFCC will have up to two years to expend grant funds, though Wake anticipates they will be distributed earlier.
This federal funding will help bolster the AFCC’s annual grant giving, Wake said. The agency is currently in the midst of finalizing its decisions for 2021 recipients; announcements will be made next month.
At the federal level, this is the second of three installments of the NEA’s American Rescue Plan funding. Last April, the NEA announced that 40 percent of its $135 million in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations through their respective programs. The third installment of ARP funding to arts organizations to support their own operations will be announced in early 2022.