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Landmark Gift Extends Impact of Arts Midwest Grantmaking

Houston METdance Company performs at the 2018 Arts Midwest Conference.
Photo Credit: Terry Gilliam
Houston METdance Company performs at the 2018 Arts Midwest Conference.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, Arts Midwest will add $1.5m in grants to its United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund.

Arts Midwest is adding $1.5 million in funding to the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund thanks to an anonymous donor. This landmark gift will support additional small arts organizations in the Midwest, prioritizing rural communities and arts organizations led by and/or serving indigenous people and people of color.

The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund launched in June 2020 seeded by a $10 million emergency grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of a partnership with peer United States Regional Arts Organizations. In tandem with the National Endowment for the Arts’ responsive CARES Act funding, the Resilience Fund seeks to provide additional support for arts and culture organizations weathering the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March, COVID-19 has created devastating financial challenges for the arts. These losses exacerbate deep, existing inequities present across the Midwest. Historically under-resourced communities and organizations now face an additional lack of access to critical support, investment, and capitalization to weather the pandemic, putting their work acutely at risk.

This new expansion of the Fund will focus on supporting smaller organizations with pre-COVID19 budgets between $50,000 and $249,999 in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin and the Native nations that share this geography. Organizations may direct United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund grants to their most pressing needs and opportunities, from response activities to investments that build resiliency and sustainability.

“We are honored by this anonymous gift that greatly extends the reach of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, providing much-needed support for smaller arts and culture organizations across our region. Creativity is an essential part of our social fabric, and arts organizations are critical incubators of creativity, resilience, and vibrancy in communities across the Midwest. Their strength is our strength. We need to make sure that historically under-resourced organizations have the opportunity to recover from this unprecedented time of difficulty.”

Torrie Allen, President & CEO, Arts Midwest