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Thirty Midwestern Arts + Culture Organizations Receive $1.5MM for COVID-19 Recovery

by Arts Midwest

Pre-COVID-19, students take in a Huichol mural called “The New Awakening.” There are approximately 1,523,520 hand-laid beads in this work of art.
Photo Credit: National Museum of Mexican Art
Pre-COVID-19, students take in a Huichol mural called “The New Awakening.” There are approximately 1,523,520 hand-laid beads in this work of art. Image courtesy of the National Museum of Mexican Art

Thirty Midwestern arts and culture organizations received new COVID-19 relief grants today from Arts Midwest through the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund.

The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund’s goal is to invest in historically under-resourced arts and culture organizations across the United States as they work to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

In line with these priorities, 22 of the funded organizations are led by and serving people of color and/or Indigenous communities, and 11 are based in rural areas. Recipients 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.

The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund began in June 2020, when each of America’s six Regional Arts Organizations, a national collective of place-based nonprofit arts service organizations, received allocations of a $10 million emergency grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

To distribute its $1.5 million share, Arts Midwest shaped an equity-focused trust-based philanthropic investment model to ensure that rural communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color were integral voices in the funding process. Decision-making on how to allocate Resilience Funds was guided by rural culture makers and arts leaders of color from across the Midwest as well as representatives from Arts Midwest’s nine partner State Arts Agencies.

In total, over five hundred Midwestern organizations were nominated by community members to receive money through the Resilience Fund. The thirty selected organizations will each receive $50,000 – $55,000 as a one-time investment.

“These organizations play a critical role in the civic and economic vitality of our communities and are core to our quality of life in the Midwest. We are proud to be partnering with our state arts agencies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and our fellow U.S. Regional Arts Organizations on this recovery effort, and are humbled by the continued need for support within and beyond these communities.”

Torrie Allen, President and CEO of Arts Midwest.

Phase 1 Grantees

ArtForce IowaDes Moines

The Englert Theatre
Iowa City
Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
American Indian CenterChicagoIL$50,000
Congo Square TheatreChicagoIL$50,000
Enrich ChicagoChicagoIL$50,000
National Museum of Mexican ArtChicagoIL$55,000
Asante Arts InstituteIndianapolisIN$50,000
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western ArtIndianapolisIN$50,000
Community School of the ArtsMarionIN$50,000
Grandville Avenue Arts & HumanitiesGrand RapidsMI$50,000
Heritage WorksDetroitMI$50,000
Ramsdell Regional Center for the ArtsManisteeMI$50,000
Art of the RuralWinonaMN$50,000
Hmong Cultural CenterSt. PaulMN$50,000
New York Mills Regional Cultural CenterNew York MillsMN$50,000
Southeast Asian Diaspora ProjectMinneapolisMN$50,000
Theater MuSt. PaulMN$50,000
International Music CampDunseithND$50,000
North Dakota Museum of ArtGrand ForksND$50,000
Plains Art MuseumFargoND$50,000
Cleveland Public TheatreClevelandOH$50,000
Dayton Contemporary Dance CompanyDaytonOH$55,000
Karamu HouseClevelandOH$50,000
Stuart’s Opera HouseNelsonvilleOH$50,000
Aberdeen Community TheatreAberdeenSD$50,000
Black Hills PlayhouseRapid CitySD$50,000
The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian SchoolPine RidgeSD$50,000
Oneida Nation Arts ProgramOneidaWI$50,000

The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund will continue to support organizations across the Midwest beyond this first wave of funding. Thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor, an additional $1.5 million in support will be invested in additional Midwest organizations that are small, rural, and/or led by and serving people of color and Indigenous communities in late November 2020.

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