Arts organizations are particularly vulnerable right now. Help is on the way, in the form of grants from North Carolina CARES for Arts.
As part of North Carolina’s spending plan for federal CARES Act funding, $9.4 million was designated to provide direct aid to local arts councils and nonprofit arts organizations in an effort to mitigate business disruptions caused by COVID-19. Chatham Arts Council is working with the North Carolina Arts Council to distribute and administer more than $87,000 of NC CARES for Arts dollars right here in Chatham County to help with the losses caused by COVID-19. We’re thrilled to work with the North Carolina Arts Council to sustain the arts in Chatham County.
The following groups are eligible to apply for funding, with priority given to nonprofits. All applicants must be located in Chatham County, NC.
- 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organizations
- Businesses whose primary operations are in visual, performing, or literary arts
- Unincorporated arts groups applying with a fiscal agent
Note to individual artists: Please consider applying for grants through the Emerging Artist Grant or CAARE (Chatham Artist and Arts-worker Relief Effort).
This is reimbursement funding, and the purpose is to offset business disruption and/or expenses incurred due to COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020.
Eligible expenses for reimbursement include:
- Paid salaries and benefits (including contractors)
- Ongoing operating expenses, such as utilities, rent, mortgage
- Costs associated with canceling programs and creating virtual programs
- COVID-related safety and cleaning measures
Expenses that are not eligible:
- Revenue losses
- Any expenses already paid for by other federal relief funds, including but not limited to PPP loans, direct grants from the NEA, stimulus grants issued by the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Chatham County Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Application and Deadline
Download the NC CARES for Arts application, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is Monday, November 9, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. If this quick turnaround creates an unmanageable hardship for you, please email Jenni to discuss options.
- What does the application involve? You’ll be asked to: (1) Describe your pre-COVID-19 core programs and mission; (2) Describe the specific steps your organization took to comply with North Carolina’s “Stay at Home” Order (Executive Order 117); (3) List and document eligible operating and program expenses incurred between March 1 and December 30, 2020 (including project expenses); and (4) List any COVID-19 relief funds received from federal programs, directly or indirectly.
- What proof will we need of eligible expenses when we apply? For expenses paid between March 1 and November 15, you will need to provide documentation at the time of application. The following will qualify as documentation: receipts, bill/invoices, monthly financial statements, and payroll ledgers. For expenses projected between November 16 and December 30, you will provide an estimate at the time of application, and documentation will be required on a monthly basis as expenses are paid.
- Is there a consideration of artistic merit? No, decisions about funding for NC CARES for Arts do not include considerations of artistic merit.
- Can we ask for funding to cover lost revenue? Nope. Not on this one.
- Can we ask for funding to pay back-pay to staff members who were furloughed or laid off? Sorry, but no. You can only ask for funding to reimburse payroll that actually happened–or will happen in November or December.
- When will funding decisions be announced? Funding will be announced no later than December 4.
- Will we get the entirety of our request? It’s highly unlikely, given the amount of funding and the need in the county. Please do not forecast your budget based on this opportunity.
- When we receive the funding, what are we allowed to do with it? These funds are designed to reimburse you for expenses that were incurred during business interruption caused by COVID-19. When those expenses are reimbursed, the funding that you previously used to pay those bills will now be available for you to do whatever you need to do with it.
- What will reporting be like? Reporting is required on a monthly basis, and all expenses will have to be documented.
- Are there tax implications for-profit arts orgs should be aware of? Please consult your tax professional about this one.
- Who can I contact if I have more questions? Jenni Detwiler at email@example.com.