National Endowment for the Arts Announces CARES Act Funding to Support Arts Jobs and Help Sustain Arts Organizations

The National Endowment for the Arts announced today its guidelines to swiftly distribute funding to nonprofit arts organizations from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to preserve jobs and help support organizations forced to close operations due to the spread of COVID-19.

$75 million has been appropriated to the National Endowment for the Arts through the CARES Act. Funds will be awarded in multiple categories.

Funds for Current and Recent Arts Endowment Grantees
More than 3,700 organizations that have received National Endowment for the Arts awards in the past four years are eligible to apply for a direct grant. Funds can be used for staff salary support, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs. The direct grants will not require a cost share or match and will be for a fixed amount of $50,000.

Subgranting Funds for Local Arts Agencies
Designated local arts agencies eligible to subgrant may request $100,000 or $250,000 for subgranting programs. To be eligible to subgrant, a local arts agency must have received Arts Endowment support for its subgranting program during the past four years.

The deadline to apply is April 22, 2020 with the earliest announcement of grant award or rejection by June 30. Please see the Arts Endowment’s website for program description, eligibility requirements, application review, and FAQs.


Part 1 – Submit to Grants.govApril 22, 2020 by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 – Submit to Applicant PortalApril 27-May 4, 2020 by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or RejectionJune 2020
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of PerformanceJuly 1, 2020

As with all of the Arts Endowment’s direct grants, applications will be reviewed by panels convened by the Arts Endowment and judged on artistic excellence and merit, which includes the potential to have a significant and immediate impact on the arts workforce and the organization’s ability to carry out an award.

Funds for State & Regional Arts Agencies, including the California Arts Council – UPDATED 4/28/20
The Arts Endowment has awarded 40 percent of the CARES appropriation directly to state and regional arts agencies. The California Arts Council received $710,400 to be re-granted to California recipients. The agency also received $50,000 for operating expenses to manage CARES Act requirements. Appointed members of the California Arts Council will discuss the process for awarding these re-granting funds at a public council meeting on Friday, May 8. Meeting information will be posted at this link.

Click here to view the full announcement online.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more.

The California Arts Council has created a COVID-19 resource page, including the latest updates from the agency, emergency funding opportunities, emergency preparedness best practices, and webinars featuring arts leaders and artists from the national arts community.

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The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Jaime Galli, Larry Baza, Lilia Gonzales Chavez, Jodie Evans, Kathleen Gallegos, Stanlee Gatti, Donn K. Harris, Alex Israel, Consuelo Montoya, and Jonathan Moscone. Learn more at

The California Arts Council is committed to increasing the accessibility of its online content. For language and accessibility assistance, visit

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