April 23, 2020
Volume 20-17
Welcome!
Welcome to Artist Alley,
Washington County Arts Council's electronic newsletter. We hope this publication will engage you with the arts in your community.
WCAC welcomes your ideas and support as it continues to take the lead in bringing together the community's art organizations to strengthen our region's arts culture.
For artist information, arts events, calls for art, and more visit WCAC's web page... www.washingtoncountyarts.com .
Important Updates - MSAC Emergency Grants, SBA Loans, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
MSAC Emergency Grants Update
 
Recognizing that the extraordinary demand for State and Federal resources is resulting in application delays and increased wait times for responses, the Council and the Secretary of Commerce have approved changes to MSAC’s Emergency Grant program. The program now requires applicants to estimate anticipated funding from State and Federal sources but does not require proof of application. In addition, clarity on deadlines and review periods is provided below. 
 
All applicants that have started applications, submitted, or have previously been declined for Emergency Grant funding have received notification from MSAC that their grant application has been reopened for resubmission. 
 
Revised Eligibility Requirements:
For Organizations:
For Independent Artists:
  •     Applicants must provide an estimate of any unemployment benefits in the budget submission. 
 
Applications will be gathered for review on May 1 (for a May 5 review) and May 15 (for a May 20 review). Funding will be recommended through a comparison model (rather than a “first come, first serve” basis). Note that the timeline between approval and payment may be 90 days. 
 
MSAC is not accepting new applications for its regular grant programs for FY20 funding until further notice, including the Creativity Grant, Professional Development, and Public Art Across Maryland programs. 
 
For all COVID 19-related updates, visit MSAC’s COVID-19 Response page here
Small Business Administration Disaster Relief Loans Update
 
Governor Hogan continues to urge Congress to release additional funding for relief programs targeted towards small businesses. As of April 16, SBA is unable to accept new applications for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Applicants who have already submitted applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please continue to monitor these programs for future updates.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Update
 
On March 27, 2020, the federal government instituted a $2 trillion stimulus package with provisions for increasing access to Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits through a program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The PUA program offers benefits to many working in the creative sector. 
 
In Maryland, the PUA program will be administered through the Maryland Department of Labor starting Friday, April 27. Other UI benefits are also being administered through the Maryland Department of Labor, including increased weekly payments, additional online application resources, and the extension of the duration of UI benefits. See the Department of Labor’s April 17 press release for full details.
 
For updated information and resources about applying for PUA relief, visits MSAC’s COVID-19 Resources page here .
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To include your happenings in future editions of Artist Alley, please send your art information to  maryanneb@washingtoncountyarts.com

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The Washington County Arts Council, Inc. is funded by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development.
Supported in part by:
The Washington County Arts Council is a proud member of
County Arts Agencies of Maryland,
Maryland Citizens for the Arts, and Americans for the Arts
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