Happy Memorial Day! On this important holiday weekend, we recognize those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom.
Updates on ARP and Virginia Commission for the Arts
As many have seen in other releases, the National Endowment for the Arts recently awarded Virginia Commission for the Arts $871,100 from the American Rescue Plan for disbursement to arts groups in the state. Similarly to the CARES Act funds received in 2020, these funds will be able to support salaries, contracted services, rent/utilities, PPE, and (newly added) marketing/promotion. The VCA is currently working to determine the timeline for appropriation by the state and developing recommendations for the Commission Board. Due to necessary processes, the funds will likely not be available until mid- to late-summer. In the meantime, we continue to talk with arts groups across the state on the current and projected needs in the time ahead. More details will be shared as they are available. You can emailExecutive Director Janet Starke with updates on your most current organizational needs.
ICYMI: Tapping ARP State and Local Block Grants for the Arts
On May 26, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) hosted an important webinar on how local and state governments, in partnership with advocacy, arts and other community coalition groups, have leveraged CARES and ARP funds over the past year, to help groups develop strategies for leveraging (the latest) ARP grants. Important, new information on ARP grants was shared, including that ARP funds will be able to be spent over the next four years. You can view the webinar in its entirety here. Note: you will need to 'sign in' to AFTA, but creating an account is free.
Virginians over the age of 12 can schedule a vaccination appointment by visiting vaccinate.virginia.gov or calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Beginning Monday, May 17, the call center hours will change to 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
FY22 Presenter Touring Assistance Grants NOW AVAILABLE for performances taking place between July 1, 2021 and June 15, 2022.
USDA Offers Placemaking Grants
USDA Rural Development (USDA RD) has announced a new funding cycle for its Rural Development Innovation Challenge which supports planning support, technical assistance and training to foster [creative] placemaking activities in rural communities. Applications are due July 26, and USDA RD is hosting a webinar on Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 2:30 PM EST. You can register here.
ICYMI -Watch The Arts are Open for Business: Guidance and Best Practices for a Safe Reopening Webinar, HERE.
VCA Policy Manual Revisions Remain Open for Public Comment
The VCA's Policy Manual, with revisions recently made by Committee, remain open for public comment through June 16. The Policy Manual is primarily an internal working document used by Commissioners and staff.
Primary revisions to the Policy Manual pertain to policy in support of the agency's focus on cultural equity and IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access), revisions that recognize that agency's use of electronic applications, and strengthening of the agency's process for background checks for artists who are approved for the Teaching Artist Roster. Comments may be submitted by June 16 to firstname.lastname@example.org will be forwarded directly to Executive Director Janet Starke.