MONTPELIER— The National Endowment for the Arts is recommending an award of $747,400 to the Vermont Arts Council in the NEA’s first distribution of funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
The emergency funding is designed to support the arts sector as it recovers from the devastating impact of Covid-19. It is part of the $135 million allocated for the Arts Endowment in the legislation, which represents a significant commitment to the arts and a recognition of the value of the arts and culture sector to the nation’s economy and recovery.
“The release of these American Rescue Plan funds marks an important step in the economic recovery of the creative sector,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. "The knowledge of the Vermont Arts Council about the arts and culture landscape in Vermont makes it an ideal steward of federal dollars. The Arts Endowment is grateful for the continued leadership of the Vermont Arts Council as the arts sector rebuilds in a way that works better for all arts organizations."
Vermont Arts Council staff will review NEA guidance in the coming weeks to determine how best to use these funds to address critical needs in the field.
“We know how critical Vermont’s arts and cultural organizations are to our state’s economy, and this funding will help them move beyond the devastating effects of the Covid pandemic,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy. “Our creative sector adds so much to the vibrancy that makes Vermont not only a special place to live, but a great place to visit. As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue to support the work of the NEA and the Vermont Arts Council, and I am grateful for their many contributions.”
“The Arts Council appreciates the leadership and strong support of Senator Leahy and our federal partners at the NEA in a time of great need,” said Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Karen Mittelman. “Rebuilding and strengthening Vermont’s vibrant arts and culture sector is essential as we chart a course forward for Vermont communities.”
Forty percent of the NEA's $135 million in ARP funding goes to the 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective funding programs. The remaining 60 percent of the ARP money will be awarded by the NEA directly to non-profit organizations to help support jobs in the arts sector, keep the doors open at cultural venues nationwide, and assist the field in its response to and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Guidelines and application materials for a second phase of American Rescue Plan funding from the Arts Endowment are expected to be available in June, pending review.
The Vermont Arts Council envisions a Vermont where all people have access to the arts and creativity in their lives, education, and communities. Engagement with the arts transforms individuals, connects us more deeply to each other, energizes the economy, and sustains the vibrant cultural landscape that makes Vermont a great place to live. Since 1965, the Council has been the state's primary provider of funding, advocacy, and information for the arts in Vermont. Learn more at vermontartscouncil.org