Webinar Recap and SVOG Update 5/27/21

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May 27, 2021


Yesterday, Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund hosted a 90-minute webinar on how arts organizations can advocate to state and local governments to have some of the $350 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Block Grants directed to them be designated for the arts. The block grants are part of the larger $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The webinar featured six arts leaders at the local and state levels from across the country, who detailed how they are specifically working to designate block grant funds at the state, city, and county levels to be used to support the creative sector. The panel also included an expert speaker from ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, who spoke about the process from the local government perspective. The recorded video of the webinar, along with a variety of resources, is available on both the Americans for the Arts ArtU website and ArtsActionFund.org website.

Additionally, at the conclusion of the webinar, we were pleased to announce the debut of the ARP State and Local Block Grant Tracker, which allows arts organizations, state and local governments and others to enter information about how they are hoping to use ARP funds for the arts sector. The tracker asks for basic information such as location, dollar amount, brief program description, proposed audience/beneficiary, along with where the project is in the approval process (idea, formal proposal, approved, money received).  

We encourage you to fill out this tracker if you have such a project. It is our hope to not only use the data (which is public) to demonstrate how the arts have been used to help our economy rebuild, but to also identify those projects that were designed to specifically and primarily serve populations that have been or are systemically underrepresented and underserved.

Today, I received a stakeholder briefing from the SBA where they announced that Priority 1 Award notifications began yesterday and the money is finally being distributed out. They are rolling out slowly, but will be ramping up with many more award notifications next week. Priority 2 award announcements will begin June 10th and Priority 3 award announcements will begin June 25. The SBA recently posted a new set of FAQs for SVOG Awardees that outline the process once an applicant receives an award notification.

If you have COVID-19 relief funding questions, please join me at my next weekly Zoom Office Hours tomorrow, May 28th @ 11:00 am ET to ask questions and share experiences.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

To read an archive of Arts Action Fund federal updates, visit COVID-19 Arts Federal Policy Updates & Action Alerts.