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Thespians singing on stage at the International Thespian Festival

EdTA’s Director of Educational Policy, James Palmarini participated in in an Americans for the Arts Stimulus Package update on March 31.  It addressed questions about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding and loan eligibility for Small Business Authority Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program for arts related organizations and individual artists. What is still not clear is whether small state-based 501(c)3s organizations, such as EdTA Chapters, are eligible to apply for funds. Palmarini advises EdTA Chapters and other small theatre arts organization to review the Department of Treasury Guidance on loan eligibility.

CARE Act funding for the arts and humanities includes:

  • $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts to quickly award “general operating grants with no match requirements” to nonprofit and governmental arts agencies across the country, with 40% going to state arts agencies for regranting in their states.
  • $75 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities (similar directives as NEA, 40% of which will go to state and regional art organizations, and 60% for direct grants to individuals and organizations.
  • 75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
  • $50 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  • $25 million for the Kennedy Center.

For education:

A total of $30.75 billion in stimulus funding, broken down this way:

  • Governor’s Emergency Ed Relief Fund – $3.01 billion
  • K-12 – $13.5 billion
  • Higher Ed – $14.23 billion

Palmarini adds that there are two other significant wins within the CARE Act. One, it provides economic relief provisions for independent contractors, “gig economy” workers and artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses working in the creative economy. And two, the structure for the distribution of Title IV A funds has not changed (though the funding did not increase) —that is, the money is distributed for use by the states under this formula: One third each for school safety,  technology, and to facilitate well-rounded education which, under ESSA, includes the arts.


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