ArtsWave to steer $3.5 million in COVID relief grants

ArtsWave, financial supporter for many of the region’s arts organizations, will help award $3.5 million allocated by Hamilton County commissioners through the CARES Act to combat the devastating effects COVID-19 continues to have on the local arts community.

The Hamilton County CARES Arts and Culture Organization Relief Program will cover costs of necessary expenditures incurred by arts and culture organizations because of the COVID-19 public health emergency between March 1 and Dec. 15. Relief applications will be reviewed by ArtsWave, then awarded by the county by early December.

Eligible applicants -– who must be in Hamilton County and have arts and cultural programming as their core mission – must submit their materials through ArtsWave’s website by Oct. 23. 

The arts in the Cincinnati region benefit the economy by $300 million a year, employing more than 10,000. It is thought that the arts have lost $40 million in revenue since March, when the state banned mass gatherings to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“Arts organizations typically derive between half and two-thirds of their annual operating budgets from earned income sources like ticket sales, sponsorships and contracts,” said Alecia Kintner, ArtsWave president and CEO. “Relief from Hamilton County CARES Act funding will make a difference in the ability of the Cincinnati region’s arts and culture landscape to remain vibrant and viable.”

Alecia Kintner

The relief grants will cover costs incurred due to business disruption, and also can help mitigate expenses for re-opening and adaptations required for digital programming. Grant amounts will be based on operating revenue from the prior fiscal year and are capped at $100,000. 

Funding guidelines are available online.

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