ArtsFund Fast Tracks $4.8M in Grants to Meet Immediate Need

As part of our response to COVID-19’s devastating impacts on the nonprofit arts and cultural sector in the Central Puget Sound Region, we fast tracked two grant making programs in an effort to get critical funding into the hands of cultural workers. Totaling $4,831,100, recent distributions include an early disbursement of ArtsFund’s keystone annual operating support grants and emergency support payments from ArtsFund’s COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund. 

Several arts leaders spoke about the impact of the crisis, and the what is needed for arts organizations to survive it, at our recent news event. “ArtsFund is one of the last major funders that historically and currently provide general unrestricted operating support,” said Bernie Griffin, Managing Director of The 5th Avenue Theatre. “It’s about paying our folks, so that these amazing artists and artisans and musicians and performers can make their home here. And this is why this ecosystem, we are all interconnected. And it is by that interconnectedness that we make our community what it is. And it’s a very special place. And arts and culture will get us through to when we can see each other again in person.”

Hear more from the May 4 event below:

This funding was only possible thanks to ArtsFund’s dedicated supporters. We are grateful to the many corporate, foundation, and individual donors who have stepped up to provide a source of much-needed stability for our arts organizations during this unprecedented time. However, the need is far from met! Based on our recent data collection, there is a projected a loss of up to $135M in revenue this fiscal year alone for arts, cultural, and scientific nonprofits in the Central Puget Sound region due to COVID-19.  Because of these unprecedented losses, ArtsFund plans to make a second round of payments from the COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund. Funds are being raised for distribution to arts organizations in the Central Puget Sound region in late June.   

A list of relief fund supporters, additional relief fund information, and contributions to the Relief Fund can found at artsfund.org/CovidRelief. Contributions can be made at artsfund.org/support-covid-19-relief-fund.

Our annual fundraising campaign for keystone grants continues through September 30, 2020. Contributions can be made at artsfund.org/Donate. 

When we can once again gather as a community, we are going to rely on the arts to help us process this experience and reconnect. We will need the arts more than ever as we rebuild our neighborhoods, communities, and our culture. It’s up to us to be there for arts now, so arts can be there for us in the future. 

Learn more and donate to the COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund. 

Read our press release 

Revisit our recent news event. 

Header image (l-r): Pacific Northwest Ballet, Kent Stowell’s Cinderella, photo © Angela Sterling; ACT Theatre, Urinetown! By Greg Kotis, co-produced with The 5th Avenue Theatre. photo by Jeff Carpenter; Burke Museum, Final Free Week Education Activity, photo by Charissa Soriano; Seattle Women’s Chorus, Hear Me Roar, photo by Conrado Tapado.