4/30/2021 6:20:00 AM

Alabama creative sector receiving $814,100 in American Rescue Plan funds


MONTGOMERY, Ala., (April 30, 2021) — The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is recommending an award of $814,100 to Alabama State Council on the Arts in the first distribution of funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). These emergency funds are designed to support and assist Alabama’s arts organizations and creative workforce as they recover from the devastating impact of COVID-19.

“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 Alabama State Council on the Arts about the arts and culture landscape in Alabama makes it an ideal steward of federal dollars. The Arts Endowment is grateful for the continued leadership of the Council as the arts sector rebuilds in a way that works better for all arts organizations.”

In the coming weeks, Council staff members will be reviewing federal guidance, determining how these funds can best be used to support ongoing recovery efforts. Additional information about how Alabama nonprofit arts organizations may apply to the Council for this funding will be available no later than June 10. Over the past year, emergency federal funding has enabled the Council to help Alabama’s creative sector navigate the pandemic and continue to stay engaged with their communities in meaningful ways. 

“Since the pandemic began, the Council has supported Alabama’s arts and culture sector through our grants, including Alabama CARES About the Arts: Emergency Relief Grants, which provided funding for virtual programming and continued operations. As arts organizations across the state safely reopen and return to in-person operations, Alabama will greatly benefit from our increased investment in the arts,” said Dr. Elliot Knight, the Council’s Executive Director. “These federal funds will provide support for the general operating costs arts organizations are facing, allowing them to continue providing artistic opportunities and creative experiences to our citizens and communities.”  

This first phase of funding is part of the $135 million allocated for the National Endowment for the Arts in the ARP, 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.

Support from the NEA is vital to enriching Alabama’s communities and expanding the quality of life for its citizens. Arts and creativity make us stronger—as individuals, families, communities, states, and as a country. They are a backbone of innovation, prosperity, and thriving people and places. Public funding for arts and creativity is a high-return investment that benefits every American in every city, town, and rural community nationwide.

A second phase of ARP funding will be awarded by the NEA directly to nonprofit organizations to help support jobs in the arts sector, keep the doors open to arts organizations 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 NEA are expected to be available in June, pending review. Visit arts.gov for more information.

For more information about the Alabama State Council on the Arts, please visit arts.alabama.gov.

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About Alabama State Council on the Arts

The Council on the Arts is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts in Alabama. The Council works to expand and preserve the state's cultural resources by supporting nonprofit arts organizations, schools, colleges, units of local government, and individual artists. Arts programs, assisted by Council grants, have a track record of enhancing community development, education, cultural tourism, and overall quality of life in all regions of the state. The Alabama State Council on the Arts receives an annual appropriation from the Alabama Legislature and additional funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Press contact:

Perri Hubbard
Communications & Public Relations
334.242.5153
perri.hubbard@arts.alabama.gov