ArtsWA - CARES Act Relief Grant Guidelines and Application

Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA)
CARES Act Relief Grant Guidelines and Application
ArtsWA is pleased to provide rapid-response funding to non-profit and fiscally sponsored arts groups and organizations that are facing financial hardship due to economic impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, in the form of grants, is provided by the CARES Act via the National Endowment for the Arts.
There has been confusion about applying directly to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) versus applying to ArtsWA for CARES Act funding. ArtsWA will accept applications for CARES funding from us if you are also applying for funding directly from the NEA - BUT - those applying to both need to wait to hear from the NEA. If the NEA declines your application, we will release the funds your applied for to ArtsWA from our CARES Act monies providing that the application for ArtsWA support was approved for funding. We will have notified you of the status of your application with ArtsWA by that time.
• Grants of up to $5,000 for general operating support.
• No funding match is required.

• Organizations and fiscally sponsored arts groups facing significant financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hardship includes, but are not limited to: temporary or permanent closure; loss of, or difficulty preserving, paid staff; loss of venue or workspace; significant loss of revenue, etc.
• Organizations and fiscally sponsored groups facing significant financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic serving and led by members of communities historically under-resourced in the arts are encouraged to apply.*
*These groups include people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, people who live in rural areas, people with disabilities, people who identify as immigrants or refugees, and people whose first (or only) language is not English. (This is not an exhaustive list.)

• Nonprofit arts organizations, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with current federal tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, including those affiliated with tribal organizations and
• Fiscally sponsored groups and organizations that track in-kind AND paid administrative expenses in their operating budgets and have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fiscally sponsored applicants must be sponsored by nonprofit organizations that have arts, culture and/or heritage in their mission statement.

Not Eligible
• Individuals (contact Artist Trust for information on their relief grants)
• Organizations that receive direct funding from NEA’s CARES grant program
• For-profit organizations
• Fiscally sponsored groups that have not tracked in-kind administrative expenses/staff hours in their operating budgets
• Organizations solely focused on the humanities (contact the Humanities Washington for information on their relief grants)
• Political or advocacy organizations
• Government agencies, universities, colleges, academic departments, or entities with significant public funding.
Application Review
• Applications are evaluated by ArtsWA staff and/or ArtsWA commissioners and/or community members.
• Applications will be evaluated based more on demonstrated need rather than a polished application.
• Notification will be made within 10 business days of submission.
• Eligible applications will remain under consideration for the duration of the application period.
• We regret that feedback cannot be given on draft applications or grant decisions.
Process and Requirements
• Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis between April 17 and May 31.
• Grant recipients must have a DUNS number to receive funds. While not required to apply, funds cannot be dispersed without DUNS registration. A DUNS number can take up to two business days to receive. Please allow the appropriate time.
• The simple application takes about 30 minutes to complete.
• Note: This process may be updated or amended to reflect changing circumstances. For the most up-to-date version, visit
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