More than $3M in emergency funds awarded to Virginia arts, cultural organizations

virginia commission for the artsMore than 300 Virginia-based nonprofits struggling to cope with COVID-19 related revenue shortfalls recently received $3,472,176 in federal funds to protect arts and cultural sector jobs, make lessons and exhibits available online, and cover operating expenses according to a joint statement issued by Virginia Humanities and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

The funds are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed by Congress in March and were distributed to organizations across the state by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Virginia Humanities, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. The awards are as follows:

“Virginia’s artistic communities and cultural centers have not been spared from the disruption of the ongoing pandemic,” said Sen. Tim Kaine. “The CARES Act provides a lifeline so that the museums, historic sites, and other organizations receiving these grants can continue to enrich the lives of Virginians and visitors.”

Matthew Gibson, Virginia Humanities’ executive director, said arts and cultural agencies have a unique role to play right now.

“Not only do the humanities provide context for the important discussions we’re having about our history, they can also be a source of joy in this difficult time as we seek out stories of resilience and hope,” Gibson said.

As a former arts organization leader, Virginia Commission for the Arts’ executive director, Janet Starke, understands the inherent need for operating support at this critical time.

“These funds help keep arts and cultural institutions in operation, though many in a diminished capacity,” Starke said. “These institutions have demonstrated, once again, how they are cornerstones in their communities in these difficult times. We are grateful to be able to help, but know they will need still more support in the time ahead.”

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