Guidelines for National Endowment for the Arts Stimulus Funds

As part of the CARES Act, the North Carolina Arts Council received $506,800 in stimulus funding to support our state’s non-profit arts sector. These federal grants are designed to help arts organizations remain operational during the pandemic crisis with an emphasis on job protection and overhead costs such as facility mortgage or rental.

It is important to provide resources quickly to non-profit arts organizations in order to assist the arts sector to stabilize and begin to recover from the impact of the pandemic. For this reason, NEA stimulus funds awarded to North Carolina will be distributed by July. If additional stimulus or recovery funding is secured from either state or federal sources, the range of the grant awards may be increased.

Eligibility and Scope

Non-profit arts organizations that meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • Must employ full-time staff (or equivalent).
  • Must have received a grant award from N.C. Arts Council during FY 19-20.
  • Must not have already received a state or federal grant to support operations since March 1, 2020. For this purpose, SBA loans are not considered federal grants.

Priority will be given to stand-alone 501©3 arts groups that do not reside within a larger organizational entity such as a university or municipality. Arts groups that have applied for federal stimulus funds through the CARES Act but have not yet been awarded a grant are eligible to apply for this stimulus funding.

It is anticipated that grant amounts will range from $1,500 to $7,500, depending upon organizational budget size. Stimulus grants will be used to support the general operations of the applicant organization and will not be tied to a specific project. Stimulus grants do not require a match. The project period for stimulus grants runs through December 31, 2020. Final reports will be due on January 31, 2021.

How to Apply

Applications will be available in the online Go Smart portal on May 15, 2020 with a deadline of Friday, May 29, 2020. The following questions and documents will be required for the application:

  1. Describe how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your organization. Provide specific details about the impacts on staff and operations. Estimate the overall direct economic impact of these changes.
  2. Provide your organization’s plan to remain operational for the next three to six months. How have you adjusted your programming and overhead to face the financial challenges caused by the pandemic? 
  3. Check here if you have received an SBA loan through the CARES Act.
  4. Check here if you have applied for a CARES Act grant directly from the NEA.
  5. Upload a signed copy of your most recent 990 tax form. The 990 will provide documentation of annual organizational expenses and your agency’s staffing structure at the time of filing.