On Thursday, March 11, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion package in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Of the more than $122 billion allocated for K-12 schools, at least 90 percent of funds are required to be used by State Education Agencies (SEAs) to make subgrants to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs). Under the bill, SEAs and LEAs are required to allocate a significant percentage of funding towards evidence-based interventions – such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive after school programs, or extended school year programs – that address the social, emotional, and academic needs of students, particularly those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
GIA recently sent a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to urge the Department of Education to include in its Volume 2 Roadmap to Reopening handbook guidance further clarifying the importance of providing access to the arts for low-income children and children of color with the same quality and rigor as their more advantaged peers.
By Gonzalo Casals
In July, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs released a survey on the financial impact of COVID-19, capturing responses from 800 cultural nonprofits at the height of the public health crisis in New York, and the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding it.
By Sharnita C. Johnson and Randy Engstrom
When the novel coronavirus pandemic hit, like most people – and especially in my role as co-chair of the GIA Racial Equity Committee, with colleague Randy Engstrom, director at the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture – we agreed we wanted to say something to address the loss of life, ways of life, and the devastation the arts community was experiencing. While we literally work on opposite sides of the country, and in very different environments – Randy a public funder and me at a private foundation – we like most of our funding colleagues, sprang into action to get much needed resources to our grantee partners.
As the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to take their toll, Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) has expanded its ongoing advocacy work to consider approaches and resources arts and cultural organizations truly need for robust, equitable recovery from this crisis.
It’s a great holiday to be sharing with each of you today, Juneteenth! As we gather – remotely – to honor and celebrate the power and jubilation of this day, liberation for ancestors and elders, we hope to echo the voices and experiences of Black artists who have brought us joy, made us feel seen, challenged, supported, and taught us so much. We come here with deep gratitude and deeper commitment to investing in a future of liberation for Black peoples everywhere.
Throughout this resource hub, we aim to amplify funds and resources that explicitly center Black artists, cultural communities, and experiences. Additionally, we borrow a lens from the BIPOC project1 that centers Black and Indigenous folks - whose experiences shape relationships for all ALAANA/POC people’s relationships with white supremacy culture – as another dimension of resource and financial investment intended to realize justice.
We at Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) continue our call to funders to commit to Black communities through action and, importantly, investment! We join the call of our colleagues at ABFE, A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities, and many others to support the Movement for Black Lives' demand to invest in Black communities.
From Esther Grimm and Meg Leary
Responding to: How can funders balance support for people or/and institutions knowing the impact of coronavirus pandemic has unequal impact across the arts ecosystem?
We are just two of the many partners involved in the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund (AIRF) effort that set sail in March. What follows is a glimpse into this work-in-progress from our vantage points at 3Arts and the Walder Foundation, along with some of our shared observations.
From Suzy Delvalle and Deana Haggag
Reflecting on: What recommendations do you have for how to create an equitable system of distribution for emergency relief funds?
Among the hardest hit in the COVID-19 crisis are the country’s over 2.5 million professional artists. Social distancing saves lives, but it has also cut off the livelihoods of artists across all disciplines. The answer — because social distancing is an absolute necessity — is an immediate and aggressive financial relief program. In response to this urgent need, on April 8th we launched Artist Relief, a coalition of seven arts grantmakers. While we can only speak to our own efforts, we hope that our experience can be a model for similar initiatives moving forward.