Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today the availability of $105 million in critical arts and cultural funding through the New York State Council on the Arts, including a program to reinvigorate near-term live performances that opens for applications Wednesday. The grants will aid in the arts sector’s multi-year recovery from COVID-19 and spur the revitalization of New York’s creative economy, which fosters $123 billion annually in economic activity and supports more than 500,000 jobs statewide. 

“We must build New York back better than it was before, and part of that process will be strengthening and reinvigorating our state’s creative economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “These grants will pay dividends through the economic activity generated by our creative ecosystem, which will continue to flourish and inspire us as we work together to make New York stronger than ever.”

There will be four rounds of funding, with $20 million already committed to multi-year awards in the first round. Each round is designed to address the most urgent needs of organizations and artists within New York’s nonprofit creative sector. 

  • Restart NY: Rapid Live Performance Grants ($10 million): Support will directly address the area of the arts sector hardest hit by COVID-19, and reinvigorate near term, in-person performance opportunities. This funding will prioritize the recovery of New York’s unparalleled performance organizations, venues, artists, and groups. This $10 million opportunity offers both direct support from NYSCA and regrant support through NYSCA’s Partnerships and Statewide Community Regrants program. Grants of $5,000 and $10,000 will be available for eligible performing arts organizations for planned performance programming in 2021. Support provided through the Community Regrants Program, which will focus on reviving performance on a very local level, will be administered by NYSCA partners statewide. The goal of this regrant support is to reach small, local organizations that do not receive direct grants from NYSCA. Round 1 guidelines and portal for direct NYSCA Rapid Live Performance Grants will open on June 16. Application portal will close July 1.  
  • Expanded Access to Funding ($15 million): Support will expand NYSCA’s current network of valued regrant partners to reach New York’s vast and diverse community of artists and organizations. Funding will be distributed through NYSCA Partnerships and Statewide Community Regrants. Increased support at the local level will ensure more communities, organizations, and individuals will have access to NYSCA funding. Round 2 guidelines will be posted June 16, 2021. Application portal will open on July 19 and close August 2.
  • Organizational and Individual Artist Recovery ($40 million): Support will broaden individual artist assistance and deliver extremely flexible funding for organizations through a streamlined application experience. Grants offered in this round will greatly expand eligibility and encourage new applicants across a wide spectrum of artistic and cultural practices. Priority will be given to applicants that serve historically underrepresented communities. Round 3 guidelines will be posted on June 16. Application portal will open July 19 and close September.
  • Capital Funding for the Arts ($20 million): Support will assist organizations in making improvements to address health and safety issues in their spaces and venues among other needs. Any New York State nonprofit arts and culture organization is encouraged to apply. Round 4 guidelines and application portal will open in September. 

More information will be posted on NYSCA’s website this week.

NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus said, “As the post-COVID era begins, NYSCA’s goals are to drive greater access to arts funding, reach historically underrepresented communities, and support the full breadth of artmaking in New York. We are grateful to Governor Cuomo, the New York State Legislature, and the Division of the Budget for their dedication and unwavering support. Our extraordinary creative culture boosts tourism, hospitality, and Main Streets in every region. The reopening of the arts will ignite our multi-year, multi-faceted recovery, and will promote vitality, health, and prosperity as we rebuild across New York State.” 

NYSCA Chairwoman Katherine Nicholls said, “The NYSCA staff and Council members are acutely aware of the ongoing need and the financial pressures weighing on individuals and organizations within our sector. This historic $100 million in funding will bring unprecedented relief. I look forward to working with Council and the NYSCA staff to continue our mission of promoting artistic endeavors in all 62 counties and to artists and organizations of every description.” 

About the New York State Council on the Arts  

The New York State Council on the Arts preserves and advances the arts and culture that make New York State an exceptional place to live, work and visit. The Council on the Arts upholds the right of all New Yorkers to experience the vital contributions the arts make to our communities, education, economic development, and quality of life.

Through itscore grantmaking activity, the Council on the Arts awarded more than $40 million in FY2021. Though the statewide grants and regrants program, Council on the Arts funding reaches all 62 counties throughout New York State. This funding supports the visual, literary, media and performing arts and includes dedicated support for arts education and underserved communities. The Council on the Arts further advances New York’s creative culture by convening leaders in the field and providing organizational and professional development opportunities and informational resources.  

Created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1960 and continued and expanded to the present day with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, NYSCA is an agency of the Executive Branch of New York State.  

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