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Wake County News > Posts > Wake County Seeds COVID-19 Relief Fund for Local Arts Organizations with $1 Million Investment
September 21
Wake County Seeds COVID-19 Relief Fund for Local Arts Organizations with $1 Million Investment

United Arts to administer fund and raise additional private donations

From shuttered concert venues and art galleries to postponed film festivals and fashion shows, the cultural events that ordinarily bring us together have suffered directly from the social distancing requirements that help contain COVID-19.

Artist Matt Willey paints a mural in Wendell as part of The Good of the Hive initiative supported by Wake County and United Arts Council.

Today, Wake County is providing relief for the local nonprofits that support our local artists, present cultural attractions and contribute to the vibrant quality of life in our community.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted to allocate $1 million of federal funds to create the Wake County Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund. Administration will run through the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.

“From the powerful messages we’ve seen painted on boarded up businesses – to the new and innovative virtual programs that help us escape for a while into another world – our local artists have proven we need them more than ever during this pandemic,” said Vickie Adamson, vice chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “Today, we’re letting our arts community know we’re here for them, too.”

From April to June, the Raleigh metropolitan area lost an estimated 13,616 jobs and $590 million of sales in creative industries, such as art, film, fashion and design, according to a report by the Brookings Institute. That’s nearly a third of all jobs in the local industries, and about 7% of sales.

Through the Wake County Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund, local arts and culture nonprofits can apply to United Arts for up to $50,000 to replace 10% of revenue lost due to COVID-19, based on their average operating budgets from the past three years.

Organizations may apply for up to 20% of lost revenues if they have a specific mission to promote, preserve and enhance the identity and character of African American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American or Native American culture. Leadership of these organizations must demographically represent the identified culture.

“By supporting these nonprofits, we’re maintaining the vital infrastructure that underpins our local arts community,” said Charles Phaneuf, president of the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. “The United Arts Council is in a unique position to pass along every dollar Wake County allocates to our local arts and culture organizations with no overhead, and we’ll work to raise even more money from private donations.”

Wake County’s support for the Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund comes from its $194 million allocation under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act requires funds to be spent by Dec. 30.

To learn more, including how to donate or apply for funding, look for updates at UnitedArts.org.


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