CHARLOTTE – More than 50 arts and cultural organizations and 123 individual creatives who have experienced financial hardship related to the impact of COVID-19 are getting some relief through $5 million in CARES funding.
Funding was funneled through Charlotte ($4 million), Mecklenburg County ($1 million) and the THRIVE Fund for the Arts at Foundation For The Carolinas ($1 million). Each established specific requirements for their portion of funding.
The money will help organizations retain staff and bolster the artistic community.
“Creative individuals and cultural organizations in Charlotte-Mecklenburg have experienced devastating financial losses during this pandemic,” ASC President Jeep Bryant said. “Their direct revenue losses are nearly $30 million, and the impact on our economy is even greater.”
Foundation For The Carolinas, in partnership with the THRIVE Fund, distributed $4.8 million to 13 eligible large arts, science and history organizations with budgets of more than $1 million. Recipients included Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Carolina Raptor Center, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and Charlotte Ballet.
ASC, with planning and promotional support from Charlotte Is Creative and Hue House, distributed $1.2 million through the Arts, Culture & Creativity Fund to 123 eligible creative individuals and 38 eligible small to mid-size cultural nonprofits with budgets less than $1 million. Recipients include poet and storyteller Hannah Hasan, musician Thomas Billotto, Festival in the Park and Carolinas Latin Dance Company.
ASC contributed $16,655 towards the fund to ensure all eligible applications were supported.
Of the individual artists, 35% identified as Black, 11% Hispanic, 9% multiracial, 2% Native American/Alaska Native and 2% Asian.
“Establishing this fund provided an important opportunity to witness just how broad, diverse and active the creative community is across Mecklenburg County,” said Tim Miner, co-founder, Charlotte Is Creative. “It also provided powerful insight into how COVID-19 has impacted the sustainability of gig economy creatives, artists and smaller nonprofits. Helping 123 individuals and 38 nonprofits through the Arts, Culture & Creativity Fund was a critical investment in our county’s ecosystem, and it can’t be the last.”
The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $240 million in annual economic activity in Charlotte-Mecklenburg – supporting nearly 5,000 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $17.8 million in local and state government revenues according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study conducted by Americans for the Arts in 2017.
“These grants will make possible the retention of jobs for many local nonprofit organizations,” said Michael Marsicano, president and CEO of the Foundation For The Carolinas. “In addition to the economic benefit, let us not overlook the importance of arts and culture in a time of crisis and the role it plays in bettering the human experience.”
On the web: InvestInCreatives.com