Vermont Arts Council

Cultural Relief Grant FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Cultural Relief Grants

If our organization applies for and receives a COVID Cultural Relief Grant, will we still be eligible for other Arts Council grants?

Yes. Funding for this program is provided primarily from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. If you are eligible for another Arts Council grant, such as Arts Partner grants or Cultural Facilities grants, you may still apply for and receive that funding.

Will all proposals be reviewed after the May 31 deadline passes?

We will be reviewing grants on a weekly basis and making awards as quickly as we are able within 2-4 weeks from the date you submit the application. We recommend getting your application in as soon as possible. We anticipate a high volume of applications that will exceed the available funds, though we will continue to work with our congressional delegation as they advocate for more funding

What are the legal and other requirements for organizations listed in the grant guidelines?

For Arts Council grants, awardees must comply with these legal and other requirements. Compliance is required in order to eligible for funding. Applicants are asked to certify that they comply in the application form.

I don’t know if our organization has a DUNS number or how to apply for one.

Organizations receiving grant funds from the Council or acting as a fiscal agent must provide their unique, nine-digit D-U-N-S number. D-U-N-S (Data Universal Number System) is a tool of the federal government used to track how federal money is distributed. Most large organizations such as schools, libraries, and universities already have a D-U-N-S number. While the number is not required when you apply, we cannot disperse funds without this registration. You may search for your organization’s D-U-N-S number and/or apply for a new D-U-N-S number on the Dun and Bradstreet website.

Our organization does both arts and humanities programming. Do I need to submit two applications – one for each?

No. You should select the option in the drop down menu indicating that you provide both. Be sure to speak to both arts and humanities programming in your narrative responses.

My organization is not registered in Vermont but I’m in a neighboring state and serve many Vermont audiences. Can I still apply?

No. The organization must be a charitable nonprofit organization incorporated in Vermont as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. But every state is receiving funds from the NEH and NEA for relief to organizations, so do check in with the Arts and Humanities Council where you are incorporated to inquire about possible funding.

What is a fiscal agent and what does it do?

A fiscal agent must be a charitable nonprofit organization incorporated in Vermont as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Typically, fiscal agents for Arts Council grants are cultural institutions, such as community arts organizations or local arts councils, government agencies, historical societies, or museums and not-for-profit galleries. The fiscal agent becomes the legal applicant of record, redistributes the funds to the intended recipient, and is entirely responsible for all published requirements of the grants program. These include contracts, revised budgets, fiscal records, and reports.

The Council recommends that a fiscal agent enter into a formal agreement with the applicant implementing the project, outlining the working relationship between the two parties. This fiscal agent form should be submitted as an attachment with the grant application.

When the grant is awarded, the fiscal agent and grantee sign the grant agreement agreeing to all its terms. The fiscal agent receives the grant payment directly from the Arts Council.

My organization has applied for funds directly and now I’m being asked to serve as a fiscal agent for another group in my community. Can I do both?

Yes. A 501(c) (3) non-profit arts or humanities organization may apply directly and still be a fiscal agent for another group and it won’t impact your eligibility for the grant.

What kind of group or organization can receive these grants with a fiscal agent?

Fiscal agency is to help an unincorporated group or a registered Vermont nonprofit that does not have federal tax exempt status. It cannot be used to help another otherwise-ineligible incorporated group apply. (Examples of ineligible organizations include other 501 c 4, 5 or 6 nonprofits, commercial or for-profit businesses, or individuals) We regret that we are unable to fund this important part of the creative sector, but federal funding requirements are very specific about only supporting 501(c) (3) organizations that comply with federal and other legal requirements. Other funding resources for small businesses and individuals can be found on the Agency of Commerce and Community Development website. You might also check out The Vermont Small Business Development Center‘s low-interest loans that are also available to private nonprofits. The point of contact for arts organizations experiencing financial distress is the VTSBDC state director, Linda Rossi. Additional information can be found on the Council’s COVID-19 page.

admin-place April 30, 2020