COVID-19: Resources for Organizations
General Resources | Summer Camp and Afterschool Resources | Impact Surveys | Webinars and Video Resources
For current information on the Vermont Arts Council's grantmaking during the COVID-19 pandemic, including changes and additions to current grant programs, please visit our "COVID-19 and Vermont Arts Council Grantmaking" page.
The State of Vermont opened the Expanded Emergency Economic Recovery Grant program on October 26, 2020. This program has expanded eligibility to welcome a variety of businesses, including small businesses and nonprofits that do not have an employee on payroll. Those who have received past relief grants from the State of Vermont or the Vermont Arts Council can apply if your business or organization continues to have an unmet need due to COVID-19 related sales/revenue losses. Applications for the Expanded Economic Recovery Grant program are available from ACCD until November 9, 2020 at midnight.
Vermont’s H.966 legislation provides economic relief to businesses and organizations (including nonprofits) using funds Vermont received from the Federal CARES Act. This bill allocated $5 million to support cultural nonprofit organizations across Vermont.
As of September 2, 2020, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) is no longer administering Vermont Economic Recovery Grants to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. In order to distribute the remaining funds that were earmarked in H.966 for cultural nonprofits, as of September 21, the Arts Council will accept applications for Economic Recovery Grants.
Applications will be accepted beginning September 21, 2020 and will be awarded until funds are depleted. There are two types of applications: new applicant funding for organizations that have not received an Economic Recovery Grant before, and supplemental funding for organizations that have already received an Economic Recovery Grant and are in need of more funding.
The Council partnered with Vermont Humanities to create the Vermont Cultural Relief Grant Program for arts and humanities organizations facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Cultural Relief Grant program, the Council and Vermont Humanities have distributed over $780,000 to 123 arts and cultural organizations. Funding for this program was 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. Applications to the Cultural Relief Grant program are closed.
Work Safe Guidance from the Vermont ACCD for June 1 Reopening
The ACCD has announced new guidance allowing arts and culture organizations to reopen with a number of restrictions, effective June 1. The restrictions announced apply to libraries, galleries, museums, theaters and other indoor arts, culture and entertainment organizations. See section 8.4 of the ACCD's Phased Restart Work Safe Guidance for restrictions specific to arts and culture organizations. In addition to section 8.4, arts and culture organizations must follow the Vermont Department of Health and CDC guidelines as described under the heading, "MANDATORY HEALTH & SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL BUSINESS, NON-PROFIT & GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS." Guidance sections that may also be applicable to individual arts and culture organizations include:
ADDITIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS FOR ALL BUSINESS, NON-PROFIT AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
BUSINESS CUSTOMER & GENERAL PUBLIC MASK USE
CROSS STATE TRAVEL
Information on CARES Act Relief Fund for US Nonprofits
New details on CARES Act relief fund provisions for US nonprofits were recently announced. Below are relevant updates from our friends at the League of American Orchestras. You can find a full overview in their Federal Assistance Center.
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The Treasury has issued new rules for seasonal employers that allow applicants to determine their maximum loan amount by calculating average monthly payroll over the period of March 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019 (as announced in the original PPP guidelines), or May 1, 2019 to September 15, 2019. This additional timeframe is meant to help those with higher employment in summer months. You can find other updates in the Treasury's expanded Frequently Asked Questions pdf.
- Nonprofits that Self-Insure for Unemployment Benefits: Unemployment benefit guidance issued to states (pdf) by the U.S. Department of Labor on April 27 indicates that states must first bill a self-insuring nonprofit for 100% of the costs and payment must be made to the state by the nonprofit. Only then will the 50% reimbursement included in the CARES Act be issued to the nonprofit by the state. The National Council of Nonprofits is heading a push for revised rules that would streamline this process and relieve nonprofits of the payment burden. They are also seeking 100% coverage of costs under the next version of COVID-19 relief shaped by Congress.
- Mid-sized and Main Street Loans: The Federal Reserve has announced its intention to create a Main Street Loan facility that will be available to nonprofit organizations as it "recognizes the critical role that nonprofit organizations play throughout the economy and is evaluating a separate approach to meet their unique needs."
The Vermont Small Business Development Center's low-interest loans are also available to private nonprofits. The point of contact for arts organizations experiencing financial distress is the VTSBDC state director, Linda Rossi
This Americans for the Arts blog post, "Community Engagement in the Time of COVID-19," provides insight, resources, and recommendations for maintaining community engagement with public art projects and programs while preserving public health and safety
The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development offers COVID-19 resources for businesses on their website
Americans for the Arts has developed an on-demand video series, "COVID-19 Federal Relief Funds for the Arts 101"
"Resources to Help Ensure Accessibility of Your Virtual Events for People with Disabilities" from the National Endowment for the Humanities
The Vermont Arts & Culture Disaster and Resilience Network (VACDaRN) has recently launched its website
The American Repertory Theater has released this "Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater"
Independent Publishers of New England is offering grants of up to $500 to independent publishers and authors who have been impacted by the pandemic.
The National Endowment for the Arts' "The Road Forward: Best Practices Tip Sheet for Arts Organizations Re-engaging with Audiences or Visitors (June 2020)"
Vermont Department of Health's Health Guidance for Childcare Programs, Summer Programs and Afterschool Programs
As coordinators of two statewide networks—VACDaRN and the Vermont Creative Network—we are reaching out through those networks and others to collect timely and comprehensive information about the impacts being experienced by arts and cultural organizations.
Respond to state and national cultural organization impact surveys
As of 3/18/20, we have closed the Council’s “COVID-19 and Vermont Cultural Organizations” survey. We very much appreciate the 30+ responses we received. As the situation has evolved, two new, more encompassing tools for collecting impact data have been developed, and we encourage members of Vermont’s creative sector to use these moving forward:
Vermont Businesses and Organizations
The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development has developed an online survey for accepting impact info. They are no longer accepting impact information via the email address announced previously.
National Arts and Culture Sector Survey
Americans for the Arts has developed this 5-minute survey to collect information about the financial and human impacts that the spread of the coronavirus have had on arts and cultural organizations. The survey also collects basic information about the participating organizations so that the data can be parsed by specific geographic regions, artistic disciplines, and budget categories.
From ArtsFwd, these sessions aim to help leaders and staff in any role make real progress out of disorder and into viable futures, offering frameworks for adaptive practice and examples from practitioners alongside dialogue with peers. These 60-minute weekly sessions began on Tuesday, April 14th.
The Performing Arts Readiness project offers a variety free webinars, on-site training, and presentations at professional conferences on various topics related to emergency preparedness.
Ask an Expert: Contracts, insurance, visas, employment and legislation in the COVID-19 era: Friday March 27, 1 - 2 p.m. (Ask an Expert Facebook Event)
Join the Alliance of Performing Arts Conferences* for an upcoming free webinar, Ask an Expert: Contracts, insurance, visas, employment, and legislation in the COVID-19 Era. This informative panel presentation will gather a group of legal experts to discuss and answer questions about the current business, legal, and financial realities facing the performing arts sector. We will be accepting questions *IN ADVANCE ONLY* for this session. Guest speakers include Heather Noonan (League of American Orchestras), Matthew Covey (Tamizdat), and more. Please RSVP to the Facebook event here to help spread the word!
Originally held on Monday, March 16th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Download the VBSR webinar on socially responsible business considerations (clicking the link will cause the file to begin downloading immediately).
Theatre Communications Group webinar: Coronavirus Preparedness for Theatres: March 6, 2020
The Theatre Communications Group held a webinar on March 6, with information relevant for any performing arts organization. This hour-long recording provides a holistic take on preparedness for theatres, including: a deeper understanding of the virus from an epidemiologist's perspective; general preparedness strategies; how to forecast budget shifts should productions be cancelled; how to navigate insurance; and how the theatre field might take collective action to weather this potential crisis. It also addresses solidarity and sensitivity toward those most impacted by the outbreak. View the recorded Theatre Communications Group presentation.
Event Safety Alliance webinar: March 4, 2020
Our colleagues at Event Safety Alliance hosted a free webinar on preparing your organization for a Coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. View the recorded Event Safety Alliance presentation.
Vimeo’s live production team offers advice on how schools, event coordinators, marketers, and more are evolving their event strategies to optimize engaging live streaming experiences.
With Facebook’s Watch Party feature, you can watch tons of videos and shows with members of groups you’re in on Facebook. This could be helpful for filmmakers or other artists whose screenings had to be cancelled.