COVID-19: Resources for Organizations
General Resources | Children, Schools, and Child Care Programs Guidance | Webinars and Video Resources | Impact Surveys
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.
American Rescue Plan Grants to Organizations
The National Endowment for the Arts will distribute relief funds through its American Rescue Plan Grants to Organizations program. These one-time grants will be awarded to support jobs in the arts and culture sector, keep the doors open to nonprofit organizations nationwide, and assist the field in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants will be made to eligible organizations to support their own operations. Unlike other Arts Endowment funding programs that offer project-based support, Rescue Plan funds are intended to support day-to-day business expenses/operating costs, and not specific programmatic activities. Funding awards are $50,000; $100,000; or $150,000, and cost share/matching funds are not required. Read the American Rescue Plan Grants to Organizations Guidelines.
Two informational webinars have been held to assist applicants:
NEA ARP Grants to Organizations Webinar: June 30, 2021 at 4-5 p.m.
In this webinar, NEA staff provided an overview of the American Rescue Plan Grants to Organizations. A recording of the webinar is available at the NEA ARP Applicant Resources page.
NEA ARP Grants Webinar for Vermont Organizations: July 14, 2021 at 3-4 p.m.
In this special webinar, an NEA representative provided information on the American rescue Plan Grants to Organizations specifically for Vermont organizations. Thank you to Sen. Patrick Leahy for arranging this Vermont-specific webinar. Also in this webinar, Vermont Arts Council staff provided information on our Covid-19 Cultural Recovery Grants for organizations. A recording of the webinar is available on our YouTube page.
Covid-19 Cultural Recovery Grants
The Vermont Covid-19 Cultural Recovery Grant Program is a partnership between Vermont Humanities and the Verrmont Arts Council to distribute $1.2 million in Covid-19 relief funding to Vermont organizations. Funding will be distributed in two rounds, with the first round of applications due July 21, 2021, and the second round due September 14, 2021. Funding for this program is provided primarily from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Program manager Katherine Sims will hold two informational webinars to assist applicants:
Round two webinar: August 17 at 2 p.m. | Register
Closed captioning will be provided. We invite you to contact us with specific accommodations you may need to participate. We will make every effort to honor your requests when they are made two weeks prior to the event. Contact Ryan Newsanger with accessibility questions.
VT Economic Recovery Bridge Grant Program Opens to Additonal Businesses
As of July 7, 2021, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) is expanding eligibility for its Economic Recovery Bridge Program. With this change, ACCD is now accepting applications from organizations that have received prior State or Federal assistance. Under the expanded guidelines, organizations that can demonstrate; 1) a 2020 tax loss; and 2) that the organization suffered a net loss when aggregating the results of their monthly profit and loss statements for the period from March 2020 - April 2021 including the amount of prior state and federal assistance, are eligible to apply. The Agency will continue to give priority to applicants who have not yet received any prior benefit. In addition, businesses in the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries will also be given priority.
For more information on the program, including a pre-recorded tutorial on how to apply, visit the ACCD COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center.
Stages in the Sun
Vermonters and visitors to the state are hungry for safe ways to gather and experience art—and musicians and other performing artists are eager to connect with audiences again. The Stages in the Sun initiative combines two of the very best things Vermont has to offer: a vibrant arts scene and our incomparable landscape. To encourage the safe celebration of the arts and the outdoors, we are teaming up to spread the word about the incredible array of great outdoor arts experiences being coordinated by parks, arts, and community organizations.
Learn more about Stages in the Sun and how to promote your outdoor events.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grants
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “CAA”), signed into US law on Dec. 27, 2020, provides $900 billion in new COVID-19 relief funding. It includes several provisions related to individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations in Vermont’s creative sector. The CAA includes a new $15 billion grant program called Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG)—also known as “Save Our Stages"—through which the U.S. Small Business Administration will provide aid to struggling live venue operators and related businesses. The grants will offer a critical lifeline for the nation’s performing arts venues, movie theatres and museums. Read more about the program and eligibility.
The SVOG online portal is open. Visit the SVOG portal to apply.
The Small Business Administration released a FAQ document on Jan. 28, 2021 that provides additional information about the SVOG program to help venue operators prepare to apply. Applicants will need a DUNS number and must register on sam.gov. This registration process can take some time, so potential applicants should start the process now.
SBA Extends Deferment Period for EIDL and Other Disaster Loans until 2022
Small businesses that received a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) won’t have to start making payments on the loan until 2022, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) said in a news release issued Friday, March 12, 2021. The SBA announced extended deferment periods for all of its disaster loans, including the COVID-19 EIDL loans. The deferral details differ depending on the calendar year the disaster loan was made. For all SBA disaster loans made in 2020, the first payment due date is 24 months, extended from 12 months, from the date of the note.
Pandemic Unemployment Benefits
The CAA also extended many of the unemployment programs first authorized through the CARES Act in March of 2020, including relief for self-employed, freelancers or independent contractors. Read a summary of the changes from the Vermont Department of Labor and a helpful explanation about the current benefits in Vermont from Vermont Legal Aid.
The Vermont Forward Plan
Read the Vermont Forward - Roadmap to Reopening from the State of Vermont for the phased return to unrestricted travel, business operations, and event gatherings in Vermont.
Watch a recording of FEMA's June 14 webinar, Healthy Buildings: Strategies to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19. Passcode: 27a6#OAa
Safe Outdoor Venues: The Vermont Recreation & Parks Association and the Vermont Arts Council hosted an online discussion on Jan. 21, 2021, with artists and performers about the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and safe outdoor venues for the summer 2021 season. View the recording.
Know Your Bone: Data-Informed Resource for Cultural Organizations. This site tracks how the pandemic is influencing perceptions and intentions to visit cultural entities.
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"
The National Endowment for the Arts' "The Road Forward: Best Practices Tip Sheet for Arts Organizations Re-engaging with Audiences or Visitors (June 2020)"
The Vermont Community Loan Fund's new Northern Vermont Recovery Loans are open to a variety of businesses including nonprofits located in Vermont's six northernmost counties
Healthy Buildings: Strategies to Reduce the Spread of Covid-19
From FEMA, this webinar held on June 14, 2021 outlining healthy buildings principles and strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and improve indoor air quality. The program looks at issues that are common across a range of hospitality and arts and culture spaces and venues, such as historic buildings, meeting halls, opera houses, theatres, community centers, bars and restaurants, inns and lodging properties, and wedding and event venues. Watch a recording. Passcode: 27a6#OAa
From ArtsFwd, these sessions aimed 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, and recordings of all four sessions are available online.
VBSR Webinar: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – socially responsible considerations to keep your business and community safe: Monday March 16, 2020 (Recorded, and available for download)
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).
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.
COVID-19 Impact on the Arts Survey (Americans from the Arts). All arts and cultural organizations are encouraged to participate. The survey tracks the human and financial impacts of COVID-19 on arts organizations and the challenges with recovery and re-opening.
Closed captioning will be provided for the July 14 webinar. We invite you to contact us with specific accommodations you may need to participate in the webinar. We will make every effort to honor your requests when they are made two weeks prior to the event. Contact Michele Bailey, 504/ADA Coordinator, with accessibility questions.