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COVID-19 Resources

The COVID-19 pandemic brings particularly uncertain and challenging times for Vermont's creative sector, and the Vermont Arts Council is working to enable artists and arts and culture organizations to respond effectively. There are special considerations related to the creative sector that we want to make sure all of our constituents and stakeholders take into account.

Whenever possible, we will allow current grantees to use grant funds to compensate artists for performances, workshops, and other activities cancelled due to COVID-19. Please contact an Arts Council program director for specific guidance.

We will update this page as the situation evolves. This page was last updated on May 27, 2020.

Statewide COVID-19 Relief Funds from the Arts Council and Partners

Vermont COVID-19 Cultural Relief

The Council has partnered with Vermont Humanities to offer Cultural Relief grants to Vermont arts and humanities organizations. 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.

Arts Recovery Fund

The Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Community Foundation partnered to create an Arts Recovery Fund to deliver fast-tracked support to Vermont’s struggling arts and culture sector and to provide a central place to coordinate philanthropic giving. The Arts Recovery Fund will strengthen the capacity of Vermont’s arts and culture sector to survive the immediate economic impact and to respond creatively and strategically in the months ahead. For donors, the Arts Recovery Fund is an opportunity to join a coordinated effort to facilitate the recovery of Vermont’s creative sector.

Donate to the Arts Recovery Fund on the Community Foundation’s website at

Covid-19 Response

We are also accepting direct donations to support our efforts in responding to the devastating and rapidly-evolving impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the arts sector. Donations given to the Vermont Arts Council for Covid-19 recovery will support grants to artists and arts organizations. Donate for Covid-19 recovery using our secure online donation form.

Rapid Response Artist Relief (Closed)

The Council is no longer accepting applications for Rapid Response Artist Relief grants, which was our first relief fund established to support artists who have lost income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As of late May, the Council has awarded more than $170,000 in relief grants to more than 400 artists. 

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."

Vermont Creative Sector Responsible Reopening

General Resources

Resources for Going Remote

In the Press: COVID-19 and Vermont's Creative Sector