As part of the federal government’s $2 trillion stimulus package—passed by the Senate on March 25 and, as of this afternoon, still awaiting a vote by the House—$75 million is expected to be allocated to the National Endowment for the Arts and $75 million to the National Endowment for Humanities. A portion of this funding is slated to be distributed to Nevada’s arts community.
The National Endowment for the Arts is required to distribute 40 percent of its stimulus funding to state arts agencies, according to Tony Manfredi, Executive Director of the Nevada Arts Council. The exact amount that Nevada will receive has not yet been determined. Allocations for each state will be based on several factors, one of which is population. (According to 2019 census estimates, Nevada is the 33rd most populous state, with slightly more than 3 million residents.)
“The nation’s arts and culture industry is experiencing devastating economic losses with closed venues and cancelled performances, exhibitions, and events as a result of the pandemic,” read a March 26 email newsletter from Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit. Manfredi mentioned that in addition to lost ticket revenues, institutions such as theaters and museums have encountered unintended expenses such as special cleaning procedures.
“We’ll be able to distribute emergency relief for artists,” Manfredi said. Details about how artists and organizations can apply for and receive funds have not yet been determined. For updates, follow the and check the NAC’s “Response to COVID-19” page and the agency’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Manfredi added that Congress will waive two standard requirements in order to fast-track the process of disbursing funds. The NAC will not be required to come up with matching funds as usual. And grants will not need to be project-specific. In other words, funds will be allowed to go toward general operating expenses for arts orgs, as opposed to, for example, being tied to a specific exhibition or performance.
The NAC has also taken some if its own measures to help artists through this time of economic stress, including pushing back deadlines for its next grant cycle.
Nevada Humanities has also pushed back its grant deadline from April 10 to June 10.
Nevada’s arts and culture budget is “heavily reliant on tourism and live entertainment tax and general funds,” Manfredi said. All of those have been—and will continue to be—impacted by setbacks to the travel industry.
We’re waiting to see how we can serve the arts and culture industry the best we can,” Manfredi said.