As theaters, galleries, schools, and individual artists grapple with the unprecedented economic stress caused by the pandemic, local and national relief efforts are underway. Here are some updates on funding that Nevada artists and arts businesses can apply for—and funds that arts supporters can contribute to. (If you know of a relief opportunity or a call for donations that we missed, please send a tip to kris@doublescoop.art.)

Funds you can apply for

New grant for women & minority-owned businesses in Reno

Audacity Institute and the City of Reno announced a new relief fund last week, the City of Reno Small Business Relief Fund for Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses. To qualify, a business must be located in Reno, have a City of Reno business license, and be at least 51 percent minority- or women-owned.

According to a Sept. 21 press release, “Nationally, up to 90% of minority and women-owned businesses were denied relief funding from the Payroll Protection Program, and only 12% of Black and Latino business owners received what they asked for in PPP loans. According to an analysis by the Audacity Institute, statistics in our area are no different.”

Grants are available for up to $20,000. Applications, available in Spanish and English, are due Oct. 2. Apply here.

National fund extended through December

Artist Relief, a national fund, was launched in April and has so far distributed over $13.5 million from major donors in $5,000 increments. With new funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and others, organizers announced last week that the fund will continue through December.

According to a press release, “Artist Relief has been working to get artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, and more the relief they need to survive––whether that involves paying rent, affording groceries and medication, or supporting their families.”

Requests for funding have outpaced availability. Of 120,000 applicants, approximately 2,700 have been funded. A panel reviews applications weekly and attempts to fund artists from different disciplines, locations, and backgrounds. A representative elaborated in en email: “The coalition adopted an explicit equity lens in building the application and selection process to address structural access barriers to relief grants encountered by disabled artists, individuals of color, low-income communities, and other vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”

Artists who do not receive funding may re-apply each month. Apply here.

From Reno With Love: aid for performing artists

“From Reno with Love” is the name of a musical collaboration, a video, and a fund that offers $500 payments to Reno-area performing artists who’ve lost income due to canceled events, speaking gigs, festival appearances, and classes. You can apply here through Dec. 31.

Rent & utilities help for artists in Washoe County

In March, just a few days after venues were closed and many artists saw their incomes drop to zero, Sierra Arts launched a program to quickly distribute funds in small increments to help cover rent, utilities and other necessities. The Sierra Arts Foundation Artist Relief Fund has so far disbursed more that $9,000 and is still up and running. Apply here.

Micro-relief for arts leaders of color nationwide

The Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund offers $200 grants for those pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). So far, the fund has raised more than $85,000. Apply here.

Aid for experimental artists in all media

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts has temporarily streamlined its grant process and is accepting applications from experimental and conceptual artists anywhere in the U.S. whose finances have been impacted by postponed or canceled performances or exhibitions. From the FCA’s grant info page: “If you are unsure about whether your work is experimental, you can see other artists we have supported on our Instagram and our website.” Apply here.

Help from the fed for arts nonprofits

Americans for the Arts keeps a running spreadsheet, “Federal Arts Funding Opportunities for Nonprofit and Commerical Arts Organizations and Individual Artists,” detailing various types of CARES Act opportunities. It was last updated Aug. 28. More here.

Funds you can donate to

Art supplies for Washoe County students

This semester, it became harder for public school students to access art supplies. Lab fees were done away with, many classes now meet remotely, and those that meet in person now involve restrictions on sharing materials. Sierra Arts, Nevada Fine Arts, Holland Project, and the Washoe County School District teamed up to collect funds to provide supplies to over 2,000 students.

Students receiving art supply kits will also be encouraged to apply for Holland Project’s “Young Blood” artist showcase, which will be virtual this year. Donate here.

With a matching grant, $ for performers goes further

Artown, one of the organizations behind the “From Reno With Love” fund, received an anonymous matching funds contribution of up to $5,000, to effectively double individual donations. The fund helps Reno-area performing artists with $500 allocations to help counter lost income from canceled gigs. Donate here.

UNR’s School of the Arts seeks donations

With in-person performances and exhibitions cancelled for the foreseeable future, UNR’s theaters, performance halls, museums, and classrooms have so far seen an estimated loss of $800,000 during the pandemic.

In an effort to continue to offer scholarship funding to students and retain reasonable enrollment numbers, the School of the Arts is actively soliciting contributions. Donate here.

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Posted by Kris Vagner

Kris Vagner is Double Scoop’s editor in chief. In former lives she was a literature student in Arizona, an art student in Boston and Los Angeles, an artist, gallery owner, art teacher, and Arts Editor for the Reno News & Review. She’s been writing about Nevada art and culture since 2004. More at www.krisvagner.com.

2 Comments

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    How do i find grants for non profits in the arts in las vegas.nv.

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    1. Avatar

      Hi Roz, thanks for your question. The City of Reno offers grant opportunities directly to artists and arts non-profits and claims to be the only city in Nevada that does. I think that may be part of the reason that we see more Reno grants. Also, I confess I’m better versed in the details of Reno’s arts scene, since I’m based up here. Definitely looking to remedy that disparity though. We’d like to increase and improve our Vegas coverage all-around. If you see any funding opportunities of interest to Southern Nevada artists, please send them my way and I’ll try to get the word out.

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