(Minneapolis, MN) Arts Midwest announced today that it is adding $1.5 million in funding to the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund thanks to an anonymous donor. This landmark gift will support additional small arts organizations in the Midwest, prioritizing rural communities and arts organizations led by and/or serving indigenous people and people of color.

The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund launched in June 2020 seeded by a $10 million emergency grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of a partnership with peer United States Regional Arts Organizations. In tandem with the National Endowment for the Arts’ responsive CARES Act funding, the Resilience Fund seeks to provide additional support for arts and culture organizations weathering the pandemic. Since March, COVID-19 has created devastating financial challenges for the arts. These losses exacerbate deep, existing inequities present across the Midwest. Historically under-resourced communities and organizations now face an additional lack of access to critical support, investment, and capitalization to weather the pandemic, putting their work acutely at risk.

This new expansion of the Fund will focus on supporting smaller organizations with pre-COVID-19 budgets between $50,000 and $249,999 in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin and the Native nations that share this geography. Organizations may direct United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund grants to their most pressing needs and opportunities, from response activities to investments that build resiliency and sustainability.  

“We are honored by this anonymous gift that greatly extends the reach of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, providing much-needed support for smaller arts and culture organizations across our region.” shares Torrie Allen, President & CEO of Arts Midwest. “Creativity is an essential part of our social fabric, and arts organizations are critical incubators of creativity, resilience, and vibrancy in communities across the Midwest. Their strength is our strength. We need to make sure that historically under-resourced organizations have the opportunity to recover from this unprecedented time of difficulty.”

Anyone may nominate an arts organization to receive an award by filling out a simple online form between August 13 and August 28, 2020. Organizations may also self-nominate to support their own work. Organizations with annual budgets between $50,000-$250,000 that were nominated in the first phase (June 11-July 8) will automatically be considered for this second phase. Arts Midwest will work with its partner state arts agencies and advisors across the region to review all submissions and invite a selected number of the nominated organizations to submit brief proposals.

For more information on the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund nomination guidelines and awarding process, please visit the Arts Midwest website


Arts Midwest believes that creativity has the power to inspire and unite humanity. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest grows, gathers, and invests in creative organizations and communities throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six nonprofit United States Regional Arts Organizations, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 30 years. For more information, visit artsmidwest.org.

The United States Regional Arts Organizations —Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, South Arts, and Western States Arts Federation—occupy a unique niche in the US cultural ecosystem. RAOs partner with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, State Arts Agencies, and others to develop and deliver programs, services and products that support and advance the arts. Learn more at https://usregionalarts.org/

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