Mid Atlantic Arts, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, announced the CARES Arts Organization Relief Grants program in May of 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Small to mid sized non-profit arts organizations in Mid Atlantic’s partner states, jurisdictions, and territories (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, USVI, VA, and WV) were able to apply through a competitive process for one-time, non-matching grants of up to $20,000.

Support was limited to any or all of the following:

  • Salary support for one or more positions that are critical to an organization’s artistic mission.
  • Fees for artists and/or contractual personnel to maintain or expand the period during which such persons would be engaged.
  • Facilities costs such as rent and utilities.

Grants were set for fixed amounts determined by the size of the applicant organization:

  • Organizations with operating budgets between $50,000 and $250,000 are awarded at $5,000
  • Organizations with operating budgets between $250,001 and $1,000,000 are awarded at $10,000
  • Organizations with operating budgets between $1,000,001 and $3,000,000 are awarded at $20,000

Application Deadline

CLOSED: Monday, June 22, 2020, 5:00PM ET

After closing the application portal on June 2, 2020, CARES Arts Organization Relief Grants Program reopened from June 11 – June 22 at 5pm, 2020. You can see our statement about the reopening at https://www.midatlanticarts.org/wp-content/uploads/An-Apology-from-Mid-Atlantic-Arts-Foundation.pdf

Listening Sessions

Mid Atlantic Arts hosted a series of five public listening sessions, beginning in mid-August, to hear from individuals and organizations in the arts community with the goal of ushering in a new relationship of accountability with our grantees, partners, and colleagues. These sessions were intended to provide space to explore the lessons learned from the rollout of the CARES Arts Organization Relief Grants program and ways Mid Atlantic can better deliver on its strategic commitment to equity.

To guide our work and encourage honest conversation, Mid Atlantic Arts engaged Dragonfly Partners, a Philadelphia-based consulting group, to design and facilitate the virtual listening sessions. Our long-term aim is to create an equitable framework for our programs and develop tools to build trusting relationships with all of our stakeholders, particularly BIPOC artists and organizations. 

Mid Atlantic Arts is committed to continuing work with Dragonfly Partners to identify and implement operational and organizational changes based on the key findings and recommendations from the listening sessions.

Guidelines and Application

For information purposes only. Program closed at 5pm ET June 22, 2020.

Download Program Guidelines as a PDF (link opens in a new window)
Download Program Guidelines as an accessible Word document (click link to download)

Download a preview copy of the application form as a PDF (link opens in a new window)
Download a preview copy of the application form as a as an accessible Word document (click link to download)

CARES Grant Recipients

Mid Atlantic Arts received a total of 1,022 applications. A total of $790,000 was awarded to 79 organizations in the mid-Atlantic region.

Washington D.C.
Company | E, Washington, DC, $10,000
The Essential Theatre, Washington, DC, $5,000
Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, Washington, DC, $20,000
Washington Bach Consort, Washington, DC, $20,000   

Center for the Creative Arts, Inc., Yorklyn, DE, $10,000
Christina Cultural Arts Center Inc., Wilmington, DE, $20,000

After School Dance Fund, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, $5,000
American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, $20,000
ArtStream, Chevy Chase, MD, $10,000
Baltimore Theatre Project, Inc., Baltimore, MD, $5,000
CityLit Project, Baltimore, MD, $5,000
Dance Exchange, Takoma Park, MD, $10,000
The Mainstay (Rock Hall), Rock Hall, MD, $10,000
Make Studio, Baltimore, MD, $5,000
Muse 360 Arts Incorporated, Baltimore, MD, $5,000
Wide Angle Youth Media, Baltimore, MD, $10,000
The Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD, $10,000

New Jersey
Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ, $10,000
Luna Stage Company, Inc., West Orange, NJ, $10,000
Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts, Inc., Montclair, NJ, $10,000
Trenton Education Dance Institute, Inc., Trenton, NJ, $5,000
Union City Music Project, Inc., Union City, NJ, $5,000
Vanguard Theater Company, Montclair, NJ, $10,000

New York
The 52nd Street Project, Inc., New York, NY
651 ARTS, Brooklyn, NY, $10,000
A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, $10,000
Artists Space, Inc., New York, NY, $10,000
Arts Business Collaborative, Inc., Woodside, NY, $5,000
Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, Inc. (ASI), Buffalo, NY, $10,000
Blank Forms, Brooklyn, NY, $10,000
Boundless Theatre Company, Inc., Sunnyside, NY, $5,000
Bridging Education and Art Together, Inc., Long Island City, NY, $10,000
CO/LAB Theater Group, Inc., New York, NY, $10,000
The Chocolate Factory Theater, Long Island City, NY, $10,000
Drama Club, Inc., Jackson Heights, NY, $10,000
Educational Video Center, New York, NY, $10,000
EPIC Players, Brooklyn, NY, $10,000
FiveMyles, Brooklyn, NY, $5,000
Harlem Needle Arts, Inc., New York, NY, $5,000
Heidi Latsky Dance, New York, NY, $10,000
IRT Theater, New York, NY, $5,000
The KEYS Program, Sherrill, NY, $5,000
Ma-Yi Theater Company, New York, NY, $20,000
Mark DeGarmo Dance, New York City, NY, $10,000
The National Black Theatre, New York, NY, $20,000
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, $10,000
Noor Theatre, Inc., New York, NY, $5,000
Nuyorican Poets Cafe, New York, NY, $10,000
Orchestrating Dreams, Inc., New York, NY, $5,000
Performance Space New York, New York, NY, $20,000
Prattsville Art Center and Residency, Prattsville, NY, $5,000
Pregones Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Inc., Bronx, NY, $20,000
Redhawk Native American Arts Council, Brooklyn, NY, $5,000
Repertorio Español, New York, NY, $20,000
Urban Bush Women, Brooklyn, NY, $20,000
THE WOOSTER GROUP, New York, NY, $20,000

Allentown Symphony Association, Inc., Allentown, PA, $20,000
Alumni Theater Company, Pittsburgh, PA, $10,000
CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, $10,000
First Person Arts, Philadelphia, PA, $10,000
Hill Dance Academy Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA, $10,000
Jazz Bridge Project, Inc., Philadelphia, PA, $5,000

Armed Services Arts Partnership, Alexandria, VA, $10,000
ART 180, Richmond, VA, $20,000
Art for the Journey, Richmond, VA, $10,000
Art on Wheels, Richmond, VA, $5,000
Arts Council of the Twin Counties, Galax, VA, $5,000
Arts for Learning Virginia, Norfolk, VA, $10,000
Beauty for Ashes Contemporary School of Dance, Hampton, VA, $5,000
Bowen McCauley Dance Company, Arlington, VA, $10,000
GreenSpring Foundation, Richmond, VA, $10,000
Soundscapes, Newport News, VA, $10,000
Tidewater Arts Outreach, Norfolk, VA, $5,000

U.S. Virgin Islands
St. John School of the Arts, Inc., St. John, USVI, $10,000

West Virginia
Alliance for the Arts, LTD., Bluefield, WV, $5,000 
Morgan Arts Council, Inc., Berkeley Springs, WV, $5,000
The Old Brick Playhouse Company, Elkins, WV, $5,000
Pocahontas County Opera House Foundation, Marlinton, WV, $5,000
WV Dance Company (WVDC), Beckley, WV, $5,000


Mid Atlantic Arts conducted a rigorous, multi-phase process that involved Mid Atlantic staff and 21 panelists to adjudicate all submitted proposals. Panelists represented each state in the mid-Atlantic region. Panelists adhered to conflict of interest policies. The review panelists were:

  • Emika Abe, Managing Director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (DC)
  • C. Brian Williams, Founder and Executive Director, Step Afrika! (DC)
  • Jessica Ball, Executive Director, Delaware Arts Alliance (DE)
  • Arreon Harley, Director of Music and Operations, Choir School of DE (DE)
  • James Ray Rhodes, Executive Director, Christina Cultural Arts Center, Inc. (DE)
  • Katryna Carter, Program Manager, The Neighborhood Design Center (MD)
  • Kevin Griffin Moreno, Director of Strategic Projects, Maryland Institute College of Art (MD)
  • Janet Stanford, Founding Artistic Director, Imagination Stage (MD)
  • Karen Abdul-Malik, Folklife Center Director, Perkins Center for the Arts (NJ)
  • Ann Marie Miller, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, ArtPride (NJ)
  • Alec Duffy, Co-Director, Jack Arts, Inc. (NY)
  • Shane Lavalette, Director, Light Work (NY)
  • Beth Prevor, Executive Director, Hands On Sign Interpreted Performances (NY)
  • Jafreen Uddin, Executive Director, Asian American Writers’ Workshop (NY)
  • Erin Perry, Executive Director, The Legacy Arts Project (PA)
  • Christina Vassallo, Executive Director, The Fabric Workshop and Museum (PA)
  • Monica Marin, Board Member, Caribbean Museum Center For The Arts (USVI)
  • Arvind Manocha, President, CEO, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts (VA)
  • Ana Ines King, Artistic Director, Latin Ballet of Virginia, Inc. (VA)
  • Toneta Akers-Toler, Founder and Co-Artistic Director, West Virginia Dance Company (WV)
  • Lynn Creamer, Former Artistic Director, Carnegie Hall (WV)