Nominations Closed: Deadline was July 20, 2020.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in collaboration with the five other U.S. Regional Arts Organizations —  Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), South Arts, and Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) —  announces the Mid Atlantic Arts Regional Resilience Fund, part of The United States Regional Resilience Fund, in response to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mid Atlantic Arts Regional Resilience grants will support mid-Atlantic nonprofit arts and cultural organizations with pre-COVID19 budgets of $250,000 – $10 million as they build resilience and look to the future with programming, planning and reimagining their work. The program is designed for organizations with visionary leadership and whose work is critical to the region, primarily supporting those making a statewide, regional and/or national impact. 

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation acknowledges that long-standing systems and practices within the arts sector have upheld significant barriers to equitable access and investment for historically marginalized communities in the U.S. In alignment with MAAF’s strategic vision to implement equitable practices through intentional and sustained focus and accountability, the fund will prioritize organizations led by and/or predominantly serving individuals including, but not limited to those that identify as: Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Persons of Color, LGBTQIA+, Persons with Disabilities, communities whose primary language is not English, and/or rural and remote communities. 

A total of 25-50 non-matching grants will be made to support grantees at more impactful amounts. Awards will range from $30,000 – $75,000, with the possibility of some exceptional awards of up to $100,000. Due to the number of grants available and the intentional focus on supporting organizations, communities, and populations that have faced marginalization and historically have had inequitable access to financial resources, application is by invitation only. Invitations to organizations will be extended following a nomination process.

Nomination and Invitation Process

To better ensure organizations that strongly meet the criteria for this program are considered, the program will accept nominations. Nominations, including self-nominations, can be submitted by anyone through a public, online form. Additionally, in an effort to receive nominations from throughout the mid-Atlantic region across all art forms, the program will seek nominations of organizations from an external Nomination Advisory Committee* reflective of the racial, gender, geographic and aesthetic diversity in the region. The Nomination Advisory Committee includes artists, arts leaders and community members deeply invested in the arts. Their names will be made public when the grants are announced. Nomination Advisory Committee members who are also staff and/or board members of an organization may nominate their own organizations. 

All nominations will be screened for program eligibility and criteria fit. Following additional consideration by the Nomination Advisory Committee, a select number of nominated organizations will be invited by July 30 to apply. A nomination does not guarantee an invitation to apply. The nomination process is not a voting process; only one nomination is needed for an organization to be considered.

Nomination Eligibility

Arts organizations nominated for funding must:

  • be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; 
  • be based in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, or West Virginia; 
  • have the arts as their primary mission/function; 
  • have an operating budget between *$250,000 – $10,000,000 based on pre-COVID/FY19 financials; 
  • have a three-year history of arts-based work/programming;
  • demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion
  • demonstrate exceptional artistic, cultural and community impact
  • have visionary leadership (staff and/or volunteer)
  • demonstrate community engagement and support
  • demonstrate a track record of stability in fiscal management and ongoing operations

Priority consideration will be given to organizations that are led by and/or predominantly serve populations and communities from historically marginalized communities, including, but not limited to those that identify as: Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Persons of Color, LGBTQIA+, Persons with Disabilities, communities whose primary language is not English, and/or rural and remote communities.  

*in exceptional cases, organizations with operating budgets of less than $250,000 that are highly impactful and otherwise meet program intent may be invited to apply

The following are not eligible to be nominated for funding through this program:

  • Organizations whose primary mission or focus is not on the arts 
  • Organizations that are not based in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia or West Virginia
  • For-profit organizations
  • K-12 Schools (public or private)
  • Colleges and universities
  • Units of government, including divisions or departments of local, state or federal agencies
  • Public television and other public media organizations
  • Fiscally sponsored organizations/projects 
  • “Friends groups” organizations that support the mission of an affiliated organization, i.e. Friends of the Museum
  • Individuals

The deadline for nominations has passed.

What The Grant Supports

Funds can support any or all of the following expenses associated with relief and resilience efforts:

  • Immediate response activities and/or costs associated with planning, program investments or other measures that will help organizations reimagine their work and increase their resilience and sustainability
  • Future scenario planning, including investment in new media needs (adaptations, new methods of program delivery, and/or acquisition of software and hardware for online programming)
  • Collaborations building organizational resilience
  • General operating support for critical staff salaries and facilities costs

Grants cannot support capital campaigns or be used for re-granting.

Application Procedure and Required Materials

The online application will be sent directly to invited applicants.

Application Review

Applications will be evaluated by a peer review panel that reflects the racial, gender, geographic, and aesthetic diversity the program seeks to support. Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria: 

  • Exceptional artistic, cultural and community impact
  • Visionary leadership (staff and/or volunteer)
  • Demonstrated community engagement and support
  • Statewide, regional or national impact
  • Commitment to equity and inclusion
  • Track record of stability in fiscal management and ongoing operations

In addition, the geographic distribution of awards between urban and rural areas will be considered. Emphasis will be given to historically under-resourced organizations, and/or those that work to serve under-resourced populations, communities, and/or art forms.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How many grants do you expect to award for this program?
MAAF expects to award approximately 25-50 grants throughout the region (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, USVI, VA, WV). Most awards will range from $30,000-$75,000 with the potential of a few exceptional awards of up to $100,000.

What do you mean by “arts organization”?
For the purpose of this program, an arts organization is defined as specifically centering the arts at the core of its mission and work. This includes, but is not limited to, arts making, service, and presenting/exhibiting organizations; in all artistic disciplines, such as folk/traditional, literary, performing, and visual arts, including design and architecture.

Why is the fund focused on organizations with pre-COVID19 budgets of  $250,000 – $10 million?
This threshold was collectively adopted by the Regional Arts Organizations and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in developing The United States Regional Resilience Fund in order to serve a wide range of highly impactful organizations across the country. Grants will predominantly be awarded to organizations in this budget range. In exceptional cases, organizations with operating budgets of less than $250,000 that are highly impactful and otherwise meet program intent may be invited to apply.

Can an organization apply through a fiscal sponsor?
No. Fiscally sponsored organizations/projects are not eligible to apply. An organization must apply with its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

*Who are the members of the Nomination Advisory Committee? Who are the panelists?
The names of these individuals will be made public when awards are announced. They are artists, leaders in the arts field, and community members with deep ties to the arts. More than 150 people were invited to form part of the Nomination Advisory Committee from across the region. The majority identify as female and as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, or Persons of Color. Persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Individuals with knowledge of rural communities are also included. Both the panels and the Nomination Advisory Committee are comprised of leaders with knowledge across artistic disciplines who share a commitment to equity and inclusion. Participants in both groups are provided honoraria for their involvement in the program.

How is this program avoiding conflicts of interest? 
Nomination Advisory Committee members who choose to nominate an organization where they are employed, contractually affiliated, serve as a board member, or  whose involvement as a panelist would create a real or perceived conflict of interest cannot serve as panelists.

MAAF Staff is Available for Questions

Contact resilience@midatlanticarts.org

The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund

The Mid Atlantic Arts Regional Resilience Fund is part of The United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in collaboration with fellow U.S. Regional Arts Organizations —  Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, New England Foundation for the Arts, South Arts, and Western States Arts Federation.

Outside the mid-Atlantic?

Check in with our partner Regional Arts Organizations to see learn more about  the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund in your region:

  • Arts Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin)
  • Mid America Arts Alliance (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas)
  • New England Foundation for the Arts (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island)
  • South Arts (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee)
  • WESTAF (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming)