NWA Council announces bridge fund for arts and culture nonprofits

SoNA / Courtesy

Northwest Arkansas Council officials this week announced the creation of a new bridge fund to help small- and mid-sized arts and culture nonprofit organizations that are facing challenges related to COVID-19.

The program is administered by the council’s new regional arts service organization (RASO) announced last year.

“The world is changing quickly and many are in need of additional support to address new and unexpected challenges,” said Allyson Esposito, RASO executive director.

The new program, supported through a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, will give grants between $10,000 and $50,000 per organization to provide funds for transition and long-term planning to help prepare for what’s next.

The grant amounts will be based on the budgets of the organizations, extent of lost revenue, and non-recoverable expenses incurred due to the pandemic.

Funds may be used for purposes such as:

  • Developing new business models, paradigms, staffing models, programs and strategies.
  • Sunsetting previous programming or operations where needed.
  • Planning new activities for revenue generation.
  • Building capacity, tools and infrastructure to take programming online.
  • Re-imagining creative production.

Funding is available for arts and culture organizations with 501(c)3 status in Washington and Benton counties with a total annual operating budget of $3 million or less.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, April 30, and grants will be awarded in May. Applications are available at nwacouncil.org.