Group announces more grants for local arts organizations impacted by COVID-19

Fayetteville Roots Festival

Photo: Clayton Taylor

A local group dedicated to quality of life issues in NWA is divvying out funds to help local arts organizations survive the pandemic.

Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange (CACHE), the organization created by Northwest Arkansas Council with a mission to “expand access to arts, culture, and heritage” last year, announced it will award a second round of grants of up to $20,000 to support arts and culture organizations challenged by COVID-19.

The group handed out $500,000 in grants to 23 local arts and culture organizations back in the spring.

A new round of funding announced today will result in an additional $250,000 in funds distributed to local organizations. The program is supported through a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

The funds may be used to support transition planning, and other activities including:

  • Developing new sustainable and inclusive business models, staffing models, programs and strategies.
  • Winding down programming and operations where needed.
  • Generating new streams of revenues.
  • Developing new partnerships.
  • Building capacity and infrastructure to take programming online for the duration of the pandemic and beyond.

“The most competitive proposals will be part of long-term plans to strategically and organizationally shift in response to the ongoing and dramatic changes within the arts and culture sector due to COVID-19,” said Kelsey Howard, CACHE program director.

Organizations in Washington and Benton County that have been directly affected by the pandemic can apply for the funds. The nonprofits must “have a primary mission or key programmatic focus related to arts and culture, hold 501(c)3 nonprofit status and have a total annual operating budget of $3 million or less during the organization’s most recently completed fiscal year,” according to the criteria announced Tuesday.

Applications are open until 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17, and awards will be announced by Jan. 29, 2021.

For more information about the fund and to apply, visit