National Endowment for the Arts on COVID-19

In March 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, which appropriated $135 million to the Arts Endowment. Forty percent of this funding will be awarded directly to state and regional arts agencies to distribute through their funding programs, and the remainder through the agency’s competitive process; check out our FAQs for more information.

Congress appropriated $75 million to the National Endowment for the Arts through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in 2020 to preserve jobs and help support organizations forced to close operations due to the spread of COVID-19. All funds were committed by the agency within three months of the bill’s passage. Grant awards were fully obligated within five months.

We know that there are more than five million Americans who make their livelihoods in the broader arts and cultural sector across the country and are potentially at risk. We also know that the arts provide comfort, resilience, wisdom, and the means for self-expression and connection, perhaps even more so during challenging times such as these. We have relief resources and opportunities related to COVID-19 available on our website, and we will continue to update these sections with new information as it becomes available.