The American Rescue Plan

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) that includes funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to support organizations and jobs in the arts sector that have been impacted by the pandemic. The $135 million allocated for the Arts Endowment in this historic legislation represents a significant commitment to the arts and a recognition of the value of the arts and culture sector to the nation’s economy and recovery.

On April 29, 2021, the Arts Endowment announced the 40 percent portion of the ARP allocation directed to regional arts organizations and state arts agencies for distribution through their funding programs.

On November 18, 2021, the NEA announced American Rescue Plan (ARP) grants totaling $20,200,000 to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. The agencies will use this funding to distribute grants in their communities to eligible recipients to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation.

On January 27, 2022, the National Endowment for the Arts announced it has recommended American Rescue Plan (ARP) awards totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. Grants are recommended to organizations in both rural and urban communities; in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC; and represent all 15 of the NEA’s artistic disciplines. The NEA encouraged applications from a variety of organizations for this opportunity and provided numerous resources for navigating the application process. Among the recommended organizations, 27 percent are first-time NEA grantees and 78 percent are small or medium sized organizations with budgets of less than $2 million. Grant award recommendations are for $50,000, $100,000, or $150,000 and do not require cost share/matching funds.

A summary of NEA's American Rescue Plan funding can be found on this fact sheet.

The American Rescue Plan’s extension of pandemic unemployment assistance, health insurance coverage, food and rent assistance, and direct stimulus checks also provides immediate assistance to our sector’s creative workers. (See here for a description of the legislation) Outside of the allocation for the Arts Endowment, here are additional components of the plan that impact the arts community:

  • $135 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • $175 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • An additional $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • An additional $1.25 billion for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program will provide a new infusion of assistance to self-employed workers and businesses of all types within the creative sector. SVOG was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act to include the additional funds and to amend qualifications for the grants to include those who had previously received loans through the Payroll Protection Program. The program now includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
  • $1,400 stimulus payments for adults and any dependents in households with earnings of less than $80,000 for single filers, $120,000 for Head of Household filers, and $160,000 for married couples filing jointly and expanded Child Tax Credit for households with children.
  • Extending the additional unemployment compensation of $300 until September 6, 2021.