Chairman's Corner: April 23, 2020

Jo Reed:  I'm Josephine Reed from the National Endowment for the Arts with ‘The Chairman’s Corner’ — a weekly podcast with Mary Anne Carter, Chairman of the Arts Endowment, where we will discuss issues of importance to the arts community and a whole lot more.

Once again, the attention of the agency was focused on getting the emergency CARES Act funding distributed throughout the country….

Mary Anne, it has been another whirlwind week at the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mary Anne Carter:  It sure has, but, you know, Jo, I am so proud. The National Endowment for the Arts continues to fulfill its responsibilities under the CARES Act with speed and efficiency and just demonstrating organizational excellence during this really extremely challenging time. And the latest example is the agency's awarding of 40 percent of the CARES Act funding, or $30 million, to the state, territorial and regional arts organizations, and they'll distribute that to their constituents. And the arts endowment completed this task only 18 days after the CARES Act was signed into law by the president...and so our arts endowment staff working remotely once again demonstrated exceptional dedication to delivering these funds and helping save as many jobs as possible as quickly as possible.

Jo Reed:  And we all know that's what our goal is at the arts endowment, is to save jobs at arts organizations and artistic institutions.

Mary Anne Carter:  Absolutely.

Jo Reed:  Mary Anne, how did the endowment decide on the distributions of funds to the states and regional arts organizations, territorial arts organizations?

Mary Anne Carter:  The arts endowment used the same formula for the CARES Act funding that we use to determine the amounts for the partnership agreements with all of the arts organizations every year, and that formula is based on the agency's legislation.

Jo Reed:  The arts endowment distributed CARES funding to the states and regionals and territorial arts organizations. How do they then go about awarding the money to arts organizations and artists?

Mary Anne Carter:  Each state, territorial and regional arts agency will develop their own process for awarding the CARES Act funding based on our guidelines, and more importantly these arts organizations, they help ensure the equitable distribution of these federal funds throughout the country.

Jo Reed:  And now the agency is moving on to direct grants.

Mary Anne Carter:  Yes. Now the agency can concentrate on distributing the remainder of the CARES Act funding in the form of direct grants to arts organizations, and that's approximately $45 million or the remaining 60 percent, and we expect to announce those funding recipients by June 30th, with the money starting to flow out the door by July 1st.

Jo Reed:  And people can start applying, correct?

Mary Anne Carter:  Yes. The Web site has been open for arts organizations to let us know they plan on applying, and we already have more than 2,000 who have indicated that they plan on applying, and then the actual application portal will open April 27th, and it will stay open through May 4th.

Jo Reed:  And it’s on to the next goalpost.

Mary Anne Carter:  Absolutely. I think I may have mentioned before on one of these podcasts our timeline is three times faster than it normally is. We've had to do a lot of streamlining and a lot of decisions made, because we still have the same rules and regulations that we have during our normal process. Those regulations were not waived in the CARES Act legislation, so everyone on staff is doing double-duty, working overtime. Everyone's committed to the mission, and, like I said, three times quicker than normal. That's pretty impressive.

Jo Reed:  I agree. Mary Anne, thank you so much, and I'll talk to you next week.

Mary Anne Carter:  Thank you, Jo. Have a great week.

Jo Reed:  Thanks. You too.

Jo Reed: That was the Chairman of the National Endowment for Arts, Mary Anne Carter. You can find  the guidelines to apply for CARES funding and a list of COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations on our website at I’m Josephine Reed stay safe and thanks for listening.

Music Credit: “Renewal” composed and performed by Doug and Judy Smith.

Chairman Mary Anne Carter discusses the National Endowment for the Art's distribution of the $30 million in CARES Act emergency funding to the state, regional, and territorial arts agencies.