The Northwest Michigan Arts & Cultural Network was one of nine regional organizations to receive Emergency Relief Fund from Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Other Northwest Michigan Organizations included: Beaver Island culutral Arts Association and Patrons of the Arts in Rural Communities in Charlevoix County; Blissfest and Crooked Tree Arts Center in Emmet; Interlochen Center for the Arts, Northwest Michigan Arts and Culture Network and Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Grand Traverse; Northport Art Association in Leelanau; and, Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts in Manistee.

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs awarded a total $502,400 in Emergency Relief Fund grants to 176 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations around Michigan to provide relief from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced in late May. MCACA also leveraged $83,834 in funds from Arts Midwest , a nonprofit regional arts organization and partner to MCACA, to award grants to an additional 28 Michigan organizations.

“Today’s Emergency Relief Fund grants are providing immediate support to our state’s arts and cultural organizations as they work to economically recover from the COVID-19 virus,” said MCACA Director Alison Watson. “We’re thankful for the support from our partners at Arts Midwest in assisting these organizations that add so much value to Michigan’s economy and bolster the creative life of our communities. It is vital that we do everything we can to restore economic prosperity for all Michiganders to not only recover economically, but to thrive.”

Through funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in April, MCACA established the Emergency Relief Funds, making a total of $502,400 in one-time grants to eligible nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, ensuring broad geographic distribution across Michigan. The funds were intended for salary support (full or partial) for one or more employees; fees for artists and/or contractual personnel; and facility costs, such as rent and utilities.

The list of all grant recipients by county can be found here, and the overall list can be found here.

“All operational support is vital now, so the ERF grant has a tremendous impact for us. Thanks go to MCACA and MEDC for this assistance,” said Blissfest Music Organization Executive Director Cindy McSurely. “With these funds, we will be able to keep the contractual personnel who we rely on to help develop and book a variety of outreach and performance opportunities that we present for our community.”

To be eligible, applicants had to be a nonprofit arts and cultural organization, have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c) (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Services code, and be incorporated and physically located in Michigan. The applications were reviewed by Council members and staff. To be considered, eligible organizations had to demonstrate the ability to use the funds to secure jobs and keep doors open. The maximum request for funding allowed was $5,000 and there was no match requirement. All of the available funds have been disbursed with today’s grants.