Funding made possible through support from the National Endowment for the Arts
September 15, 2022 (Cape Cod, MA) – At the beginning of September, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod (AFCC) distributed a record $139,000 in funding to assist the region’s arts sector in its pandemic recovery. That funding, made possible through a grant the AFCC received from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) last year, was distributed to 14 arts nonprofits throughout Cape Cod.
“We’re incredibly grateful to the NEA for allowing the AFCC to not only support, but strengthen the mission of these 14 nonprofits, many of which were devastated by the events of the past two years. Temporary closings, the costs of implementing health and safety protocols, limits on capacity, and the continued uncertainty of the public to return to in-person events, has placed a strain on our creative industry,” said AFCC Executive Director Julie Wake. “These grants are one step towards recovery and ensuring that arts and culture remain a critical piece of the Cape’s identity.”
The AFCC received a total of 26 applications, seeking just under $390,000. “The number of applications we received and the total request for funding demonstrate the need for increased financial support for arts and culture on Cape Cod,” said Wake.
Of the 26 applicants, 14 were selected for funding based on several criteria, including artistic merit, impact on the community, and need for funding. Individual grants ranged from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $20,000. Funds will be used for salary support, health and safety supplies, marketing, and facilities costs.
The Cape Cod Theatre Company will allocate its $20,000 grant towards staffing costs to increase programming and diversify its educational offerings. “Being a nonprofit on the Cape, you’re always operating on very thin margins,” said the nonprofit’s Producing Artistic Director Kate Pazakis. “Accessing funds like this allows us to do more for our community. We would not be able to exist, especially without grants like this from the AFCC.”
“Every little bit helps. We’ve been running on duct tape the past few years,” said Mwalim (Morgan James Peters) of Mashpee, the co-founder and general manager of Song Keepers which received a $10,000 NEA grant from the AFCC.
Founded in 2012, the Cape-based nonprofit focuses its efforts on expanding and enhancing the artistic and educational experiences of the community with a focus on Black and Brown artists. Its programs include mentoring aspiring musicians and media artists in middle school and high school; the Oversoul Theatre Collective which presents performances by, for, and about Black and Brown People, as well as a reading theater and radio theater projects; and a recording academy for aspiring singers, songwriters, rappers, and bands.
For much of the past two years, Mwalim said, “Covid kind of impeded our work, in terms of our mentoring program. Now with things opening back up, we can resume this programming.”
Support from the AFCC will give Song Keepers the momentum to move forward with its work. “We are definitely encouraged that the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod is getting behind our commitment to artistic equity,” he continued. “Two of the very important things we provide are opportunity and validation.”
The following are recipients of the AFCC’s National Endowment for the Arts grants:
Cape Cod Theatre Company (Harwich) – $20,000
Provincetown Art Association and Museum – $20,000
The Provincetown Theater – $10,000
Provincetown Film Society – $10,000
Song Keepers (Mashpee) – $10,000
Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill – $10,000
Twenty Summers (Provincetown) – $10,000
Wellfleet Preservation Hall – $10,000
Woods Hole Film Festival (Falmouth) – $10,000
Historic Highfield (Falmouth) – $8,000
Hyannis Public Library – $6,000
Falmouth Art Center – $5,000
Fine Arts Work Center (Provincetown) – $5,000
Harbor Stage Company (Wellfleet) – $5,000
With this round of funding complete, the AFCC is now preparing for its annual fall grants cycle which will provide financial support for arts and culture programs and projects on Cape Cod. The AFCC will open up the application process with a letter of interest, available Monday, October 3rd on its website, www.artsfoundation.org.
The average grant will range from $500 to $2,000, but some applications for up to $5,000 may be considered. Funding is limited to individuals who live and work in Barnstable County, and nonprofits and educational institutions based in Barnstable County.
About the NEA Funding
This funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). ARPA is designed to fuel the nation’s recovery from the devastating economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are intended to help support jobs in the arts sector, keep the doors open to arts organizations nationwide, and assist the field in its response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the AFCC
Now in its 35th year, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod’s (AFCC) mission is to support, promote, and celebrate the arts and culture of Cape Cod. It fulfills its mission by funding grants, fellowships, and scholarships; by increasing access to arts and culture in the region for all on Cape Cod; by advocating for more awareness on the impact the Cape’s creative economy has on our region and beyond; and by building a strong arts community network through membership and its Creative Exchange program.