September 13, 2021 (Cape Cod, MA) – Even after the region’s creative sector reopened in late May, the impacts of the pandemic linger. It’s why the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod (AFCC) remains committed to supporting the sector through the challenges posed by Covid-19 as the agency opens its latest round of grant funding.
“For nearly 18 months, the Cape’s creative economy has faced an increasing array of challenges that has devastated the industry. Despite the lifting of restrictions, many organizations are still coping with the uncertainty caused by Covid and the significant investment associated with instituting protocols and safety measures to ensure the health of their staff and patrons,” said AFCC Executive Director Julie Wake. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done as an organization to provide critical support to local artists and cultural organizations since the start of the pandemic. But we know more must be done, which is why we’re excited to announce this round of grants to provide the financial resources our artists and arts organizations need at this time.”
This round officially opens on Wednesday, September 15th with a Letter of Intent (LOI) which will be available on the AFCC’s website, www.artsfoundation.org. LOIs will be due on Friday, October 15th.
A select group of applicants will be asked to submit a full application which will be due on Friday, October 29th. Final awards will be announced in late November.
Individual grants will range in size, from $500 to $5,000, and will be awarded to either individuals who live and work in Barnstable County; nonprofits in Barnstable County; or educational institutions in Barnstable County.
Funding will be prioritized towards projects, entities, or programs which align with the AFCC’s vision to fuel culture, innovation, economic growth, and involvement in the arts community. This includes programs that introduce new ideas while building upon what is known to benefit the community; projects which create greater opportunities for artists on the Cape; and proposals that expand arts access throughout the region while supporting cultural appreciation and inclusivity.
The AFCC cannot accept applications for projects that plan to commence within six weeks of the grant deadline.
Over the past five years, the AFCC has steadily increased the total amount it has awarded through its annual grant funding. In 2016, it awarded $25,000 to 18 nonprofits, a figure that was more than tripled last year when the AFCC awarded $81,000 to 80 individual artists and 16 nonprofits.
“We plan to meet and hopefully exceed that amount this year,” Wake said. “Based on last year, when we received 52 applications from cultural nonprofits seeking nearly $225,000, we know the need is significantly greater, which is why this round of grant funding is so critical to our region’s creative economy.”
Along with this latest round of grants, the AFCC is convening a meeting with the region’s legislative delegation and local leaders of cultural nonprofits this week to push for expanded funding, support, and resources at the federal and state levels of the Cape’s arts sector.
In June, the Covid-19 Cultural Impact Commission submitted its final report, calling on the state to use $575 million of the roughly $5.3 billion the state government received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support the arts and cultural sector.
It’s funding that Wake said is sorely needed in our region where multiple cultural organizations reported losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2020 due to the pandemic. “Federal and state investment in the arts, throughout the state and here on Cape Cod, is a necessity, especially if we want it to remain a vital fabric of our community,” Wake said. “It’s why we’ve worked so closely with our legislative delegation which has been incredibly supportive of arts and culture because they understand it’s integral to the Cape’s identity and a major driver of the Cape’s economy.”
About the AFCC
The AFCC’s 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 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.