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Press Releases - County Council

Council introduces $334,500 special appropriation for additional arts and humanities emergency relief funding

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Funding will total $3,584,500 to ensure eligible arts organizations and artists receive equitable grant funding levels

ROCKVILLE, Md., October 27, 2020—Spearheaded by Councilmember Craig Rice and Councilmember Evan Glass, the Council introduced a special appropriation supported by all of the Councilmembers for additional arts and humanities emergency relief funding of $334,500. This brings the total amount of emergency assistance funding appropriated for the arts sector to $3,584,500. This additional funding ensures that all eligible arts and humanities organizations and eligible artists and scholars who applied to the Arts and Humanities COVID-19 Relief Fund will receive equitable grant funding levels.

“In July, we passed a resolution providing critical grant funding for our arts community in response to the devastating financial losses suffered as a result of this pandemic on this important economic sector of our county,” said Councilmember Craig Rice. “The increase in number of folks who applied for these grants underscores the tremendous need out there, and we have to ensure that equitable funding is available to help them with their most urgent financial needs.”

“From the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown to the Black Box Theater in Silver Spring and to all artists and venues in between, our once vibrant arts scene has been hit the hardest during this pandemic,” Councilmember Evan Glass said. “To ensure that the arts and humanities sector will one day be able to raise their curtains, we need to continue providing support. I was proud to partner with Councilmember Rice in leading the $3.25 million supplemental in July and am again proud to provide this additional funding to help artists large and small.”

In July 2020, the Council approved a special appropriation via Resolution 19-522 to create an Arts & Humanities COVID-19 Relief Fund with $3 million designated for eligible arts and humanities organizations and $250,000 designated for eligible artists and scholars. The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) executed the application process and reported that applications for funding exceeded expectations, with 25 percent of eligible arts and humanities organizations and 60 percent of eligible artists and scholars being first-time recipients of arts grants from AHCMC.

AHCMC’s September 2020 survey of the arts and humanities sector in Montgomery County showed a greater negative impact from the COVID-19 pandemic than originally predicted, with $32.8 million in lost revenue and $9.3 million lost in philanthropic contributions reported. The additional funding from this special appropriation will provide an additional financial lifeline to arts and humanities organizations, artists and scholars.

The Council staff report with more information can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-422
Media Contact: Sharon Ledner 240-777-7951