ArtsWA CARES Act Relief Grants

ArtsWA is pleased to provide rapid-response funding to non-profit and fiscally sponsored arts groups and organizations that are facing financial hardship due to economic impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, in the form of grants, is provided by the CARES Act via the National Endowment for the Arts.

General Grant Guidelines

Grant Amounts
  • Grants of up to $5,000 may be requested for general operating support.
  • No funding match is required.
Funding Priorities
  • Organizations and fiscally sponsored arts groups facing significant financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hardship includes, but are not limited to:
    • temporary or permanent closure
    • loss of, or difficulty preserving, paid staff
    • loss of venue or workspace
    • significant loss of revenue
  • Organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic serving and led by members of communities traditionally under-resourced in the arts
    • These groups include people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, people who live in rural areas, people with disabilities, people who identify as immigrants or refugees, and people whose first (or only) language is not English. (This is not an exhaustive list)
Who is eligible?
  • Nonprofit arts organizations, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with current federal tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, including those affiliated with tribal organizations and
  • Fiscally sponsored groups and organizations that track in-kind and paid administrative expenses in their operating budgets and have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fiscally sponsored applicants must be sponsored by nonprofit organizations that have arts, culture and/or heritage in their mission statement.
Who is not eligible?
  • Individuals (contact Artist Trust for information on their relief grants)
  • Organizations that receive direct funding from NEA’s CARES grant program
  • For-profit organizations
  • Fiscally sponsored groups that have not tracked in-kind administrative expenses/staff hours in their operating budgets
  • Organizations solely focused on the humanities (contact Humanities Washington for information on their relief grants)
  • Political or advocacy organizations
  • Government agencies, universities, colleges, academic departments, or entities with significant public funding.
Can my organization apply for funds both to the NEA and to ArtsWA?

Yes. ArtsWA will accept applications for our CARES Act fund if you are also applying for funding directly from the NEA. HOWEVER, if you apply to both, you will have to wait for your decision from the NEA. If the NEA declines your application, we will release the funds you applied for from us, provided that your application to ArtsWA was approved. We will have notified you of the status of your ArtsWA application by that time.

How will applications be reviewed?
  • Applications are evaluated by ArtsWA staff and/or ArtsWA commissioners and/or community members.
  • Applications will be evaluated based on demonstrated need more than word choice or polished details.
  • Notification will be made within 10 business days of submission
  • Eligible applications will remain under consideration for the duration of the application period.
  • We regret that feedback cannot be given on draft applications or grant
Application process and special requirements
  • Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis between April 17 and May 31.
  • The simple application takes about 30 minutes to complete.
  • Grant recipients must have a DUNS number to receive funds. While not required to apply, funds cannot be dispersed without DUNS. A DUNS number can take up to two business days to receive. Please allow the appropriate time.
  • Grant applicants must provide their 501(c)3 determination letter from the IRS in their application.
  • Note: This process may be updated or amended to reflect changing circumstances. For the most up-to-date version, visit wa.gov/covid-19.
Preview of Application Questions

Preview of ArtsWA – CARES Act Relief Grant Application Questions

Applications must be completed in one sitting. This preview of questions will help you prepare.

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Tell us what is happening and what you need. We do not seek a “polished” narrative but do need to understand what you have lost and how these funds will help you. Fiscally sponsored groups and organizations, the information we seek is about you and not your fiscal sponsor unless otherwise specified. Please contact us at cares-grant@arts.wa.gov with any questions.

  • Organization Name and Address
  • Primary Contact Name
    This individual will be considered the primary contact for all grant communications and is responsible for completing all required materials, including a final report.
  • County
    Please enter the WASHINGTON STATE COUNTY where your organization is located.
  • Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) and DUNS number
    If you are applying with a fiscal sponsor, we will use their EIN and DUNS number.
  • Congressional and Legislative District
    Please select the Congressional District(s) where your organization is located. The form provides a District Finder link.
  • What is your organization’s annual operating budget?
  • Amount you are requesting from ArtsWA
    You may request up to $5,000.
  • Form 990 Upload
    Please upload your or your fiscal sponsor’s most recently filed Form 990
  • IRS Determination Letter Upload
    Please upload your or your fiscal sponsor’s determination letter
  • Who does your organization serve?
    If your organization is led by and/or serves underrepresented groups, please provide some detail about how your work supports these communities. Underrepresented groups vary in each community. These groups can include people of color; people who identify as LGBTQ+; people who live in rural areas; people with disabilities; people who identify as immigrants or refugees; and people whose first (or only) language is not English. Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list.
  • How have your typical sources of funding been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
    Please include what percentage of your annual budget is received from government or public sources, including federal, state, city, or county sources.
  • In what ways has your organization been affected by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic?
    Discuss lost revenue, problems with maintaining space, staffing issues, etc.
  • How would you estimate the total financial impact on your organization related to the COVID-19 pandemic?
    We recognize this is a tentative approximation. Please quantify your losses from the date first affected by the virus through April 15, 2020.
  • What other sources of financial relief are you seeking at this time?
  • Additional Information (Optional)
    If there is any additional information you feel is important for ArtsWA to know when evaluating your application, please provide it here.
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