WAB Announces Wisconsin Arts Rescue Program Grant

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The Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB), with support from the National Endowment for the Arts through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will distribute $778,200 through its Wisconsin Arts Rescue Program (WARP) grant in order to help secure jobs and keep the doors open to the hundreds of arts organizations in Wisconsin that add value to the state's economy and bolster the creative life of our communities. Created in response to the continuing pandemic, these grants provide funding to arts organizations for pandemic-related losses sustained due to the cancellation of programming, operations, and events.

This second round of WAB emergency grant funding is available to all of Wisconsin's nonprofit arts organizations, including those that have not received prior funding from other WAB programs. These funds are to be used for five main purposes:

        A. Salary support (full or partial) for one or more staff positions
        B. Fees for artists and/or contractual personnel
        C. Facility costs, such as mortgage principal, rent, and utilities
        D. Costs associated with health and safety supplies for staff and/or visitors/audiences (e.g., PPE, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, etc.)

        E. Marketing and promotion costs associated with re-opening

WAB intends to make awards that will help arts organizations deal with the effects of COVID-19. Criteria for award determination will include an applicant's ability to submit the application in a timely manner, completeness of the application, the number of applications received, geographic distribution, Shuttered Venue Operating Grant (SVOG)​ funding and ARPA funding received from other sources. Organizations receiving $200,000 or more in SVOG awards are not eligible to receive Wisconsin Arts Rescue funds. Grant awards will be $3,000, $7,000 or $10,000.

All applicants must complete an application through the SmartSimple grants system to request funding. Applications will open September 2, 2021 and must be submitted by 3 p.m. on October 14, 2021 to be considered for funding. Please note: Applicants that have not received prior funding from other WAB programs will be required to register in SmartSimple.​

WAB held an informational webinar on September 9, 2021, to provide an overview of the grant, its process, and how to apply. The recording is now available on our YouTube channel. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is also available, developed in response to questions raised in the​ chat during the session.

Funds will be awarded in December, 2021.​

Additional resources to help WI's artists, arts organizations, and creative sector as a whole,​ navigate this challenging time are available on WAB's COVID-19 and the Arts in Wisconsin page​. ​​


Grant Questions?

Karen Goeschko - karen.goeschko@wisconsin.gov
Kaitlyn Berle - kaitlyn.berle@wisconsin.gov

SmartSimple Questions?

Dale Johnson - dale.johnson@wisconsin.gov

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