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Coronavirus Relief Fund Cultural Support application now live!

Coronavirus Relief Fund Cultural Support

application now live!

Salem, Ore. – Applications are now live and open for Oregon’s Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Cultural Support program. Funds allocated to the Oregon Cultural Trust will be available to Oregon cultural organizations facing losses due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The $25.9 million in funding was made available through a $50 million relief package for Oregon culture recently approved by the Emergency Board of the Oregon Legislature.

The distribution plan for the CRF Cultural Support program was approved at the Aug. 6 Cultural Trust Board of Directors meeting. Applications are due by noon on Monday, Aug. 24, and approved funds must be distributed by Sept. 15.

“We are grateful to the members of our Board for authorizing us to move forward with the distribution plan as soon as possible,” said Brian Rogers, executive director of the Cultural Trust. “We have worked hard to develop a statewide, equitable distribution plan and look forward to supporting our cultural community in surviving this unprecedented crisis.”

All Oregon cultural nonprofits and community venues are welcome to apply. Eligible grant recipients include, but are not limited to, cultural institutions, county fairgrounds, cultural entities within federally recognized Indian Tribes based in Oregon, and festivals and community event organizations. Funds will be distributed through the Cultural Trust statewide network of County and Tribal Cultural Coalitions. Funding will be determined based on eligible request amounts, an award allocation formula that establishes a base amount of funds per county or tribe and the organization’s fiscal size. COVID-19 expenses previously reimbursed by other federal CARES Act programs are not eligible.

Complete guidelines are posted on the Cultural Trust website.

The intended use of the CRF Cultural Support funds is to provide financial assistance to cultural nonprofit organizations and community venues that have canceled or postponed public programming because of public health executive orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidelines for the funding are in accordance with theU.S. Department of the Treasury.

 

The federal CARES Act requires that CRF funding only be used to cover expenses that: are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency; were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act); and were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on Dec. 30, 2020.

The Cultural Trust is committed to serving Oregon’s culturally diverse and traditionally underserved communities.

Oregon Legislature approves emergency relief funding for arts and culture

Oregon Legislature approves relief funding for arts and culture

Oregon Legislature approves emergency relief funding

for arts and culture

$25.9 million allocated to Cultural Trust for statewide relief

Salem, Ore. – The Emergency Board of the Oregon Legislature approved a $50 million relief package for Oregon culture Tuesday that includes $25,984,872 to Business Oregon for statewide distribution to cultural organizations by the Oregon Cultural Trust. The funding was made available through the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to address the devastating impact the COVID-19 health crisis is having on Oregon’s arts and cultural community.
“We are extremely grateful to lawmakers for recognizing that preserving our culture is essential as we navigate through this unprecedented crisis,” said Chuck Sams, chair of the Cultural Trust Board. “Our collective culture is the glue that binds us together as Oregonians, especially during challenging times. Arts and culture cross all boundaries and inspire us to celebrate our diversity and resilience as a people.”
The Cultural Trust is working with the Oregon Arts Commission to develop statewide, equitable funding distribution to be administered through the Cultural Trust’s County and Tribal Coalitions, said Brian Rogers, executive director of the Cultural Trust and the Arts Commission. The statewide distribution plan is expected to be reviewed by the Cultural Trust Board of Directors at its July 23 meeting. Coronavirus Relief Funds are mandated to be distributed by Sept. 15, 2020.
The remainder of the relief funding package for culture was allocated directly to several statewide cultural organizations and to for-profit and nonprofit performing venues.
Since the crisis began, nonprofit cultural organizations across the state have cancelled thousands of performances, events and activities – including key fundraising events – and most have closed their doors to the public. The loss of projected earned income, lifeblood for most cultural organizations, has resulted in significant layoffs and furloughs. Many organizations are at risk of bankruptcy and permanent closure.
A recent survey of 330 Oregon cultural nonprofits by the Cultural Trust revealed that participants projected a collective loss of $40 million and average losses of $121,281 by June 30. The majority of respondents (54 percent) have annual revenues of less than $250,000 and operate outside of the Portland Metro area.
“Our distribution of the relief funds will ensure that cultural organizations in every county, serving every geographic region of our state, will benefit,” said Rogers. “At times like these we depend on our arts, history, heritage and humanities to help us persevere. These funds will go a long way in ensuring our cultural community survives this crisis.”
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About the Oregon Cultural Trust

Created in 2001 by the Oregon Legislature, the Oregon Cultural Trust is a testament to how much Oregonians value culture. No other state provides a 100 percent tax credit to inspire cultural giving. As uniquely Oregonian as public beaches and the bottle bill, the Oregon Cultural Trust was designed as an ongoing funding engine for arts and culture across the state. Oregonians fund the Cultural Trust. We, in turn, fund the artists, potters, poets, acrobats and dreamers who define our famous quality of life.
In 2019 Oregonians gave $4.5 million to the Cultural Trust. Sixty percent of that went straight back to the field. The remaining 40 percent helped grow our permanent fund. Our three grant programs fund our five Statewide Partners, 45 County and Tribal Coalitions and 1,450+ qualified cultural nonprofits through competitive Cultural Development Grants.
More information at culturaltrust.org.

Important Updates on CARES Act Programs

Important Updates on CARES Act Programs

  • The deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan through a bank or online financial institution was officially extended from June 30 to August 8, 2020. Last week, Congress unanimously voted to extend the deadline and President Trump finally signed it into law over the weekend. Please note that this is only a deadline extension and not the opportunity to apply for a second PPP. There is still more than $125 billion available for first-time PPP borrowers who are self-employed, gig artists, contractors, or a corporation or nonprofit with W2 employees. Just remember that you cannot collect pandemic unemployment if you’re also paying yourself with a PPP forgivable loan during the same covered period.

 

  • The extra $600 of weekly federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is still currently set to expire on July 31, 2020. For those of you who are self-employed, gig artists, or Form 1099 independent contractors and are currently collecting PUA, you may want to consider applying for a PPP loan on August 1st, which will allow you to then stagger rather than overlap federal economic relief assistance during this pandemic.

 

  • Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund currently have an Action Alert that will enable you to send a quick email to your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators, urging them to approve both an extension of PUA benefits beyond 7/31/20, and allow a second round of PPP forgivable loans for existing borrowers. These two programs are particularly needed to those working in the arts, entertainment, tourism, and hospitality industries. Send your emails to Congress through our Arts Action Center.

 

  • On July 1st, the National Endowment for the Arts announced the names of the 855 national, state, and local nonprofit and governmental arts organizations, who were awarded $45 million in CARES Act emergency arts funding. This is in addition to the supplemental $30 million that was quickly passed through to every state and regional arts agency in April for purposes of re-granting locally within their geographic areas.

 

  • If you haven’t done so yet, please remember to complete your 2019 federal income tax return by July 15th, or at least request a filing extension to October 15th. The CARES Act had extended this year’s filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, but this extension does not necessarily apply to the filing deadline of your state income tax return.

 

Updates on CARES Act Programs Resources to Assist You:

  1. Office Hours with Nina (Free Q&A forum about the CARES Act on M, W, F @ 11am EDT)
  2. Book Nina for Your Own Webinar (Free service to share tips on CARES Act and legislation)
  3. CARES Act Table Updated 6/24/2020
  4. PPP Loan Forgiveness Application
  5. ArtsU on-demand videotaped training webinars on the CARES Act
  6. Americans for the Arts Coronavirus Resource and Response Center

2021 NEA Budget Increase Proposed

Americans for the Arts
            
July 7, 2020

Earlier today, the U.S House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee strongly rejected President Trump’s fourth consecutive annual budget request to eliminate both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by instead appropriating $170 million in funding for each for fiscal year FY 2021! This represents an increase for both agencies of $7.75 million each over the current FY 2020 funding level of $162.25 million and it is the same amount that we recommended to Congress.

Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund President and CEO Robert Lynch and ArtsVote 2020 Chair and Arts Action Fund Board Member Ben Folds testify before the U.S. House Interior Subcommittee on February 6, 2020.

As you will recall, Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund president and CEO Robert Lynch and our ArtsVote 2020 Chairman and musician Ben Folds testified in support of the $170 million budget request on February 6, 2020. (Watch Ben’s testimony here.)

Additionally, we are very pleased to share that the House bill includes specific language requested by Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund to enable the NEA to waive financial matching grant requirements and to allow grantees to use the federal funds for general operating support as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  These new funds would not limit eligibility to only recent NEA grantees and would apply to FY 2021 grants as well as any outstanding FY 2020 and 2019 grant funds.

Stay tuned. This bill will proceed next to the full U.S. House Appropriations Committee, then the House floor before moving to the Senate chamber for consideration over the coming weeks and months.

Arts advocacy makes a difference. Thank you for everything you do to enrich people’s lives through the arts. If possible, please also consider contributing to the Arts Action Fund PAC.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

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President's FY21 Budget Calls for Termination of Cultural Agencies Again

Americans for the Arts

February 10, 2020
For a fourth-straight year, the Trump administration has proposed to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB).  As misdirected as this proposal is, we are confident that Congress—as it has done in the past three fiscal years—will again reject this short-sighted budget request in a bipartisan, bicameral manner, and increase funding for these federal cultural agencies.

In the past three years, Congress not only dismissed these initial calls for termination, but in fact gave steady increases in funding to several of our nation’s cultural agencies.  Check out a brief history of budgetary proposals and final funding for these agencies for the past three years with the President’s most recent budget request in red below:

Key Federally Funded Arts Agency President Trump’s
FY 19 Budget Proposal
Final FY 2019 Funding President Trump’s
FY 20 Budget Proposal
Final FY 2020 Funding  President Trump’s
FY 21 Budget Proposal
National Endowment for the Arts
(NEA)
Termination $155 million Termination $162.25 million Termination
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Termination $155 million Termination $162.25 million Termination
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Termination $242 million Termination $252 million Termination
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Termination $445 million Termination $445 million Termination

Be sure to check out Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund President and CEO Robert L. Lynch’s full statement regarding the president’s budget proposal. Additionally, ArtsVote 2020 Chair Ben Folds testified on behalf of Americans for the Arts to urge the House Appropriations Subcommittee to increase NEA funding to $170 million for FY 21. Read Bob and Ben’s written remarks and watch Ben’s testimony on the Arts Action Fund website.

Be sure to check out Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund President and CEO Robert L. Lynch's full statement regarding the president's budget proposal. Additionally, ArtsVote 2020 Chair Ben Folds testified on behalf of Americans for the Arts to urge the House Appropriations Subcommittee to increase NEA funding to $170 million for FY 21. Read Bob and Ben’s written remarks and watch Ben’s testimony on the Arts Action Fund website.

 

I’m Contributing $5,000 to the Arts Action Fund

Americans for the Arts
                  - Arts Action Fund
              
Dear Arts Advocate,

Last Thursday December 5th, the Arts Action Fund kicked off its Year-End Fundraising Campaign to raise $30,000 by the end of the year.

We’ve already raised one-third of that goal from members like you!  In fact, I am contributing $5,000 personally to the Arts Action Fund PAC.  These funds go exclusively to the only political action committee in the country dedicated to supporting pro-arts federal candidates, who are committed to advancing the nonprofit arts in America. Additionally, I’m making a second contribution to the Arts Action Fund to carry out its grassroots activities to train arts advocates across the nation.

Attached below is a copy of the email that our Executive Director Nina Ozlu Tunceli sent you last Thursday.  Join me as an arts champion. Please contribute to the Arts Action Fund today.

Thank you for your commitment to the arts in America.

Robert L. Lynch
President and CEO, Arts Action Fund
Treasurer, Arts Action Fund PAC

———————————————————————————————————————–

FROM:  Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Executive Director of the Arts Action Fund on 12/5/19

Dear Arts Advocate,

Contribute to The Arts Action Fund’s Year-End Campaign this Holiday Season!

Thanks to members like you, we’ve had another effective legislative year in securing an increase in funding for the arts and humanities! We kicked off the ArtsVote 2020 campaign by interviewing presidential candidates such as Mayor Pete Buttigieg in our ArtsVote 2020 podcast with Ben Folds. In addition, we’ve been training grassroots arts advocates in Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and North Carolina on how to ask key arts questions to presidential candidates campaigning in these early battleground states. Help us move into 2020 stronger than ever!

Will you make a year-end financial contribution to our ArtsVote campaign to help elevate the power of the arts as we fully enter the 2020 election year?

You can help stand up for the arts by:

  1. Contributing to our 2019 Year-End Campaign
  2. Using our Questions to Ask Pocket Card
  3. Signing and Sharing Our Arts Platform Petition

We can only succeed with your unwavering support. Keep the momentum going by being an ArtsVote champion today!

Make Your Year-End Gift to The Arts Action Fund by December 31, 2019.

Thank you for your generosity and have a happy holiday season!

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

P.S. Here is our official Year-End Letter to members, detailing the achievements we have made in this past year and how you can continue to help in this upcoming election year!

Take action
                          now!

Arts Action Alert! Please take two minutes to send your message to your U.S. Senators

Hello Arts Advocate,

While fiscal year (FY) 2020 began on Oct. 1, the U.S. Congress must still pass the 12 appropriation bills to fund the government through Sept. 30, 2020 (the government is currently operating under a continuing resolution [CR] through Nov. 21). At least one of your U.S. Senators sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee. They need to hear from you now about your support for robust federal arts funding and how it supports your community and state.

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed their version of the Interior Appropriations bill by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 84 – 9, that included $2 million in increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)! You may recall that the U.S. House bill, approved earlier this summer, provided a $12.5 million increase in funding to those agencies.

These positive results are the outcomes of grassroots advocacy—from Hill visits during the National Arts Action Summit, to the emails (like this one) advocates have been sending to their congressional delegation throughout the year.

As negotiations are ongoing to finish up FY 2020 funding, it is vital to call on U.S. Senate appropriators to include these remaining pro-arts funding levels in the final legislation.

This includes:

Bipartisan Senate passage of FY 2020 spending package that included the Interior Appropriations bill.
  • Education bill—includes arts education grant funds and a provision calling for maintaining a federal “report card” in arts education
  • Defense Department bill—includes language supporting creative arts therapies for service members
  • Veterans Department bill—includes language supporting creative arts therapies and $5 million for veterans
  • Justice Department bill—includes a provision supporting inclusion of arts-specific intervention strategies for juvenile justice programs

Please take two minutes to send your message to your U.S. Senators. Thank you for taking action to support these end-of-year funding priorities.


1000 Vermont Avenue NW
6th Floor
Washington DC . 20005
T 202.371.2830
F 202.371.0424
One East 53rd Street . 2nd Floor
New York NY . 10022
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F 212.980.4857
[email protected]
www.AmericansForTheArts.org
www.ArtsActionFund.org
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Federal Funding For Cultural Arts Agencies Update

Dear Arts Advocate,

On June 25, the U.S. House strongly rejected President Trump’s budget request to eliminate both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by approving $167.5 million in funding for fiscal year (FY) 2020! This is an increase for both agencies of $12.5 million over the FY 2019 funding level of $155 million.

The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate for possible consideration (the Senate may also take up their own version of this appropriations bill).

Why Is This Important?

This is the third year in a row that the Trump administration has proposed a termination of both the NEA and the NEH in his budget proposal to the U.S. Congress. The past two years, Congress has rejected this request and moderately increased funding for the cultural agencies. This year, the House is sending an even stronger message of the importance of arts funding by increasing the appropriation by $12.5 million.

The funding increase matches the 2019 Arts Advocacy Day ask, which would help broaden access to the cultural, educational, and economic benefits of the arts and to advance creativity and innovation in communities across the United States. This also follows public witness testimony Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch gave before the Interior Subcommittee in February, asking for the cultural agencies to be funded at $167.5 million, as well as a Dear Colleague letter circulated by Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY)–asking for the same amount of funding for the NEA and NEH–signed by a record-number (184) of members of Congress.

We are hopeful that the Senate will follow the House’s lead in expanding funding for the NEA and NEH. We’ll be keeping close watch over every step of the appropriations process in case any threatening actions surface. Stay tuned for more updates after the July 4th recess!


Want to do more? Help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund.  Play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today– it’s free and easy to join!

1000 Vermont Avenue NW
6th Floor
Washington DC . 20005
T 202.371.2830
F 202.371.0424
One East 53rd Street . 2nd Floor
New York NY . 10022
T 212.223.2787
F 212.980.4857
[email protected]
www.AmericansForTheArts.org
www.ArtsActionFund.org

Ensuring Oregon’s Arts and Culture Are Protected

Hello Advocates,

We have good and bad news this week as some major legislation we’ve been advocating for has passed, but other important bills are hanging in the balance.

Most of our legislative work is contained in the larger omnibus budget and program changes bills that are assembled and passed in the last few days of session. If the Legislature does not resume its business before June 30th, the date by which the body must adjourn—many of our priorities might be lost. Right now, there’s not much we can do since the political breakdown is occurring between the governor and the legislative leadership.

In good news, the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Oregon Arts Commission budgets were passed. Both agencies are funded at the governor’s recommended levels. We are working to find other ways to cover growing administrative costs estimated by agency leadership that were not approved and thus will impact the grant budget. Other good news—the House passed a tax credit package yesterday that includes renewal of the tax credit and extension of the special assessments for historic preservation. But this still needs to be approved by the Senate.

These bills were all moving along positively, so if the legislature resumes business, we expect good results:

— Renewal of the Cultural Trust tax credit for 6 years
— Extension of special assessments for historic preservation for 2 years
— 5 capital projects targeted for lottery bonding or General Fund contributions (Oregon Nikkei Center, Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Cottage Theatre, High Desert Museum, and the Lincoln City Cultural Center)
— Lifting the expiration of license plate revenue for marketing of the Trust

If you’ve been an advocate or used your voice in any way this year, THANK YOU. This year’s work in Salem is evidence that our Coalition and its supporters are crucial in ensuring Oregon’s arts and culture are protected. Please stay tuned for more news in the coming days. 

Thank you.

Cultural Advocacy Coalition
Executive Director
Sue Hildick


Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon