The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has resulted in disruption of all of our lives and has adversely impacted all of us involved in arts and culture – artists, musicians, actors, dancers, arts organizations, galleries, entertainment venues, schools, and of course all of us who participate as attendees. We are in a period of retrenchment, with the prospect of lost jobs, business closures, and flat-out loneliness. Yet, as has been said several times lately, we are all in this together, and we will eventually pull through and be stronger.
To help individual artists and arts organizations through this unusual time, here are some resources put together by our friends and colleagues across the state and nation.
At Arts Missoula, we wish you all well during this stressful time.
-Tom and the Arts Missoula team
Artists and Nonprofits:
Montana Department of Commerce: Montanans out of work, families with limited resources, small businesses, non-profits and others can apply for financial relief for things like rental and mortgage assistance, business and non-profit grants, grants to serve seniors and those living with a disability, food banks and local food producers. The application portal opens Thursday, May 7 at 8:00 a.m. To prepare for the application, businesses and non-profits should have their tax ID, proof of business registration, a brief description of how the grant will be spent, and a brief description of how COVID-19 has impacted operations. Homeowners and renters should have bank account information available and verification of job or income loss.
Humanities Montana will be providing emergency relief grants of up to $5,000 to eligible museums, historic sites, and cultural institutions affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. Humanities-focused nonprofit organizations based in Montana that are facing financial difficulties will be able to apply for the grants beginning May 1-October 1 or until funds are expended.
The WESTAF program opens WEDNESDAY MAY 6. Apply as soon as possible. The WESTAF CARES Relief Fund for Organizations offers up to $20,000 in general operating support for arts and cultural organizations in the West impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fund is open to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, units of state or local government, nonprofit institutions of higher education, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments. Applications will be assessed on inclusivity, demonstrated need, artistic and cultural merit, and public and community benefit. Qualifying organizations can go to westafcares.gosmart.org to apply.
Apply for a Direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan from Small Business Administration.
Extensive list of grants and resources for Artists and Nonprofits from WBUR, Boston.
Families, Students & Educators:
Homeschooling is not the same as Crisis Schooling: Advice during COVID-19 shutdowns. Article from Heather Anne.
Guidance Issued by US Department of Labor:
The US Department of Labor has published its initial guidance on the Families First Act. Undoubtedly more information will be available soon, but these documents offer clarification on some aspects of the Act.
Guidance for Employees: who is eligible, how to calculate pay, duration of leave, and more
Guidance for Employers: who is covered, qualifying reasons for leave, tax credits, and more
Questions and Answers: frequently asked questions
If you have any resources that you would recommend we add to our list, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.