The Delaware Division of the Arts distributed its share of CARES Act relief funds to help organizations and artists in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Division of the Arts received $423,600 from the National Endowment for the Arts through the CARES Act, and awarded grants ranging between $1,000 to $12,500 to organizations and up to $500 eligible Delaware artists.
The additional funding allowed the division to help 55 arts organizations and 11 artists on top of the 60 arts organizations and 25 community-based arts programs it already supports..
Paul Weagraff is the director of the Division of the Arts, and he says the funding can be used for certain areas.
"Specifically for supporting personnel costs of a salaried personnel and also contractual employees of the arts and culture sector as well as funding for utility cost rent and that sort of thing."
Weagraff explains how important these funds are for those who need them the most.
"These relief funds are critical to arts organizations’ and their ongoing service to the community,” said Paul Weagraff, director of the Division of the Arts. “Public funds represent only a small portion of the revenue that arts organizations generate. In addition, individual practicing and teaching artists have seen their opportunities postponed or even canceled due to the social distancing guidelines set forth by the state. Artists’ work in communities, schools and businesses is crucial to the creative life of our communities and adds distinct value to the state’s economy.”
The Division of the Arts also released its final General Operating Support grant payments in mid-March instead of September when it usually does.
That move was to assist arts organizations with cash flow challenges created by revenue generating programs cancelled and postponed by the COVID-19 shutdown.