Second Round of Bridge Grants Available for Arts and Culture Nonprofits


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The Northwest Arkansas Arts and Culture Bridge Fund will award a second round of grants of up to $20,000 to support arts and culture organizations challenged by COVID-19.

Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange (CACHE) at the Northwest Arkansas Council created the program in April to help Northwest Arkansas arts and culture nonprofits stabilize and reimagine operational and programing models amidst continued challenges caused by the global pandemic.

23 local arts and culture organizations received $500,000 in grants from the program in the spring. The latest round of funding will allow an additional $250,000 to be distributed to local nonprofits.

The program is supported by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

“Not every artist has the tools to effectively capture their art and share it with the world,” said Evan Alvarado, artist manager for Bridge Fund grantee The House of Songs. “The funding allowed The House of Songs to equip nearly 75 Northwest Arkansas creatives with opportunities to see a greater output of song and art creation in our region.”

Read more about how The House of Songs used its grant to support local creatives.

Grant funds may be used to support transition planning and may be used for activities including, but not limited to:

  • Developing new sustainable and inclusive business models, staffing models, programs and strategies.

  • Winding down programming and operations where needed.

  • Generating new streams of revenues.

  • Developing new partnerships.

  • Building capacity and infrastructure to take programming online for the duration of the pandemic and beyond.

“The most competitive proposals will be part of long-term plans to strategically and organizationally shift in response to the ongoing and dramatic changes within the arts and culture sector due to COVID-19,” said Kelsey Howard, CACHE program director.

The funding is available to arts and culture organizations in Washington and Benton counties that have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations must have a primary mission or key programmatic focus related to arts and culture, hold 501(c)3 nonprofit status and have a total annual operating budget of $3 million or less during the organization’s most recently completed fiscal year.

Organizations can apply until 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 and all grant decisions will be made by Friday, Jan. 29, 2021.

For more information about the fund and to apply, click here.