Arts United issues next round of grants totaling $600k

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Arts United has announced the next round of grants from the Arts & Culture Nonprofit Resilience Fund, totaling $600,000 to support 18 Allen County based arts and cultural nonprofits. 

The Arts & Culture Nonprofit Resilience Fund was created to ensure a vibrant future for the community by supporting arts and culture nonprofits as they work through the COVID-19 pandemic, the press release said.

“Over the last year, our community’s leading arts and culture organizations have reimagined the delivery of their programs in the face of catastrophic revenue losses from cancelled live events and shuttered facilities,” said Bart Shaw, Arts United Board Member and chair of Arts United’s Resilience Fund Review Committee. “Arts United went to work, facilitating discussions with community leaders to determine how to offer support through the pandemic.”

More than $2.8 million has been raised in support of the initiative, Arts United said. Two rounds of funding have now been granted to 18 organizations totaling $1.6 million in October 2020 and $600,000 in January 2021. Arts United said a third round of grants is planned in May 2021.

Arts United said the October 2020 distribution of Resilience Grants cut the anticipated loss of $3 million for the period of June 2020 through December 2020 by more than half. Additional support from the CARES Act and the use of cash reserves prevented temporary or permanent closure of several organizations. It also ensured that community members could continue to safely participate in arts and cultural programming in smaller groups and virtually. 

The January 2021 distribution of Resilience Grants will cover $600,000 of the anticipated loss of $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2021 for participating organizations, Arts United said.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” said Dan Ross, Vice President of Community Development for Arts United. “We anticipate continuing losses of $1.5 to $2 million per quarter until a vaccine is widely distributed and patrons feel comfortable returning to public activities. The Resilience Fund, along with the second round of Payroll Protection Program loans and Shuttered Venue Operators Grants as recently approved by Congress will provide additional relief, but continued local support for our anchor arts and cultural organizations will be greatly needed.”

Reports to Arts United by Resilience Fund grant recipients indicate that the primary use of funding is to retain essential staff who have the skills needed to advance recovery plans and resume activities.

“Fort Wayne’s arts and culture nonprofits and creative sector workers are proving their resilience and value to the community,” said Heather Closson, Director of Grants and Programs for Arts United. “They are demonstrating all of the qualities that our community needs right now: care for people, adaptive mindsets, and innovative programming. Instead of being sidelined by the realities of COVID-19, they are working together to develop new capabilities that can carry forward.”

More information about the Resilience Fund and the organizations who benefit from it can be found at

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