Harford County Cultural Arts Board Response to COVID-19 Crisis

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Relaxed Requirements for Current Grantees, Deadline Extensions for FY21 Grant Applications, and an Emergency Relief Grant Fund for Harford County Artists

On April 6, 2020, Harford County Cultural Arts Board met virtually to discuss the state of the arts sector in Harford County, Maryland, as affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to the obvious health concerns, the added stress and anxiety from the shutdown of schools and community spaces, as well as most businesses, the economic impact is immense. The entire board convened to decide how best to support the needs of the arts community at this extremely difficult time. Decisions were made to relax requirements for current grants, extend deadlines, and waive the need for current general operating grantees to apply for the next fiscal year, 2021 funding period (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021). For the first time ever, the board decided to create a Harford County Emergency Relief Grant Fund for individual artists living in Harford County who demonstrate a financial need due to COVID-19.

Changes to FY20 Community Arts Development (CAD) Grant Requirements

In recognition of the unprecedented situation all organizations, as well as individuals, are now facing, Harford County Cultural Arts Board has followed the example of the Maryland State Arts Council by relaxing the guidelines pertaining to all grants awarded for fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020). The matching requirement for FY20 grants has been eliminated and, if needed, funds may be used for arts-related purposes other than originally planned. Organizations can also receive a deadline extension to complete their final reports (currently due August 1, 2020) upon request.

Changes to FY21 Community Arts Development (CAD) Application Deadline and Requirements

Harford County Cultural Arts Board will also waive the application requirement for all eight Harford County-based nonprofit arts organizations currently receiving general operating funds for fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020). Those organizations, Deer Creek Chorale, Harford Artists’ Association, Ballet Chesapeake (also known as Harford Ballet Company), Harford Choral Society, Bay Country Gentlemen (also known as Harford County Maryland Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society), Havre de Grace Arts Collective, Theatreworks Live, and the Upper Chesapeake Chorus of Sweet Adelines International, will automatically receive the same grant amount in fiscal year 2021.

Applications are still being accepted for CAD grants to support general operating for Harford County-based nonprofit arts organizations that are not current FY20 grantees. The deadline for these applications has been extended to June 1, 2020. Funding decisions will be announced by July 1, 2020.

Applications are also still being accepted for CAD grants to support arts programming presented in Harford County by Maryland-based nonprofit, religious, and government entities. The deadline for these applications has been extended to September 15, 2020. Funding decisions will be announced by November 15, 2020.

Harford County COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund for Harford County Artists

To support the Harford County artists whose livelihoods have been negatively affected by COVID-19, an Emergency Grant Fund has been established. Grants, up to $1000 per person, will be available to those who demonstrate a financial need and loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis. Applications will open Friday, April 17, 2020. For best consideration, please apply by 11:59 PM Wednesday, April 29, 2020.  Applications submitted after the deadline will be reviewed and distributed on a rolling basis, while funds remain.  For more information, and to apply, go to www.CulturalArtsBoard.org