National Endowment for the Arts says American Rescue Plan funding will support 234,000 jobs

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WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The National Endowment for the Arts will receive $135 million from the federal government to support organizations and jobs in the arts sector, which have faced some of the highest rates of unemployment since the pandemic began.

The national unemployment rate between April and June of 2020 was about 6%, but the Arts Endowment reports the rate for dancers and choreographers was over 77%. Actors and musicians faced unemployment rates of 47.6% and 21.5%, respectively.

The funding is thanks to the American Rescue Plan. 40% of the funding will go to “regional arts organizations and states arts agencies to be distributed through their funding programs.” 

Assistant Director of Public Affairs Victoria Hutter says that’s business-as-usual for any grant the Arts Endowment receives. 

The NEA Office of Research and Analysis estimates the funding will support about 234,000 jobs. In 2020, the Arts Endowment received $75 million of CARES Act funding, which was allocated in less than four months. 

“The arts are still in a very dire state, not being able to receive income or donations have dropped,” Hutter said. “So the need is still very, very much there.” 

The Arts Endowment says funding will be awarded through an application process, which should be open by late April.

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