New York Foundations Create $75 M. Fund to Support Arts Nonprofits and Social Services Impacted by Coronavirus

Amid the increasing closures brought on by the coronavirus, a consortium of 18 foundations has created a $75 million fund to support small and midsize nonprofit arts and cultural organizations as well as others offering social services.

The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, which will be administered by the New York Community Trust, allows organizations to apply for grants and zero-interest loans to “to help them respond to emerging needs, cover losses associated with the disruption of their operations, and help them continue their critical work,” according to a release announcing the fund.

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To qualify, organizations must be New York City–based 501(c)(3) organizations that have previously received funding from the city or the state, with an annual operating budget of less than $20 million and a “track record of robust programming and services for New York residents.”

The fund aims to support technology for remote working in addition to hiring temporary staff to cover employment shortages, purchasing equipment for cleaning and sanitation, and covering lost revenue from canceled programming. The fund will prioritize direct service providers in the social services sector and arts and culture organizations that “work from and are attentive to their communities.”

The 18 philanthropic organizations contributing to the fund are Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, Joan Ganz Cooney & Holly Peterson Fund, The JPB Foundation, The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros, Jon Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović, Charles H. Revson Foundation, Robin Hood, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, UJA-Federation of New York, and Wells Fargo Foundation.

“We at the Mellon Foundation recognize the arts and humanities’ unique power to cultivate hope in the midst of challenges and uncertainty,” Mellon Foundation president Elizabeth Alexander said in a statement. “As artists and cultural institutions adjust to new fiscal realities, we call on funders, businesses, and individuals to join us in supporting the arts and the strength, inspiration, and perspective they bring—in New York City and around the world.”

Nonprofit organizations can apply to receive money from the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund here. Earlier on Friday, the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) also circulated an open letter urging New York city and state officials to create a financial-relief program and other policies to aid commercial art galleries that might not be able to prove that they had a 25 percent decrease in revenue.


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