Artists, concert venues, and non-profit arts organizations have lost revenue as many performances, classes, and commissions have been put on hold due to the pandemic. In response, Howard County has organized HoCo RISE Live Theatre and Artist Relief Funds to support local establishments like Merriweather Post Pavilion, as well as non-profits and individual artists. The program will utilize federal CARES Act funding to make the grants possible.
“The Howard County arts community is one of the most creative, prolific and diverse throughout our region and nation. We have a deep history and culture of supporting the arts in our community,” said Ball. “While COVID-19 has disrupted so many facets of our daily lives – it has hit our arts and creative community especially hard. A season of empty seats, hollow halls, and quiet studios has caused lasting economic damage. We want these grants to provide a bridge of support, to get this community through this moment, and come back stronger than before.”
From the press release:
The Live Theatre Fund will help stabilize and support the Howard County arts community that have lost income from performances, workshops, classes, touring, and more. Venues that pay admissions and amusement tax and are not open to the public have severely impacted. This fund includes more than $530,000 for Merriweather Post Pavilion, $75,000 for Toby’s Dinner Theatre, and $36,000 for the Drama Learning Center and Red Branch Theatre.
Additionally, Ball allocated $100,000 to the Artist Relief Fund, to support individual artists and non-profit arts organizations that have been adversely affected by the pandemic. $50,000 of the fund will be distributed to individual artists, up to $1,000 per person. Many artists who rely partially or fully on income from gigs, contracts, and freelance lost work during the initial shut-down and from the continued mitigation measures in place. The other $50,000 will be used to support non-profit arts organizations that are current recipients of the Arts Council Community Arts Development Grant program. The Howard County Arts Council will administer this grant application and review process.
For more information, view the press release.