Gov. Tom Wolf announced that 309 nonprofit arts organizations will receive grants totaling $2.3 million to help with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds from the CARES Act support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs.
The National Endowment for the Arts distributed $1.8 million to 36 organizations that will each receive a $50,000 grant. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency under the office of the governor, distributed the remaining $527,000 to 273 organizations that will each receive a $1,930 grant.
Local recipients of the latter include Bucks County Community College, James A. Michener Art Museum, Bucks County Symphony Society, Bucks County Historical Society, Community Conservatory of Music, County Theater Inc. and Bristol Riverside Theatre.
“Arts organizations are an important part of their communities and contribute to the economic health of our state,” said Wolf. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for many organizations, including the arts. The National Endowment for the Arts recognized the role of the arts in Pennsylvania and the need to help artists and the organizations that support them to inspire creativity and vitality in our commonwealth.”
Arts and cultural economic activity, adjusted for inflation, accounted for 4.5 percent of gross domestic product, or $877.8 billion, in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In Pennsylvania, the sector contributed $25.8 billion to the state’s economy and employed 176,000 workers.
“The arts and culture sector has been severely impacted by the pandemic, so we are very pleased that more than 300 arts organizations in Pennsylvania are receiving support through the CARES Act,” said Karl Blischke, PCA executive director. “Pre-pandemic, Pennsylvania’s creative economy was critical to the vitality and livability of our communities and to development of our commonwealth’s talent pipeline. Support for these organizations today helps to ensure that they are positioned to play a key role in the recovery of Pennsylvania’s cities and towns going forward.”