May 22, 2020
Although the future for many of the city's local arts groups appears uncertain, the COVID-19 Arts Aid PHL Fund may provide some financial relief through grants for organizations in Philadelphia's arts and culture sector.
Mayor Jim Kenney proposed massive spending cuts in the recently unveiled 2021 budget plan for Philadelphia in order to remedy a $649 million-dollar city deficit caused by coronavirus.
Kenney's proposal eliminates the city’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. It's a $4 million cut in funding for hundreds of local cultural groups. The budget will also reduce the city’s funding toward the Mural Arts Program and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The COVID-19 Arts Aid PHL may be able to ease the burden weighing on some of these organizations. A total of $4.3 million has been raised for the emergency relief program. Funding is specifically designated for groups "whose operations have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic," a release from the fund states.
More than 26 groups and 300 individuals donated since the fund launched on April 20. Now, the program's application is open for groups to apply to receive funding.
Grants of $5,000 to $45,000 will be awarded to applicants in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Midsize organizations seeking to apply should have an annual budget between $250,000 to $15 million.
The deadline to apply for funding is Friday, June 5, at 5 p.m. Submit an application, donate or learn more about other fundraising opportunities for arts organizations in Philadelphia through the COVID-19 Arts Aid PHL website.
There also was a prior application portal for small organizations and individuals with budgets up to $250,000 which is now closed.