The Covid-19 Arts Working Group (CAWG), a collaboration of 16 foundations in the Pittsburgh metro area, has developed the Arts I Equity I Reimagined Fund, in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region’s arts and cultural sector. The fund is intended to foster collective action and identify creative solutions to operating challenges the pandemic has intensified. While is open to all arts and cultural organizations, in recognition of long-standing disparities in funding, the program will prioritize small to medium-sized arts organizations and those who serve or are led by historically-marginalized communities in 14 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania, whether they be urban or rural in location.  The Benter Foundation has been among the funders organizing the initiative, and has made grants to both PACE and New Sun Rising.

The program offers two opportunities to help cultural groups re-imagine their operations. Each strand has its own deadlines and criteria. Both programs will run through June of 2021.

1) Capacity Building Assistance – open to any arts organization or sponsored project with budgets of $2.5 million or less. Managed by PACE (Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise), this program is designed to quickly respond to requests to help nonprofits gain the skills or concrete strategies needed to address COVID-19 related challenges. With its long history of increasing the organizational capacity of nonprofits serving the African American and other marginalized communities, PACE is uniquely positioned to assist this effort.

2) Collective Action for Re-Imagining – collaborations, partnerships or networks of any budget size, comprised of three or more 501c3 arts organizations, artist-driven projects, and/or unincorporated arts collectives, are eligible to apply. Managed by New Sun Rising (NSR), this program seeks ideas that employ new, innovative ways of working together to address the dramatic shifts that have been instigated by the COVID-19 crisis. The fund may support opportunities to reposition the sector for a more sustainable and equitable future. New Sun Rising (NSR) designs and implements programs that create economic opportunity, solve social challenges and strengthen community vibrancy. NSR will bring these strengths to its facilitation of this work.

Details about the Arts I Equity I Reimagined Fund, including eligibility requirements, the application process and guiding principles can be found at or by calling (412) 219-6584.

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