Rescue Funds

On March 28th, Cuyahoga County Executive, Armond Budish announced that $3.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds have been dedicated to arts and culture .

Assembly for the Arts and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture are partnering to distribute these dollars directly to you through special relief funding programs for nonprofit organizations, individual artists and creative businesses. You can still Tweet, email and thank your County reps for their support and consideration.

Assembly will distribute $1.65 million of these funds to Artists and Creative For-Profit Businesses. Nonprofit Organizations can visit CAC’s website for more information on their ARPA funding program.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Cuyahoga ARPA for Arts, Artist and Business Programs

When do ARPA applications open?

Applications will open mid-August of 2022. Please visit back here regularly for updates and to submit an online application when available. Paper applications will also be available to download, at select locations and events and by request. Subscribe to newsletters (select public funding or opportunities as an interest) and follow us on social media for program and event announcements.

I’m an artist, am I eligible for these funds?

If you are a professionally creative artist, 18 years of age or older, living in Cuyahoga County, and have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for these ARPA funds. Other restrictions apply. Official eligibility guidelines will be available soon on the Assembly website.

I run a creative business, am I eligible for these funds?

If you operate a small for-profit creative arts business headquartered in Cuyahoga County, and your business has lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for these ARPA funds. Other restrictions apply. Official eligibility guidelines will be available soon on the Assembly website.

How much money could I receive as an artist or business through this program?

Maximum funding amount – $2,500 per artist.
Based on your business’ budget size and lost expenses:
Annual revenue of $1,000,000 or more:               up to $45,000
Annual revenue of $500,000 to $999,999:           up to $25,000
Annual revenue of $100,000 to $499,999:           up to $10,000
Annual revenue less than $100,000:                    up to$5,000

Is this a grant program?

Cuyahoga ARPA for Arts is not a project grant, fellowship or artistic merit award. ARPA funding is federal relief funding provided to individuals, business and neighborhoods who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding distribution will not be based on artistic or programmatic quality or excellence.

Is the money distributed on a first-come-first-served basis?

No. All artist and business applications will be reviewed after the submission deadline. Submitting early does not increase your likelihood of receiving ARPA funds. Cuyahoga ARPA for Arts is need-based funding and will likely be allocated to artists and businesses in early fall, 2022.

If I have already received federal CARES relief funding in 2020 from any federal program, can I still request Cuyahoga ARPA for Arts funds?

Yes. Having already received CARES funding in 2020 does not disqualify you from requesting these funds. However, Cuyahoga ARPA funds may not be used for expenses that have been previously covered by the federal government via prior CARES Act funding or other federal programs.

Is this a loan? Do I have to pay this money back?

No. Cuyahoga ARPA for Arts is relief funding and not a loan program; you do not have to pay the money back.

Will there be help for me to complete the application and ask questions?

Yes. The Assembly team is taking extra steps to ensure the arts community is supported and reached through this process. Workshops will take place both online and in person in varying neighborhoods and dates, we will have “office hours” for program questions and we have contracted with a Community Outreach Consultant to help make sure we’re reaching the most people possible. Applications will be open for an extended period and we are avoiding a “first come first served” model in order to allow time for those less connected to learn about and apply for these relief funds.

Can I ask Assembly a question about this program now?

Yes! Email with questions during the program process. Please note: we are happy to take your questions about the ARPA for Arts program, but Assembly staff will not have additional details on application content or eligibility guidelines until they are finalized and released publicly. We greatly appreciate your patience and support as we work to build an accessible, equitable federal funding program.