Several arts-based groups have faced financial challenges navigating a full year of the pandemic. Starting this month, Erie County arts and cultural organizations can apply for grant funds for the 2022 calendar year.
Mariely Ortiz, a senior planner with the County's Department of Environmental Planning, said the process this year is the same as it was in the past, but with more questions about the pandemic.
“For example, just a summary of how they were impacted," Ortiz said. "Questions about how they were able to pivot or maximize their staff and board, depending what they have to change, how they provided their services and programs and how they did all that. And whether they had to postpone any programs.”
The biggest change to this year's application is it is all online.
Online briefings for the 2022 Arts and Cultural Funding Program will be held Tuesday through Thursday at 6 p.m. to walk applicants through the process.
Each day's briefing will differ depending on how much funding applicants are asking for.
Level 1 applications may request up to $50,000. Level 2 applications may request between $50,000 and $150,000 and Level 3 applications are for requests over $150,000.
Groups must be a 501c3 organization in order to apply.
“As a 501c3 organization, they have to have at least one year as a 501c3 and a submitted 990 form to the IRS," Ortiz said. "So because that's part of the review process, they have to have one of those that they can provide us a copy of (that). They have to provide services primarily in Erie County, be based in Erie County.”
Ortiz added those who apply also need to be a cultural orginization.
"And we have three main definitions on our website under eligibility. Generally, it's an organization whose primary mission is culture and arts. And that's in a very traditional sense,” she said.
You can find more details about the grant process here.