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The Madison Arts Commission is pleased to announce Madison has been selected to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic.

The Madison Arts Commission is receiving $500,000 from the NEA and will use this funding to distribute grants in our community to eligible recipients through a special grant program called “Artists at Work,” designed to encourage non-profit arts organizations to generate and reinstate creative industry jobs.

In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $20,200,000 to 66 local arts agencies nationwide for subgranting.“The NEA’s significant investment in local arts agencies, including the Madison Arts Commission is a key element in helping the arts and culture sector recover and reopen, while ensuring that American Rescue Plan funding is distributed equitably,” said Ann Eilers, NEA’s acting chair. “These grants recognize the vital role of local arts agencies and will allow them to help rebuild local economies and contribute to the well-being of our communities.”

"The arts were particularly hard hit by the pandemic, so I am deeply appreciative that Madison was selected to receive ARP funding from the NEA,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, “These funds will support the creation and recovery of jobs for creative workers through the Madison Arts Commission’s Artist at Work grants. The revitalization and recovery of the creative economy is critical for Madison’s long term success.”

"The Wisconsin Arts Board is proud that the City of Madison proactively sought and has received this support for the recovery of its creative economy at this critical moment." said George Tzougros is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Anna January, the Chair of the Madison Arts Commission added, “For full economic recovery, we need to acknowledge the importance of the creative sector and support those workers. This is why MAC sought funding to regrant to our non-profit arts partners as they reinstate and generate employment and training for the artists impacted by both the pandemic and structural inequalities.” 

The Madison Arts Commission intends to post guidelines and applications for the Artists at Work grants in February when they release the guidelines and application for their Annual Arts Grants. The applications will be due March 15. Commissioners will review applications in April and make their funding recommendations to the Common Council in May. Selected non-profit arts organizations may be able to begin utilizing the funding as early as June of 2022.

This is the second of three installments of the NEA’s American Rescue Plan funding. Last April, the NEA announced that 40 percent of its $135 million in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The third installment of APR funding to arts organizations to support their own operations will be announced in early 2022.For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of local arts agencies funded in this announcement, visit