At their June 15, 2021, meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners approved $100,000 to support Restart the Arts grants for the local arts community. Funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the request was included in a larger proposal submitted by the Orange County Arts Commission to utilize ARPA funding to kick-start the local economy through the arts and provide accessible arts opportunities for residents.
While many APRA funding decisions will be made later this year, Renee Price, chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, advocated for inclusion of the program to provide immediate assistance as arts organizations face reopening after fifteen months of closure. As one of the most hard-hit industries of the COVID-19 pandemic, the funding will help restore the local arts sector to it’s prepandemic impact, employing approximately 4,000 creative industry workers and contributing $131M to the local economy each year*.
“Arts organizations are once again pivoting, preparing to welcome back audiences after more than a year of bare-bones staff, depleted revenue, and new operating protocols that didn’t exist before the pandemic. This funding will help our organizations put artists back to work and provide arts experiences our community has desperately missed,” states arts commission director Katie Murray.
The arts commission will establish guidelines for organizations interested in applying for funding at their July 12 board meeting and will announce the application period later this month.
*Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity Survey 5, 2016