Commerce and ArtsFund award nearly $11 million in pandemic relief to Washington nonprofits

Over 700 organizations in 34 counties receive grants to assist recovery from impacts of COVID-19

SEATTLE, WA. – ArtsFund, in partnership with The Washington State Department of Commerce, will begin distributing $10.78 million in recovery grants to 702 nonprofits in 34 counties throughout the state this week. The Nonprofit Community Relief (NCR) grant program announced on May 3, 2021 was designed to provide critical funding to nonprofit arts, cultural, science, and heritage organizations; neighborhood associations; sports and recreation nonprofit groups; and veterans service organizations impacted by the pandemic.

Applicants were invited to request between $2,500 and $25,000. Grants are being awarded to every eligible organization that applied, covering over 91% of the total funds requested. Over 70% of the awardees reported pre-pandemic budgets under $500,000.

See a complete list of grant award recipients HERE.

“At their core, nonprofits are driven by people serving people, and their dedication throughout the pandemic has sustained countless communities by providing their constituents with needed relief and recovery services,” said Michael Greer, ArtsFund President & CEO. “ArtsFund is proud to partner with Commerce in recognizing the important role nonprofits, and in particular arts and culture, play in sustaining thriving and vibrant communities.”

“These funds provide critical financial resources to keep people employed and active in strengthening communities and their local economies,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “As we all reimagine our futures together, the positive economic impact of these community-focused grants will help to keep momentum going into the next stages of recovery.”

Nearly 90% of all recipients expect their post-pandemic earned revenue to be reduced by more than 30%.

Samples listed below reflect the depth and breadth these awards will have on the communities they serve.

  • African American Community, Cultural, and Educational Society (Franklin County) engages the Mid-Columbia Community in improving African-American quality of life and increasing awareness about African-American participation and contributions through cultural and educational activities and outreach programs.
  • Children’s Museum of Walla Walla (Walla Walla County) provides visitors of all ages and cultural backgrounds the opportunity to learn, explorer and imagine through interactive play.
  • Deaf Spotlight (King County) inspires and showcases Deaf Culture and Sign Languages through the arts.
  • Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (King County) integrates Art, Nature, and Neighborhood to build and sustain a dynamic Delridge.
  • Feminist Karate Union (King County) offers low-cost, high quality of karate training to people who are victimized disproportionately, including people who identify as female, children, and those who are discriminated against for reasons of gender identity.
  • Haida Roots (King County) preserves the endangered Haida language, connects community members living in the Seattle area to the Haida culture and language and supports the creative evolution of new indigenous music, art, and books.
  • Hazel Dell Little League (Clark County) teaches the fundamentals of baseball in a fun, skills-based environment that enables players to enjoy the baseball experience, develop physical fitness, self-confidence, discipline, and good sportsmanship so they may carry these qualities into their future life experiences.
  • Mi Centro (Pierce County) cultivates the advancement of the Latino and Indigenous communities by providing social services and educational programming while honoring heritage and culture through the arts.
  • Parasport Spokane (Spokane County) provides training, recreational, and competitive opportunities for youth and adults with physical disabilities.
  • Puget Soundworks (King County) provides an inclusive singing community where all people’s voices are heard; a community that is LGBTQ-friendly and open to all genders — especially transgender and non-binary singers; a community where we come together to make beautiful music and lift up marginalized voices in the pursuit of social justice.
  • Service Peace Warriors (Franklin County) places service animals with veterans coming home with war-related PTSD and other disabilities.
  • Windhaven Therapeutic Riding (Clark County) promotes healing of active duty, reserves and veterans suffering from the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other service-related injuries.
  • 206 Zulu (King County) provides accessible spaces while serving communities through the upliftment, preservation, and celebration of Hip Hop culture.

Grant funds may be used to cover expenses that were incurred between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant recipients cite the top uses for funding, in order of priority, include staff salaries, programming, rent/mortgage, and reopening education and awareness communications.


Share this Post