Assistance for individual artists adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis

The Arts Council has established the Howard County Artist Relief Fund to assist individual artists whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

HoCo RISE COVID-19 Emergency Grants for Individual Artists

County Executive Calvin Ball has made available 50 Individual Artist grants at $1,000 each to Howard County-based artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through a new partnership with the Howard County Arts Council. The HoCo RISE COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund is supported through CARES Act funding. The application for these grants opens September 11, 2020.

Please download and review the HoCo RISE COVID-19 Individual Artist Relief Fund Grant Guidelines below before applying.

HoCo RISE COVID-19 Individual Artist Relief Fund Grant Guidelines

NOTE: Only complete applications submitted online will be reviewed. Incomplete or hard copy applications will NOT be reviewed.

Please note that if you do not already have one, you will need to create a free account on hcac.gosmart.org in order to apply

HoCo RISE COVID-19 Emergency Grants for Organizations

In September, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced the availability of emergency grant funds to be distributed by the Arts Council through the new HoCo RISE COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant for Organizations.  Current FY21 or previous FY20 HCAC Community Arts Development grant recipients that are independent 501 (c) 3 arts organizations are eligible to apply. Click here for more information on the HoCo RISE COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant for Organizations.  This program is supported through CARES Act funding received from Howard County and the Maryland State Arts Council.

HoCo RISE COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant for Organizations Guidelines

The Howard County arts community is one of the most creative, prolific and diverse throughout our region and nation. We have a deep history and culture of supporting the arts in our community. While COVID-19 has disrupted so many facets of our daily lives – it has hit our arts and creative community especially hard. A season of empty seats, hollow halls, and quiet studios has caused lasting economic damage. We want these grants to provide a bridge of support, to get this community through this moment, and come back stronger than before.” 

– Calvin Ball, Howard County Executive

Howard County Government logo
MSAC logo
Howard Bank logo
Sabina Taj &
Kyle Reis
Art in Ellicott City logo
COPT logo
DLA Piper logo
The Isadore & Bertha Gudelsky Family Foundation
Howard County General Hospital logo
Howard Hughes Corporation logo
Elizabeth &
Ken Lundeen
M&T Bank logp
PNC Foundation Logo
Steve Teller

Application Guidelines

Eligibility

Previous recipients of 2018 Re-Create relief funds are not eligible to apply. In addition, artist-owned businesses operated by a previous 2018 grant award recipient are not eligible.

For the DECEMBER 13, 2018 deadline eligibility and guidelines have been expanded to provide mini grants of up to $1000 to strengthen and rebuild the arts eco-system by supporting for-profit galleries and other arts-focused businesses that are needed to support the work of artists and to re-establish the once-vibrant arts district in historic Ellicott City.

Two grant applications are available:

Artists and Non-profit Arts or Cultural organizations: Professional artists or 501 c 3 s non-profit arts or cultural organizations are eligible to apply in this category.

Mini Grants: For-profit galleries and other arts-focused businesses that contribute to the artistic life of historic Ellicott City are eligible to apply for up to $1000.

All applicants must provide evidence of a loss suffered as a result of the flash flood on May 27, 2018. Required supporting materials are described in the application itself. Relief funds are intended to assist eligible applicants with losses not covered by other sources.

Arts Council Board of Directors and staff are not eligible to apply.

Definitions

For the purpose of this grant:

A professional artist is defined as anyone over 18 years of age who can demonstrate one or more of the following, a record of:

  • training in one or more arts disciplines
  • commitment to the pursuit of artistic work in one or more arts disciplines
  • public exhibition or performance of works of art
  • income generated from arts-related work
  • artwork acquired or commissioned by private or public entities
  • private or public arts grant awards or other professional recognition
  • working, at the time of the flood, in one or more arts disciplines (visual, literary, dance, music, theater, fine arts and crafts)
  • operates an artist studio or maker space in historic Ellicott City

Further, the artist must be a US citizen and live or work in Ellicott City, or had artwork on loan or consignment at a gallery located in Ellicott City, at the time of the disaster.

A non-profit arts or cultural organization is defined as an organization:

  • designated by the IRS as a 501 c 3 tax-exempt non-profit that has the presentation, production, or preservation of arts and culture as its primary mission, purpose, or function.
  • governed by an independent, legally liable Board of Directors acting under a mission statement, by-laws, and operating budget specific to the organization
  • that conducts business for the benefit of the general public without shareholders and without a profit motive
  • that produces, creates or presents arts and cultural programs that are open to the public

Further, the organization must be located in Ellicott City (or was so at the time of the flood).

A gallery is defined as a business, non-profit or for-profit, that:

  • has the formal exhibition of visual art as a primary mission, purpose or function of the space
  • exhibits original, artist-made artwork or limited signed, numbered edition works (not reproductions or mass-produced objects)
  • hosts changing, advertised exhibits, at least two per year, featuring multiple artists age 18 or older
  • is open to the public for advertised regular gallery hours (not by “appointment only”)
  • hosts receptions and other gallery events, such as artist talks and demonstrations, that are open to the public

Further, the gallery must plan to re-open in Ellicott City. (Awarded grants will not be released until gallery is re-opened.)

An arts-focused business is defined as a non-profit or for-profit business that:

  • has the sale, production, or display of the arts or provides arts-related services, such as framing or classes, as its primary mission, purpose, or function
  • sells, produces, or displays original artist-made artwork or limited signed, numbered editions (not reproductions or mass-produced objects)
  • is open to the public for advertised regular business hours (not by “appointment only”)

Further, the business must plan to re-open in Ellicott City. (Awarded grants will not be released until business is re-opened.)

Allowable Losses

Re-Create funds may be used for:

  • Losses directly attributable to the time period of the flood and not covered by other sources
  • Cleanup costs
  • Artwork damaged or lost (Note: artwork must be made by the artist submitting the application )
  • Equipment repair or replacement

Non-Allowable Losses

Re-Create funds may NOT be used for:

  • Losses covered by other sources (e.g. FEMA, insurance coverage, EC Partnership and EC Strong funds, etc)
  • Food, beverages
  • Non-flood-related clean up
  • Expenses, existing loans or debt service incurred prior to May 27, 2018 (non-flood-related)
  • Antiques, decorative or personal objects or non-arts related items
  • Loss of business income or salaries due to closure (except as noted for mini grants)
  • Health related expenses
  • Retail value/commercial gallery’s commission on lost or damaged artwork

This list is not exhaustive, if you have a question about allowable/non-allowable losses, please contact HCAC staff.

Funding Priorities for December 13, 2018 Deadline:

Priority 1: Artists living or working in Ellicott City or Howard County, MD and non-profit 501 c 3 arts and cultural organizations located in the flood-zone in Ellicott City at the time of the disaster
will receive priority consideration during the evaluation process.

Priority 2:  Artists who do not live or work in Ellicott City or Howard County, MD yet suffered losses of artwork on loan or consignment at an Ellicott City gallery.

Priority 3: For-profit galleries and arts-focused businesses located in the flood-zone in Ellicott City at the time of the disaster.

Evaluation Criteria

Losses are well documented, clear and appropriate

Potential of funding to have an impact on applicant’s recovery

Potential of funding to contribute to the artistic life of Historic Ellicott City

Clarity and completeness of application

Applicants must complete and submit a signed and dated application form along with the required supporting materials by DECEMBER 13, 2018; hand-delivered or emailed applications MUST be received NO LATER than 4 PM. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered for review.

After applications are received, they will be reviewed by Arts Council staff for eligibility and completeness. The Arts Council’s Committee on Grants will evaluate eligible applications and make funding recommendations to the Arts Council’s Board of Directors. Applicants will be notified by mail or email as to the status of their request after a final vote by the Arts Council’s Board of Directors. All decisions of the Arts Council Board of Directors are final. If approved for funding, the applicant must submit a signed Letter of Agreement and may be asked to verify information or provide additional supporting materials at any time during the review process and before the grant funds are released.

A brief letter describing the use of Re-create funds must be filed with the HCAC within 30 days.

Howard County Arts Council Committee on Grants

Mary Kay Kenney, Chair
Sandra French
Ellen Flynn Giles
Jordana Guzman
Ian Kennedy
Larry Siegel

Upon Approval of Grant Funding:

If approved for funding, the applicant must submit a signed Letter of Agreement and may be asked to verify information or provide additional supporting materials before the grant funds are released.

A brief letter describing the use of Re-Create funds must be filed with the HCAC within 30 days.

Changes

Grant recipients must notify the HCAC in writing if a significant change is made in the use of approved funds. HCAC reserves the right, at the discretion of the Committee on Grants and the Board of Directors, to alter the amount or disbursement dates of a grant award if a significant change is made once a grant has been awarded. Unused grant funds must be returned to HCAC.

Fraud and Misrepresentation

If awarded, grant funds shall be used only for purposes outlined in organization’s grant application on file with HCAC. Applicant certifies that all of the information and representations contained in the application are and remain true and complete in all material respects. Should it come to the attention of HCAC that any materials submitted by the applicant are fraudulent or misrepresentative in any manner, any agreement based on the application is null and void and the applicant acknowledges that any remaining grant funds not yet disbursed are forfeited and that the applicant is responsible for reimbursing HCAC for funds already disbursed.

Appeals Process

The Howard County Arts Council takes care during the entire grants review process to be as thorough as possible to ensure fair and equitable distribution of grants monies. Therefore, simple dissatisfaction with the denial of an award or with the amount of the award is not sufficient reason for appeal. Reconsideration of a grant award will take place only if there has been a procedural impropriety or error. This means one of the following:

  • A decision based on review criteria other than those stated in the guidelines.
  • A decision based on a recommendation of a panelist with undisclosed conflict of interest.
  • A decision based on material provided to panelists and/or HCAC Board members that was substantially incorrect, inaccurate, or incomplete despite the applicant having provided the staff with correct, accurate, and complete application information by the application due date.

Dissatisfaction with the denial of an award or with the amount of the award is not sufficient reason for appeal.

Given this information, should an applicant feel there is legitimate reason for appeal, the applicant must write a letter to the HCAC Executive Director stating the grounds for appeal within fifteen (15) days of the postmark date of the notification.  The Committee on Grants will review the appeal and make a recommendation.  Based on that recommendation, the Board of Directors will make a final decision.  The applicant will receive written notification on the determination of the appeal within 45 days of the receipt of the letter of appeal.

Disclosure    

As a private 501(c) 3 that receives public funds, HCAC is committed to provide equal opportunity in all facets of its operation without regard to race, sex, age, color, religion, or national origin. HCAC also affirms its policy of equal opportunity for individuals with physical or developmental handicaps. HCAC complies with Title VI, Section 601, of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IV, Section 1681, of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Section 6101; and with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

BANNER IMAGE: Artist Bruno Baran takes part in Paint It! Ellicott City (photo courtesy of Raymond Urena)
Howard County Government logo
MSAC logo
Howard Bank logo
Sabina Taj &
Kyle Reis
Art in Ellicott City logo
COPT logo
DLA Piper logo
The Isadore & Bertha Gudelsky Family Foundation
Howard County General Hospital logo
Howard Hughes Corporation logo
Elizabeth &
Ken Lundeen
M&T Bank logp
PNC Foundation Logo
Steve Teller