Orange County COVID-19 Reopening Arts Grant Programs and Guidelines
On October 13, 2020, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners approved the Orange County COVID-19 Reopening Arts Grant Programs (the “Program”), due to the important function that nonprofit community arts and culture organizations (“Arts Organizations”) serve in Orange County, Florida.
As a state, national, and international tourism epicenter, the County recognizes that Arts Organizations serve as essential economic engines to the Central Florida community by providing economic support to individuals and businesses alike.
The County’s Arts Organizations employ thousands of Orange County residents, many of whom work on a “gig” basis. Many of these “gig” workers have had little or no opportunities for work as performance venues have been closed or working at partial capacity and in-person interactions have been dramatically decreased and discouraged due to the CDC’s COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. As a result, COVID-19 has placed these individuals and their families in financial and emotional distress.
Other examples of the economic support the County’s Arts Organizations provide are:
- Job creation for individuals and businesses directly involved in the production of arts or cultural activities or performances;
- Generation of foot traffic to local restaurants and businesses that have struggled throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; and
- Promotion of local businesses through sponsorship and advertisement opportunities.
Additionally, the County finds that assisting the Arts Organizations is a matter of public health. At the end of September 2020, the State of Florida moved to “Phase 3” of its “Safe. Smart. Step-by Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery.” So-doing permitted certain facilities where the general public gather (including, for example, playhouses and theaters) to reopen with limited social distancing protocols. As a direct result, the County has a public health interest in mitigating the potential of facilities owned and operated by Arts Organizations from becoming the sources of COVID-19 “super-spreader” incidents.
Moreover, the CDC, among many other public health organizations, has found that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a broad increase in stress, anxiety, and other associated mental health concerns among members of the public. Such increase in mental health concerns are related not only to loss, grief, or general fear and anxiety caused by the pandemic, but are also associated with the isolation and loneliness caused by the recommended social distancing guidelines.
Multiple studies have shown that the arts are a powerful tool for mental health treatment. Accordingly, the County finds that Arts Organizations being able to host public performances and activities that are thoughtfully planned with the CDC’s guidance in mind will provide safe opportunities for members of the general public to connect with one another in a manner that could mitigate the impact of mental stressors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as the holiday season arrives.
For the forgoing reasons, the County finds that assisting the Arts Organizations in making their performances and activities available to the public in a manner that is consistent with CDC guidelines for social distancing, sanitation, masking, and crowd-control, is an important part of its response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
In order to accomplish its above-stated objectives, the County has created an “Art in Public Parks” initiative, as well as the following two grant programs for the Arts Organizations:
- Grant Program #1: The Community Arts PPE and Facility COVID-19 Public Health Grant; and
- Grant Program #2: The Community Arts Outdoor Facility COVID-19 Public Health Grant.
The County reserves the right to amend and change the Program’s criteria and requirements as it may deem necessary in order to ensure that both the spirit and intent of the Program are met, or to reallocate any Program funds to other purposes that the County deems to best serve the public’s welfare and interest.
Arts in Public Parks Initiative
Part of this Program includes an investment made by the County to create access to COVID-19 social distancing compliant performance spaces in specific County parks. This initiative was established in order to meet the diverse needs of the County’s arts and culture community – many of which lack their own facilities – and to provide COVID-19 social distancing compliant locations in which residents throughout Orange County, Florida, may gather and enjoy performances and activities hosted by the County’s arts and culture community.
More information regarding this initiative will be forthcoming. Ask Terry Olson about this initiative (now through Dec. 30, 2020); Terry.Olson@ocfl.net.
General Grant Program Applicant Qualification Criteria
Both grant programs shall be administered and managed through United Arts of Central Florida, Inc., and will require that the applicants meet the following four requirements in order to qualify for funding consideration. Applicants are advised to read the information below regarding the specific grant programs for any additional qualification information.
- Be Florida registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations;
- Have a mission that is specific to the promotion of arts or culture in the Central Florida community;
- Be located and provide programming in Orange County, Florida; and
- Be able to demonstrate a direct COVID-19 impact.
Applicants are only permitted to submit one application per grant program.
Applicants are encouraged to contact United Arts of Central Florida, Inc., by email at CARES@UnitedArts.cc or by telephone at 407.628.0333 with any questions regarding the grant programs.
Grant Program #1: Community Arts PPE and Facility COVID-19 Public Health Grant
- Coverage Period: Eligible expenses made between 03/01/2020 and 12/30/2020.
- Application Deadline: 12/15/2020.
- Eligible Expenses
- Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”)
- Additional Qualifications:
- As part of the County’s push to reimburse agencies and businesses for PPE costs as part of its general COVID-19 public health initiative, all Arts Organizations are eligible for reasonable reimbursement for PPE expenses.
- To ensure competitive pricing, applicants for PPE expenses must provide three bids for each eligible procurement of goods that is: (1) made after October 26, 2020; and (2) in excess of $10,000.
- Eligible PPE expenses:
- UV Lighting
- Shoe Covers
- Face Shields
- Hand Sanitizer
- Touchless Hand Sanitizer Dispensers
- Other COVID-19 screening or safety equipment
- Public Health Facility Improvements
- Additional Qualifications:
- For an Arts Organization to qualify for Public Health Facility Improvement expenses, the organization must:
- Have a facility that was open to the public at the time the expenses were or will be made; or demonstrate that it has made, or will make, such expenses in order to open its facility to the public prior to December 30, 2020.
- Either own or have a long-term exclusive lease for the facility in question. If a long-term lease is held, such lease must have been entered into prior to March 1, 2020 and the landlord must approve of any permanent improvements to the facility.
- Have made, or will make, activities and performances available to the public prior to December 30, 2020 by use of such facility.
- Have all facility improvements completed prior to December 30, 2020. Due to restrictions on the federal funding, any improvements that are not completed prior to December 30, 2020 shall not be eligible for funding even if such improvements had been initially approved for funding by the County or United Arts of Central Florida. Applicants applying for such improvements do so at their own risk.
- To ensure competitive pricing, have three bids for each eligible procurement of goods and/or services that is: (1) made after October 26, 2020; and (2) in excess of $10,000.
- Eligible Public Health Facility Improvement Expenses:
- Sneeze guards and plexiglass partitions
- Social distancing and COVID-19 safety signage
- Touchless payment technology
- Upgrades to existing restroom toilets and sinks from manual to touchless technology
- Improvements to the HVAC air ventilation and filtration systems to meet COVID-19 requirements
- The difference between enhanced cleaning and sanitation expenses related to COVID-19 and the facility’s standard cleaning expenses
- Hourly personnel expenses for additional personnel required to meet COVID-19 social distancing requirements (cannot include already budgeted personnel expenses)
Note: Applications requesting funding under Grant Program #1 for both Personal Protective Equipment and Public Health Facility Improvements must do so in the same application.
Grant Program #2: Community Arts Outdoor Facility COVID-19 Public Health Grant
- Coverage Period: Eligible expenses made between 10/13/2020 and 12/30/2020.
- Application Deadline: November 30, 2020.
- Maximum Award: Up to $250,000 per applicant, with final award determined by a review committee to ensure that such award conforms with the intention of the grant program.
- Additional Qualifications:
- The CDC has encouraged the use of outdoor space for performances, as so-doing has proven to be a safer alternative to indoor public gatherings. For an Arts Organization to qualify for this grant, they must:
- Demonstrate that they have a facility that is open to the public that either lacks the space required to meet the CDC’s COVID-19 social distancing guidelines or has space, but use of such space would be economically infeasible to safely make activities and performances available to the public; and
- Make activities and performances available to the public between 10/13/2020 and 12/30/2020.
- The Arts Organization must either own or have a long-term exclusive lease for the facility in question. If a long-term lease is held, such lease must have been entered into prior to March 1, 2020 and the landlord must approve of any permanent improvements to the facility. Qualifying Arts Organizations are permitted to apply if they intend to use outdoor common areas that are adjacent to their facilities, but they must first obtain written consent from the owner of such facility-adjacent outdoor common areas.
- Any outdoor performance and activity spaces for which funding assistance from the County is received must be for primarily for public use and designed to control capacity and ensure social distancing.
- To ensure competitive pricing, have three bids for each eligible procurement of goods and/or services that is in excess of $10,000.
- Eligible and Ineligible Outdoor Facility Expenses
- Eligible Expenses:
- Fencing for crowd control
- Materials necessary to provide social distancing
- Personnel costs for COVID-19 social distancing compliance and enforcement at performances and activities hosted by the Applicant that use the outdoor performance and activity space
- Upgrade costs for portable restrooms for COVID-19 safe airflow and social distancing
- Ineligible Expenses (non-exhaustive):
- Costs to purchase rights to performance materials
- Audio-visual equipment
- Stages or any other associated performance expenses that are not directly COVID-19 related.
- Grants open Monday, Oct 26, 2020, 9 a.m.
- Application deadlines are: Grant #1 – Dec 15, 2020; Grant #2 – Nov 30, 2020 (maximum request $250,000).
- All awarded projects must be complete and receipts (all documentation) submitted by Dec. 26, 2020. Programs end Dec 30, 2020.
- First-come, first-served, until funds are depleted, or Dec. 15, whichever is sooner. All grants are paid on a reimbursement basis only.
If you are new to using the United Arts online grant application system:
– Click on the link to start an account for your organization. Visit this tutorial first for a “How To.”
- Applications are available in many languages using the automatic translator. Sign onto the grant portal, and select your preferred language in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
|| Let us know if you have questions or need assistance:
Trudy Wild, Grants & Research
|Trudy@UnitedArts.cc | o: 321.972.9837,
Juliana Steele, Interim President/VP of Administration & CFO
|Finance@UnitedArts.cc | 407.960.4929