Dane County Announces $1 Million Covid Recovery Program for Local Artists, Performers

April 21, 2021
Ariana Vruwink, 608-267-8823
County Executive

Today, County Executive Joe Parisi announced that Dane County will launch a $1 million grant program to assist local artists in recovering from the far-reaching economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will award $2,500 grants to eligible artists and performers and will be administered by “Dane Arts,” formerly known as Dane County Cultural Affairs.

“So many local artists and performers have struggled to make ends meet over the past year,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “We created the Dane Arts Need Grant program as a way to help artists and performers continue their work and promote their art form in new ways during the pandemic. The arts are an integral part of the local economy and in turn will play an impactful role in our comeback and recovery.”

The Dane Arts Need Grant (DANG!) Program was originally created last summer to help financially support artists through the pandemic. After first debuting, the DANG! Program provided over $120,000 in grant assistance to 275 local artists, with each receiving $500 in financial support. Dane Arts will work to administer this latest round of funding, which will provide immediate financial support for working artists to help offset costs and lost revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists may apply to afford products that will help them develop an online presence to promote their art form or present a forum through a live feed of music, theater, dance, performance art, history and/or multidisciplinary work. Artists can also use the funds to support the purchase of supplies and/or further develop their skills.

“Art is a critical part of not only our culture but also our economy,” said Dane County Board Supervisor Yogesh Chawla. “The vibrant artistic community makes Dane County a unique and special place to call home. Dane County is making a bold investment in the many diverse artists and creators to help provide the resources needed to emerge from this pandemic.”

Applicants must be independent working artists with at least two years of activity. Those eligible for the grant program include musicians, dancers, actors/producers, poets/writers, visual artists, performers, and any individual working artist. A maximum of $2,500 can be allocated, depending on the artist’s specified request. Grants will be awarded until funding runs out. Applications will be accepted starting May 1 and will be made available on the Dane Arts website www.danearts.com.

Funds for the new round of grants will come from the county's allocation of the latest federal COVID-19 relief bill. A resolution to put $1 million into the DANG! Program will be introduced to the County Board at Thursday’s meeting. It is expected to be approved in the coming weeks.