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Idaho – In Spring 2020, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress appropriated CARES Act funding to the National Endowment for the Arts to issue grants in support of the arts across America. A portion of this funding was made available to the nation’s state arts agencies, including the Idaho Commission on the Arts. These funds were distributed as special, one-time grants to Idaho artists and nonprofit arts organizations experiencing arts-related income loss due to the Corona virus pandemic.

Additional support for artist relief, in the amount of $25,000, was made possible by the Gatherings Project, an art and poetry-based project to raise funds for artists negatively affected by the pandemic. Gatherings was initiated by artist Lynda Lowe with the assistance of Gail Severn Gallery, Ketchum, Patricia Rovzar Gallery, Seattle, and individual donors.

Idaho Commission for the Arts Chair Steve Allred noted, “With these grants, the Commission is able to assist artists and arts organizations who have suffered arts income losses resulting from the pandemic. This support is reaching every corner of Idaho, in cities and rural towns. Plus, a generous donation from the Gatherings Project has made this a public-private partnership that expands the agency’s assistance to Idaho artists even further.”

The Idaho Commission on the Arts received CARES Act funds in the amount of $430,700, to be distributed as grants to help 501©(3) not-for-profit arts organizations and artists.

The Idaho Commission on the Arts issued the grants in two rounds:

· In Round One, the Commission issued 69 grants to Idaho’s professional arts organizations whose public programs in the arts the agency supports on an ongoing basis through the Public Programs in the Arts/Entry Track grant program.

· Round Two included grant recommendations to support Idaho 501©(3) arts organizations that were not assisted in Round One, and to support individual artists. 107 individual artists and 19 arts organizations were awarded funding.

Local organizations receiving funding are the National Oregon/California Trail Center and the Bear Lake Arts Council. Both will be receiving $1,080 each.

Governor Brad Little expressed his support for the grants and the Commission’s response, “COVID-19 has deeply impacted our valued arts industry in Idaho. It is important to preserve and protect the contributions that Idaho’s artists make to our state’s culture, economy, and spirit. Thank you to the Idaho Arts Commission for championing this endeavor in providing a lifeline to our artists.”


The Idaho Commission on the Arts is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts in Idaho. The Commission promotes excellence, education in the arts, access to the arts, and community investment in the arts. Its professional staff administers and develops the programs and services of the agency, assists grant applicants, and provides technical assistance.

IDAHO COMMISSION ON THE ARTS PO Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720 // (208) 334-2119 // // #ArtsIdaho

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