ArtsKC wants to make you aware of some critical policy updates that impact the arts and culture sector and where you can be of assistance.

NEA & NEH Funding
Following the Biden administration's budget proposal, the House voted to provide $201 mil. to NEA for FY 2022 — a $33.5 mil. increase above FY 2021 levels. The House also provided $201 mil. to NEH, matching funding levels with NEA.

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
The Promoting Local Arts and Creative Economy (PLACE) Act is being prepared by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) for reintroduction in both the House and Senate. The House voted to provide $282 mil. to IMLS — a $25 mil. increase above FY 2021 levels and $17 mil. above the President’s budget request.

ARP Funding
According to HUD data, states, cities, and counties across America will receive a total of more than $300 billion allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act. In total, Missouri will receive $2.816 billion, and Kansas will receive $1.856 in direct funding. Cities and counties with a population of more than 50,000 residents will receive direct funding, this includes $136 million for Jackson County, MO, and $116 million for Johnson County, KS as examples. For a full list of funding allocations, review this sheet from HUD.

ArtsKC will be working with local municipal leaders and statewide leaders to determine how we can leverage this funding for the arts and culture sector that was so badly wounded by the pandemic, particularly with dedication that these funds are meant for rescuing our regional economies.

SVOG Funding
The opportunity to apply for an initial SVOG award will close on August 20, 2021. If your organization is considering applying for an award, please visit the SBA SVOG FAQ's page for eligibility and application requirements. If your organization has been preparing an application and has not yet submitted, please note this deadline for completion. The SBA will continue to process initial grant applications received by August 20, as the agency begins to open the appeal, reconsideration, and supplemental processes. It's worth noting that the SBA has only received requests for $12 billion of their $16 billion budget.

For additional information from our friends at the Performing Arts Alliance, read more here.

We finally have an infrastructure bill! The bill (HR 3684) passed 69-30, a margin that demonstrated its popularity in the evenly divided chamber. All 50 Democrats voted for final passage, as did 19 Republicans. 

Among other provisions, the bill
  • extends FY2021 enacted levels through FY2022 for federal-aid highway, transit, and safety programs;
  • reauthorizes for FY2023-FY2026 several surface transportation programs, including the federal-aid highway program, transit programs, highway safety, motor carrier safety, and rail programs;
  • addresses climate change, including strategies to reduce the climate change impacts of the surface transportation system and a vulnerability assessment to identify opportunities to enhance the resilience of the surface transportation system and ensure the efficient use of federal resources;
  • revises Buy America procurement requirements for highways, mass transit, and rail;
  • establishes a rebuild rural bridges program to improve the safety and state of good repair of bridges in rural communities;
  • implements new safety requirements across all transportation modes; and
  • directs DOT to establish a pilot program to demonstrate a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee to restore and maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and achieve and maintain a state of good repair in the surface transportation system.

One critical piece missing from the INVEST Act is inclusion of the provisions from the STAR (Saving Transit Arts Resources) Act that would allow authorities to include arts in transit operations once again. ArtsKC, along with Americans for the Arts, is working with our Congressional delegation to try and get this key provision reinstated in the final legislation during conference discussions. We will keep you informed once we have a definitive answer.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has vowed not to put the bipartisan infrastructure package on the floor until she can also schedule the reconciliation package, with Biden’s other priorities, before the House as well.

The EDA (Economic Development Agency) received $3 billion from the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan to invest in distressed and underserved communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The funding will be administered through six programs that support infrastructure, innovation, and workforce training:
  • Build Back Better Regional Challenge ($1 bil.)
  • Good Jobs Challenge ($500 mil.)
  • Economic Adjustment Assistance Challenge ($500 mil.)
  • Indigenous Communities Challenge ($100 mil.)
  • Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Grants ($750 mil.)
  • Statewide Planning, Research and Networks Grants ($90 mil.)

Member Directed Spending - Congressional Earmarks
For the first time in ten years, Congress has reinstated member-directed spending, commonly known as congressional earmarks, allowing members to direct about $15 billion toward projects in their home districts, including arts and culture initiatives. ArtsKC will be working with our Congressional members to determine where these earmarks may be utilized for the benefit of our region's arts and culture community.
Help Impact Your Arts Community Right Now!
ArtsKC has three easy ways that you can directly impact your local arts community right now. Click the links below to learn more!

  • Share Your Arts Story - We all have unique arts experiences or memories that have impacted us in some capacity. And sharing your story can help influence how the arts and culture sector is supported in Jackson County.
  • Jackson County Cultural Assets - Add your favorite event, artist, organization or space to our growing catalog of arts and culture assets. No listing is too small! This will help us in our partnership with the county and developing a strategic plan for how the arts are supported by the county.
  • Who Needs Art Campaign - is a year-long campaign ArtsKC created with a mission to help our community discover the impact the arts have on our social, personal, and economic lives. We aim to humanize the arts and remind our community that the arts are essential. Join the movement by sharing your story via a video testimonial and social media participation!

Thanks for reading this lengthy and detailed email. Please feel free to follow up with any questions.
Stay well,​​
Branden D. S. Haralson