Bello: JumpstARTS will provide $2M for local arts organizations crippled by pandemic

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced a new program to provide funding for local arts organizations hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Blackfriars Theatre on East Main Street in Rochester, the county executive announced grants made available through the Cares Act Funding.

“Jumpstarts will allocated up to $2 million of Monroe County’s Cares Act Funds to help mitigate the cost and supplement revenue loss associated with the pandemic for Monroe County for arts, cultural and entertainment institutions.”

“We have been the one industry that has been down completely for 14 months, but in that time we’ve still had to pay rent, pay utilities, furlough staff. we’ve had to let go of our artists, our students, our connection to the community has taken a huge hit,” Danny Hoskins is the artistic and managing director at Blackfriars Theatre said.

The JumpstARTS program will offer three levels of grants:

  • Organizations with a 2019 Operating Budget Below $50,000 can receive a maximum grant amount of $5,000
  • Organizations with a 2019 Operating Budget Between $50,000 and $99,999 can receive a maximum grant amount of $10,000
  • Organizations with a 2019 Operating Budget Between $100,000 and $2,000,000 can receive a maximum grant amount of $20,000
  • Organization with a 2019 Operating Budget over $2,000,000 are not eligible for this funding

“Theaters rely heavily on their earned income stream, like ticket sales. a bulk of their revenue has been halted since march of last year, we must support them in their time of need,” County Executive said.

“We wanted to create a program that will help the small and mid level cultural organizations hit the hardest by the pandemic, ones that weren’t eligible for previous grant programs.”

Bello said applications are now open and the county will provide a video tutorial for how to apply for the funds.

“For a community of our size, I’m not sure everyone in our community appreciates how vibrant the arts community is in Rochester,” Congressman Joe Morelle said. “As we continue to recover from COVID-19 we need to continue to uplift and support the artistic and cultural institutions in Rochester.”

“Not only do these groups do performances but they offer educational opportunities, community opportunities, family opportunities. The arts is a communal experience, and we haven’t been able to connect with our community for 14 months. We’re also one of the industries that hasn’t had a chance to try and start. Others have taken the baby steps, but we haven’t, and this funding will help us with these crucial next steps and get back in a positive way and we are grateful,” Hoskins added.

Eligible arts and cultural organizations must be located in Monroe County, be either non-profit organizations or limited liability companies, and they cannot have already received grants through Fast Forward Monroe. A full list of frequently asked questions and eligibility criteria is available here.

Funds received may be used only to cover expenses incurred between March 20, 2020, and June 18, 2021 because of COVID-19. These expenses are to be detailed through an itemized list of lost revenues and costs of operating through the pandemic. Applications for the JumpstARTS grant program are available here. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on June 18.

Full press conference:

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