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  • Writer's picture815CRT

815 Community Response Team—Arts COVID-Response Fund

Purpose of 815CRT-ART

The purpose of the 815CRT-ART COVID-Response Fund is to provide immediate operational relief to arts and culture organizations to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a competitive grant application process and resources are limited. 815CRT-ART has over $70,000 available for awards, with a goal to provide substantive funding to each recipient; the maximum award per organization is $10,000.

The 815 Community Response Team (815CRT) was convened by the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence (NICNE) in March 2020 to help ensure nonprofits in northern Illinois (Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties) and the people they serve are supported during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 815CRT is made up of public and private funders and other partners, working with the nonprofit sector to identify needs and to make funds available for both immediate emergency needs as well as needs that will emerge in the near and not-so-near future.

Current Coalition partners include: Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, Kjellstrom Family Foundation, Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Transform Rockford, United Way of Rock River Valley; the Rockford Area Arts Council is collaborating with 815CRT for this opportunity.

Applicant considerations for 815CRT-ART funding:

  • Describe how the pandemic has impacted your organization’s ability to effectively operate, e.g.:

    • Shuttered venues

    • Elimination of ticketed events or performances

    • Staff reductions

    • Deferrals of repairs and/or maintenance initiatives

  • Discuss strategies employed by your organization to maintain or even build capacity during this time, particularly as it relates to supporting other artists and the arts community as a whole. In addition to providing immediate operational relief, 815CRT-ART funds can be used to leverage other outside funding, create or sustain better systems or processes, build partnerships or efficiencies, and/or enhance knowledge for improved operations.

    • If two or more organizations wish to submit a collaborative proposal, fund requests could average $10,000 per partner organization.

Grant Deadlines

a. The deadline for the 815CRT-ART grant funding is April 9, 2021.

b. Allocations will be released on May 7, 2021.

c. Final Report due December 1, 2021.

Application Submittal

For eligibility information and complete application packet, visit or email the Rockford Area Arts Council:

Rockford Area Arts Council Mission and Purpose Statement:

The Rockford Area Arts Council exists to support, promote, and develop access to the arts for everyone. We are the collective voice of individual artists and regional arts organizations. We believe in the transformative power of the arts and its ability to set the tone for a city’s creative and cultural infrastructure.


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