HoCo RISE Covid-19 Artist Relief Fund

HoCo RISE Covid-19 Artist Relief Fund
County Executive Calvin Ball has made available 50 Individual Artists Grants at $1,000 each to Howard County-based artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the Fund
The Howard County Arts Council, a private, non-profit 501 c 3 organization established to enrich and serve our community by fostering the arts, will administer the grant application and review process. The Arts Council was authorized in 1984 by the County to distribute public funds designated for the arts. The relief fund has been established to assist artists whose creative practices and incomes have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
During this crisis, the Arts Council staff is working remotely and is available to assist applicants with any questions about completing this application by emailing grantsandprojects@hocoarts.org. Please understand that there may be a delay in our response due to working remotely.
The purpose of this fund is to assist artists who rely partially or fully on income from gigs, contracts and freelance work lost due to COVID-19.
Examples of losses the Howard County COVID-19 Relief Fund will support include, but are not limited to, financial losses from:
  • Workshops and classes
  • Exhibitions and festivals
  • Performances in all performing arts disciplines at cafes, bars, concert halls, theatres
  • Artist residencies
  • Touring
  • Loss of supplemental income for artists working other full- or part-time jobs that help support their creative practices
HoCo RISE Covid-19 Artist Relief Fund will open for applications on September 11, 2020 for artists who have lost income and can document those losses. The Relief Fund will be open on a rolling basis until available funds are fully distributed.
Each artist is eligible to receive one $1,000 grant award. To apply, artists:
  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Must be able to demonstrate their income has been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
  • Must have lived in Howard County for at least one year by the application submission date.
  • Must provide a copy of adriver’s license and recent utility bill and  to verify identity and county residency.
The Howard County COVID Artist Relief Fund is for individual artists only, not organizations or nonprofits. Arts Council Board of Directors and staff and their immediate family members are not eligible to apply.
Evaluation Criteria
Submitted applications will be measured against the following criteria:
  • Submitted materials confirm artist has been living in Howard County for at least one year
  • Submitted materials document artistic merit and confirm artist has been active as a working artist in Howard County until COVID-19
  • Loss is well documented, and clear.
  • Application is complete, required materials are submitted
Priority will be given to artists whose only source of income is gig/freelance work.
The deadline for theHoward County COVID-19 Relief Fund is rolling and will be reviewed in order of applications received. Our goal is to review applications received by 5pm Monday each week and to submit the names and addresses of eligible applicants by the end of that business week to the County for verification. The County's verification process may take several weeks.
 The application process will be closed once funding for the program is exhausted and will only be reopened should new funding become available.
How To Apply
Use the Apply Now link above to submit an application.
NOTE: Only complete applications submitted on line will be reviewed. Incomplete or hard copy applications will NOT be reviewed. If incomplete applications are resubmitted, they will be reviewed in order of applications received at the time resubmittal.
Required Materials
  • Artist Resume
  • Copy of driver's license, or another form of photo ID, to verify identity and address in Howard County. (Note: name and address must match information on application and W-9 form).
  • Copy of utility bill in applicant’s name dated within the past two months (Note: name and address must match information on application and W-9 form)
  • Link to Artist website or platforms such as YouTube or SoundCloud (check with Arts Council staff for other forms of documentation accepted)
  • Completed W-9 form (Note:  name and address must match information on application form).
Application Review Process
HCAC staff will review applications for eligibility and completeness, recommend award amounts, and forward the names of eligible grant applicants to the County.  
Upon receipt of the list of eligible applicants, the County will verify whether each applicant is in good standing in the County's collections database(s) including water and sewer bills, fines, etc. The County's verification process may take several weeks. The County will provide a list of verified applicants to the Arts Council.

Verified applicants will be notified by mail of grant award approval by the Arts Council. The County will issue the check under separate cover.

Throughout the review and verification process, applicant may be asked to clarify, augment, or verify information submitted and additional information may be required to support the application.
Reporting Requirements
A brief letter describing the use of Howard County COVID-19 Artist Relief Funds must be filed with the Arts Council within 30 days.
Submission of an application constitutes an understanding and agreement of the conditions set forth in these guidelines.
As a private 501(c) 3 that receives public funds, the Arts Council is committed to provide equal opportunity in all facets of its operation without regard to race, sex, age, color, religion, or national origin. The Arts Council also affirms its policy of equal opportunity for individuals with physical or developmental handicaps. The Arts Council complies with Title VI, Section 601, of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IV, Section 1681, of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Section 6101; and with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.