The Arts and Education Council is following widely circulated guidelines on how to prepare for and mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus paying close attention to its impact on our work, staff, and organizational activities. Our goal is the health and safety of our constituents. In thinking about what’s best for the Arts and Education Council, our staff, our tenants, partners and grantees, we are instituting some operational changes at least through April 6.

We thank our donors for their unwavering support of our mission – to keep art happening by investing in arts and arts education organizations. Our arts organizations need us now more than ever as they are faced with cancelling performances, fundraising events and arts education activities. If you would like to support us so that we can support them please donate here

We’ve taken the following action for our staff and office visitors and visitors to the Centene Center for the Art related to COVID-19:

  • The Arts and Education Council is adhering to the City of St. Louis’ mandatory stay at home order to slow the spread of COVID-19. During this time, Arts and Education Council employees are working remotely.
  • All Arts and Education Council in person meetings including board, committees, grant panels, etc. will be conducted in a virtual setting for the near future.

These modifications that we are making will not affect current funding programs or goals in any way. We understand that many of you are facing challenges as you strive to continue your programs during this critical time. We encourage everyone to practice social distancing, which helps to prevent the spread of the virus in our community.

Frequently asked questions

Will grant and program applications be reviewed on schedule?

The Arts and Education Council is reviewing all applications as scheduled in a virtual environment. In-person panel allocations will be rescheduled when governmental stay at home mandates expire. Please see below for specific updates:

  • stARTup Creative Competition: In adherence with the City of St. Louis’ stay at home order, the Arts and Education Council will postpone the committee review and finalist presentation meetings until we can meet in person. We will keep all applicants informed as we have additional information.
  • PNC Program Grants: PNC Program Grants are currently being reviewed virtually by the Arts and Education Council’s grants and programs committee. In adherence with the City of St. Louis’ stay at home order, the Arts and Education Council will postpone  the allocation meeting for PNC Program Grants until we can meet in person. We will keep all applicants informed as we have additional information.
  • Operating Support Grants: Operating Support applications are due April 24, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Please continue to work on your applications. Grant applications will be reviewed virtually. At this moment, the allocation meeting of the Arts and Education Council’s grants and programs committee is scheduled for mid-May. If the grant panel review meeting needs to be postponed or rescheduled, we will inform all grant applicants.
  • Katherine Dunahm Fellowship: The next Katherine Dunham Fellowship will take place in Spring 2021. Applications for the spring 2021 cohort will be extended through October 15, 2020. 

For questions regarding grants and programs, please contact Grants and Programs Director Cynthia Davis at or 314.289.4007.

We’ve had to change our program or project as a result of COVID-19, will we lose our funding?

The Arts and Education Council has no plans to cancel funding as a result of COVID-19. If COVID-19, has altered the course of your programming please reach out to Grants and Programs Director Cynthia Davis to discuss these changes at or 314.289.4007.

Is the Centene Center for the Arts open?

The Arts and Education Council is adhering to the City of St. Louis’ mandatory stay at home order by  temporarily closing the Centene Center for the Arts. The Centene Center for the Arts will close Monday, March 23 at 6:00 p.m. and remain closed through at least the next two weeks.

Will I be able to contact Arts and Education Council staff?

Yes. While working remotely, Arts and Education Council staff is available to answer your questions by email and phone.

Any question we haven’t answered?

Contact Cynthia Prost, president and CEO,


Missouri Department Health and Senior Services – COVID-19 Outbreak Updates

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Guidance for Businesses and Employers

For Arts and Culture Organizations

General resources

Americans for the Arts, COVID-19 Resource and Response Center — updated daily, news and resources for the arts and culture field

Americans for the Arts, Arts and culture sector can prepare for the coronavirus in the United States — basics on preparation and planning, dispelling the stigma, and individual prevention measures to share with attendees, program participants, and employees

ArtsKC, Coronavirus — specific steps to take regarding administrative policies, human resources, public communications, preparing for closures, and more

ArtsReady — arts-specific COVID-19 information and advice from the online emergency preparedness service by and for arts/cultural nonprofits

American Alliance of Museums, COVID-19 coronavirus resources & information for the museum field — advice especially applicable to museums and other cultural venues

League of American Orchestras, Coronavirus — resources tailored to orchestras including readiness recommendations and sample audience

NonProfitPRO, A huge mistake nonprofits make in preparing for COVID-19 —preparing for the realistic pessimistic scenario: major changes that organizations should make to their operations for a future in which COVID-19 keeps returning

Performing Arts Readiness, Sample emergency plans — sample plans for performing arts venues

National Endowment for the Arts: Resources for artists and arts organizations

DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland: Practical Steps during a Time of Uncertainty 

DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland pro bono consultation — The DeVos Institute will offer pro bono consultations to any U.S.-based non profit arts or culture organization between March and June 2020, as a response to the mounting effects of COVID-19.

News and updates

Americans for the Arts: Economic Impact Survey — The survey will capture a broad spectrum of data and stories that will demonstrate how the arts and culture workers triumphed and survived this crisis as well as the effect of the outbreak on operations through cancelled events, lost wages, and additional expenses.

U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package — Congress is expected to turn its focus to business relief next. Individuals can make the case for relief for nonprofits by contacting your Congressional representatives through Performing Arts Alliance's online campaign. You can also engage your local Congressional staff directly.


Webinar by Theatre Communications Group, Coronavirus preparedness (Replay) — preparedness especially for theatres, including how to forecast budget shifts and navigate insurance

Webinar by Event Safety Alliance: Prepare your organization for the coronavirus disease outbreak  (Replay) — infectious disease business continuity planning and crisis management

Alliance for Performing Arts Conferences (APAC) Webinar (Replay) — We Are Stronger Together: Navigating Crises and Sustaining Healthy Relationships in the Era of Coronavirus 

Arts and Culture Sector and the Coronavirus Webinar (Replay) — What we know and how to move forward 

For Individual Artists

General resources

COVID-19 & Freelance Artists — extensive list of resources targeted to the needs of individual artists

Springboard for the Arts: Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources for Artists

Financial support for artists, musicians, etc

The Artists’ Fellowship — Provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship.

The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant — Grant program is intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified painters, printmakers and sculptors

CERF+ | The Artists’ Safety Net, Apply for help — emergency relief grants for artists infected with the virus who require extensive medical care

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants  The program provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical emergencies

MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund — Music industry professionals may apply for basic living assistance (rent or mortgage)