The Arts and Education Council is following widely circulated guidelines on how to  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. 

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 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?

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

Has COVID-19 adversely impacted the Arts and Education Council’s community fundraising campaigns, a major source of revenue?

The Arts and Education Council raises funds throughout the community and then re-grants these funds to arts and arts education organizations. The unforeseeable dramatic downturn in the economy caused by the coronavirus natural disaster has created an unprecedented set of circumstances. The mandatory government stay at home orders, business closures and remote work directives related to the COVID-19 public health pandemic have paused our annual spring workplace giving fundraising campaigns. Because of this, we are uncertain when we will resume our fundraising, but we anticipate late summer and early fall. Based on our best estimates, we are anticipating a reduction in A&E’s total revenues of approximately 35-50% for 2020. It is unknown how this reduction will impact grant allocations.

Should grantees anticipate a reduction in funding?

We have made the decision to postpone our operating support grant allocation until the fall when we are more certain of our campaign results. All other grant opportunities are underwritten by funders and are not affected by the reduction in campaign revenue. All other grant opportunities are underwritten by funders and are somewhat immune to the reduction in campaign revenue.

We have an incomplete understanding of the scope of the pandemic on our fundraising campaigns. Our best estimate is that the Arts and Education Council will experience a reduction to its revenue in 2020 and possibly 2021. We will have a clearer picture in late fall 2020.

Has the Arts and Education Council modified grant guidelines for 2020/2021?

We will be funding only arts organizations who have received an average rating of 80 or higher in the 2020/2021 review process. Organizations that fail to submit all required reports by the due dates will forfeit the final disbursement of their grant.

What other resources does Arts and Education Council have for arts organizations?

The Arts and Education Council  continues to be an important funder to the St. Louis arts community, offering an array of funding opportunities in addition to Operating Grant Support including:

  1. Arts and Healing Initiative: in partnership with the Missouri Foundation for Health $100,000 in grants in year one. Applications available now through July 31, 2020.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 2020/2021 Program Grants will be provided to organizations who can conduct their programs through July 31, 2021.
  4. Katherine Dunham 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.
  5. Maritz Arts and Education Grant for Teachers: We will have guidance for teachers in August 2020.
  6. Bayer Creative Impact Fund: We will have guidance in July 2020.
  7. Bayer Rural Community Arts Fund: We will have guidance in July 2020.

Will grant and program applications be reviewed on schedule?

The Arts and Education Council will make every attempt to review all applications as scheduled in a virtual environment. In-person panel allocations will be rescheduled as City of St. Louis Health Department mandates allows.

We have had to change our program or project because of COVID-19, will we lose our funding?

The Arts and Education Council has no plans to cancel program grant funding because 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 Centene Center for the Arts is open. Per City of St. Louis orders, masks are required to enter the building. A complete list of entry requirements is posted at each entrance to the building.

Is the Arts and Education Council office open?

Yes, the Arts and Education Council office is open. You may also contact the staff here.


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

Missouri ArtSafe — Organizations can become certified by pledging and adhering to a core level of safe practices

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

Kranzberg Arts Foundation Coronavirus Survey Results - The Kranzberg Arts Foundation asked their audience  what they would need to feel safe returning to their spaces. See the data they collected from 915 respondents. 

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.

Americans for the Arts: Economic Impact of COVID-19 - Using this tool, you can view national aggregated data or can filter the information by either ZIP Code or State to see localized impacts. Research is ongoing, and so the data may update over time.

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

Curbside STL - An initiative by Guided Saint Louis to connect retailers and small businesses with those in need of products or services during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Financial support for artists, musicians, etc

The Luminary's Futures Fund: Emergency Relief for Artists Impacted by COVID-19

Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis Artist Relief Fund - RAC’s fund will award grants of $500 or $1,000 to working artists who live in St. Louis City or St. Louis County whose immediate creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

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)