*For help completing Questions 18 – 25 on the Artist Form, related to previously received CARES funds, please scroll to the bottom of this FAQ page and review FAQ #s 27-29

1. Q. I’m an artist, am I eligible for these funds?
A. If you are a professionally creative artist, 18 years of age or older, living in Cuyahoga County, and have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for these CARES funds. Other restrictions apply. Please review the guidelines for the full eligibility criteria.

2. Q. I run a creative business, am I eligible for these funds?
A. If you operate a small for-profit performing arts business (such as a music venue, for-profit theater or music production company), headquartered in Cuyahoga County, and your business has lost 60% of its revenue or more due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for these CARES funds. Other restrictions apply. Please see the guidelines for the full eligibility criteria.

3. Q. I operate a nonprofit, am I eligible for these funds?
A. Nonprofits cannot request CARES funds through Arts Cleveland. Arts and culture nonprofits who have received funding from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) in 2020, may be eligible for CARES funds through CAC.

4. Q. If I have already received federal CARES relief funding in 2020 from any federal program, can I still request Cuyahoga CARES for Arts funds?
A. Yes. Having already received CARES funding in 2020 does not disqualify you from requesting these funds. However, Cuyahoga CARES funds may not be used for expenses that have been previously covered by the federal government via prior CARES Act funding or other federal programs.

5. Q. If I received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in 2020 as a result of COVID-19, can I still request Cuyahoga CARES for Arts funds?
A. Yes. Receiving PUA in 2020 does not disqualify you from requesting these funds.

6. Q. In addition to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), I’ve also received Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance (LWA) from FIMA or another type of COVID-19-related unemployment assistance. Do I include these unemployment payments with my PUA on the form?
A. Yes, you would include LWA or other pandemic-related unemployment you received in the box for the total amount of PUA you received in 2020. When listing the dates you received assistance, please note the start date as the first date you received any PUA/LWA/other unemployment and the end date as the last date you received any of this funding, regardless of whether there was a gap in receiving unemployment. For example: if you received PUA from April 1  to June 30 and LWA from August 1 to September 4, your start date would be April 1 and your end date would be Sept. 4.

7. Q. How much money could I receive as an artist or business through this program?
A. Artists:
Maximum funding amount – $2,500 per artist. Amount will be determined based on the number of eligible applicants, not on percentage of income lost.
Businesses:
Flat amounts determined based on your business’ budget size:
Annual revenue of $1,000,000 or more:                     $45,000
Annual revenue of $500,000 to $999,999:                 $25,000
Annual revenue of $100,000 to $499,999:                 $10,000  
Annual revenue less than $100,000:                            $5,000

8. Q. How do I request funds through Arts Cleveland?
A.  Please visit https://artscleveland.org/cares to submit an online funds request form and view the full guidelines. Online forms are preferred, but a self-print and mail-in paper option is available to artists submitting a request through the CARES for Artists program.

9. Q. What is the deadline to submit?
A. All online requests must be submitted by November 22, 2020. All paper request forms must be postmarked no later than November 20, 2020.

10. Q. I got bumped out of my CARES request form online, and I can’t get back in! Am I unable to complete a request now?
A. If you’ve been mistakenly redirected to a disqualification page, you can clear your browser history, then click the request form link on the webpage to get back into the form. Do not click the “go back” button. However, if you were disqualified as a result of one of your answers in eligibility Questions 1-8, you may not be eligible to request Cuyahoga CARES for Arts funds.

11. Q. What can these funds be used to pay for?
A. Please see the guidelines for artists and performing arts businesses for a full list of eligible and ineligible expenses for Cuyahoga CARES for Arts.

12. Q. Is this a grant program?
A. No. Cuyahoga CARES for Arts is not a project grant, fellowship or artistic merit award. CARES funding is federal relief funding provided to individuals and business who are in a dire financial situation as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding distribution will not be based on artistic or programmatic quality or excellence.

13. Q. Is this a loan? Do I have to pay this money back?
A. No. Cuyahoga CARES for Arts is relief funding and not a loan program; you do not have to pay the money back.

14. Q. I’m an artist or run a performing arts business in Cuyahoga County. I don’t make a lot of money, but my income hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Can I apply for these funds?
A. No. Cuyahoga CARES for Arts funds are federal relief funds provided to artists and performing arts businesses that are able to demonstrate at least a 60% decrease in their arts-related income or business revenue, directly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

15. Q. Is the money distributed on a first-come-first-served basis?
A. No. All artist and business request forms will be reviewed after the request form closes on November 22, 2020. Submitting early does not increase your likelihood of receiving CARES funds. Cuyahoga CARES for Arts is need-based funding and will likely be allocated to artists and businesses in early December, 2020.

16. Q. Will all artists and businesses who submit a request receive Cuyahoga CARES for Arts funds?
A. This will depend on the number of request forms submitted to the program. However, due to a limited pool of funds, it’s unlikely every artist and business will receive CARES funds through this program.

17. Q. How will you decide which artists and businesses receive Cuyahoga CARES for Arts funds?
A. Since Cuyahoga CARES for Arts funds are need-based, the funds will be distributed to the artists and businesses who are in the greatest financial need. This will be determined using a formula based on percent of income lost, unforeseen expenses resulting from COVID-19 and other risk factors.

18. Q. How are you making sure these funds are distributed equitably?
A. Arts Cleveland takes equitable distribution of these funds very seriously. Importantly these funds are specifically and solely for individuals who are suffering from employment or business interruptions due to COVID-19-related business closures. Workshops will take place both online and at a location in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland. We are avoiding a “first come first served” model in order to allow time for those less connected to learn about the relief funds. We are also including health-risk factors as related to COVID-19 factor into any necessary determination of who receives funds if more requests come in than funding allows.

19. Q. What information will I need to provide to show how my creative work or my business has been financially affected by COVID-19?
A. You will need provide your 2019 arts-related income/revenue from Jan 1 to Dec 31 and your 2020 arts-related income/revenue from Jan 1 to Dec 31.

20. Q. Do I include income from gigs, events, sales, contracts that I expected to have, but didn’t have as a result of COVID-19 in my 2020 projected income?
A. No. Your 2020 income should reflect the actual income you received in 2020 and your projected amount for the end of the year, since we’re asking for income/revenue up to Dec 31. Don’t include any income you expected to have, but did not receive as a result of COVID-19 business closures and cancellations.

21. Q. Do I need to submit documentation of my finances when I submit my request?
A. No, you don’t need to submit financial documentation right away. However, you will need to be able to provide documentation of your income and finances in the event of an audit. In this case, failure to provide financial documentation could result in needing to return your money to the federal government, so please make sure you have the correct paperwork available.

22. Q. If I received donations, should I include those in my total income?
A. Yes, any donations your for-profit business received or you received as an artist as part of your arts-related work should be included in the income you report.

23. Q. If I received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), do I include that in my total income?
A. No, the total income you will report on these forms, is for your arts-related income or business revenue only. You’ll report the amount of PUA you have received (if any) in a separate question.

24. Q. In the artist request form, how do I answer Question # 27 related to the Federal Poverty Line?
A. Click on the link to review the Federal Poverty Guidelines chart for 2020. Locate your household/family size in the column on the right and locate your total household income in the row to the left of your household size. The top row of the chart will tell you what percent below the poverty line you are. Select the corresponding option in the list of choices provided in the form. Please see https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/aspe-files/107166/2020-percentage-poverty-tool.pdf for more information on the 2020 Federal Poverty Guidelines.

25. Q. I’m an artist and my income fluctuates from year to year. How do I find my income on the Federal Poverty Guidelines chart?
A. You should use your expected income from 2020 to determine where you fall on the FP Guidelines chart

26. Q. Do I deduct expenses from my income or revenue when I enter it into the form?
A. No, expenses you had for the year should not be deducted out of your income. The number you enter should reflect your total gross income for the corresponding year.

27. Q. How do I answer Questions 18 – 20 on the Artist Form?
A. These questions relate to federal, pandemic-related unemployment assistance that you have received, such as PUA, FPUC, PEUC or LWA. Please review this document https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares to see what type of funding each of these programs include

  • Question 18: Check yes if you received funds from any of the above programs
  • Question 19: If yes, list the start and end date you received funds from the total time of your assistance in any of the above programs, regardless of whether you saw gaps in assistance. See FAQ # 6 for an example
  • Question 20: Include the combined total in federal, pandemic-related unemployment assistance you have and will receive for all of 2020

28. Q. How do I answer Questions 21 & 22 on the Artist Form?
A. These questions relate to other CARES programs, such as PPP, EIDL loans, CARES funds from Tribal governments, and more. Please visit https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares to see the types of included programs.

  • Question 21: Check yes if you received funds from any of the above programs
  • Question 22: Enter the combined total you have and will receive from these types of CARES programs for all of 2020

29. Q. How do I answer Questions 23 – 25 on the Artist Form?
A. These questions relate to pandemic relief funding you may have received from any privately-funded programs, such as local or national artist relief programs, foundation-funded relief programs, etc. For example, SPACES Gallery in Cleveland distributed relief grants to individual artists. This would qualify as a privately-funded relief program.

  • Question 24: list the names of the programs from which you received funding
  • Question 25: Include the combined total you have received in support from all privately-funded programs

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