Local arts and culture nonprofits still reeling from the socioeconomic ripple effect of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve got good news: The San Antonio Area Foundation has help on the way.

Those who follow us closely may remember that some weeks back we announced the creation of our new Recovery Fund for the Arts (RFA), started with the always altruistic intent of our Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) holders.

We were thankful to donors last year for helping us stand up and grow the COVID-19 Response Fund, which ended up assisting more than 200 community nonprofits during the height of the pandemic – including various arts-oriented organizations.

Yet we’re fully aware that many of those and countless other arts nonprofits still face quite an uncertain future in trying to not just get over the COVID hump but actually attempt to get back to some sense of normalcy.

That’s where the new Recovery Fund comes in. Our Development and Donor Services team continues to fundraise but we’re happy to report that $175,000 has been collected thus far in donations. Typically, we’d wait longer to try to grow the fund further before beginning to issue grants, but we realize timing is of the essence in this instance.

“We realize the city is starting to open back up but many organizations are not yet able to resume regular programming,” explained Stephanie LaFroscia, Senior Program Officer for Cultural Vibrancy with our Community Engagement and Impact (CEI) team, which handles grantmaking. “There’s a critical need right now so we don’t want to wait.”

With that in mind, starting next Tuesday (July 13) and continuing until Aug. 12, LaFroscia and our CEI team will begin taking applications for RFA grants. Eligible applicants will be split into two categories: Organizations under an annual operating budget of $75,000 and those with one higher than $75,000. 

These grants are meant primarily for organizations whose primary mission is to create, present or preserve arts and culture. Selected recipients are expected to be notified in October.

We’re extremely thankful to our major contributors to this fund: Brown Foundation, Howard and Betty Halff Fund, Lady Ray Romano Charitable Fund, Lila R. Brehm Advised Fund, Mary Quandt, Michael and Mary Pat Bolner Foundation and Semmes Foundation Fund.

Please click here for more information and details concerning the RFA application process, including regarding eligibility requirement and award amounts according to operating budget. Questions can be directed to Stephanie LaFroscia at slafroscia@saafdn.org.