Local COVID Support Funding


WACO, TX – Creative Waco to receive $250,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant to support local arts initiatives in pandemic recovery.

December 6, 2021– Creative Waco is one of only four Texas cities selected to receive a grant from National Endowment for the Arts to be regranted locally.

Creative Waco is one of 66 arts agencies across all 50 states awarded the American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help McLennan County’s arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. $200,000 is available for regranting across 2 years, while $50,000 will support training, administration, research and reporting requirements of the program. This grant is among the $20,200,000 being awarded nationwide.

The organization will use this funding to provide grants for arts initiatives that

  • Reach, include, and benefit traditionally underrepresented communities
  • Facilitate post-pandemic recovery (social, economic, and/or educational)
  • Connect diverse people and spark healing, understanding, joy or kindness
  • Develop, support, or retain outstanding artistic talent

“This grant is a game changer for Waco at exactly the time we need it”, says Fiona Bond, Executive Director of Creative Waco. “It will inspire arts initiatives that benefit and connect our whole community. Cities our size have a unique role to play in post-pandemic recovery. The very fact that we were one of only a handful of mid-sized cities across the nation selected for this program puts Waco in the cultural limelight.”

Any McLennan County-based organization or initiative with arts and culture as part of their mission will be eligible for funding, but grants must result in the generation of new artistic work or programs. The application process is scheduled to be launched in early 2022.

“The NEA’s significant investment in local arts agencies, including Creative Waco is a key element in helping the arts and culture sector recover and reopen, while ensuring that that American Rescue Plan funding is distributed equitably,” said Ann Eilers, NEA’s acting chair. “These grants recognize the vital role of local arts agencies and will allow them to help rebuild local economies and contribute to the well-being of our communities.”

In September, Creative Waco also distributed $50,000 from the City of Waco to provide COVID relief grants to aid the survival of local Social Enterprise businesses that suffered due to the pandemic. These businesses play a key role in the local arts ecosystem and operate on a mission-driven rather than revenue-driven basis. The grants were designed to support businesses whose owners/operators contribute thousands of hours and dollars of voluntary or philanthropic input and were not eligible for many of the business relief packages provided through local, state and federal channels.

The other Texas cities selected to receive NEA regranting awards were Austin, Dallas and El Paso.


About Creative Waco
Creative Waco is Waco’s local arts agency. The nonprofit organization exists to grow and support the artistic and cultural life of Waco.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.

Kennedy Sam
[email protected]