Gov. Wolf: CARES Act Funding Now Available to Museums and Cultural Organizations

June 26, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf announced the availability of $20 million in grant funding for cultural organizations and museums to offset lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown order.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) today approved the program guidelines for the COVID-19 Cultural and Museum Preservation Grant Program, which is funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The program will be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

“As Pennsylvanians stayed home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth, our museums and cultural centers lost not just patronage, but revenue,” said Gov. Wolf. “As these organizations are so critical to maintaining community culture and safeguarding our history, it is imperative that we allocate the funding they need to continue their operations.”

Eligible cultural organizations or museums must be one of the following categories to be eligible for funding through the COVID-19 Cultural and Museum Preservation Grant Program:

  • Children’s Museum
  • General Museum with at least two equally significant disciplines
  • History Museum or Historical Site
  • Military or Maritime Museum
  • Natural History Museum
  • Accredited Zoo
  • Planetarium
  • Science and Technology Center
  • Orchestra
  • Art Museum
  • Performing Arts Organization

The minimum amount of grant funding will be $25,000 to a maximum of $500,000. Funds may be used to offset lost revenue for eligible cultural organizations and museums that were subject to closure by the proclamation of disaster emergency issued by the Governor on March 6, 2020, and any renewal of the state of disaster emergency and that experienced a loss of revenue related to the closure. Funds cannot be used to offset revenue which has already been offset from other sources, including philanthropic and federal, state and local government sources. Additional eligibility requirements and program details can be found in the program guidelines.

Applications will be accepted between June 29, 2020, and July 31, 2020, through the online Electronic Single Application for Assistance, www.esa.dced.state.pa.us.

More information about the Commonwealth Financing Authority can be found on the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website. To stay up-to-date on all Pennsylvania economic development news, follow DCED on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and be sure to sign up for the department’s monthly e-newsletter.

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