The Covid-19 Arts Working Group (CAWG), a collaboration of 16 foundations and a private donor in the Pittsburgh metro area, announces the Arts I Equity I Reimagined Fund, in response to the unprecedented and ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region’s arts and cultural sector. The fund is intended to foster collective action and identify creative solutions to operating challenges as nonprofit arts organizations navigate these uncertain times. While the fund is open to all arts and cultural organizations, in recognition of long-standing disparities in funding, it will prioritize small to medium-sized arts organizations and those that serve or are led by historically marginalized communities in southwestern Pennsylvania, whether they be urban or rural in location. 


Collective Action for Re-Imagining – The Collective Action for Reimagining (CAR) program is a collaborative grant for innovative projects in the arts sector that address structural challenges instigated or exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, and other needs you identify as necessary for cultivating a stronger, healthier, and more equitable arts sector.

Details about the Arts I Equity I Reimagined Fund, including eligibility requirements, deadlines, FAQs, the application process and guiding principles can be found at or by calling (412) 219-6584‬. 


Arts I Equity I Reimagined grants will support arts and cultural organizations located in any of the following Pennsylvania counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland. Collaborations, partnerships or networks composed of two or more 501(c)3 arts organizations, artist-driven projects, and/or unincorporated arts collectives of any budget size are eligible to apply.


The creation of the Arts I Equity I Reimagined Fund has been driven by guiding principles developed by the COVID-19 Arts Working Group of funders (CAWG) themselves, when the crisis first hit the region in late March 2020. A complete copy of the Guiding Principles is available at In summary, CAWG members have agreed to:

  • Address and prioritize change with mutual accountability.
  • Be action-oriented and transparent. 
  • Support a sustaining and equitable arts ecology.
  • Envision a strong and healthy arts community.
  • Holistically support the arts community.

Additionally, CAWG undertook an extensive review of research and best practices, on how the arts sector around the country has responded to the pandemic. It also engaged in an extended analysis of critical needs in this region, with a particular eye towards identifying gaps in service to arts organizations that serve people of color, LGBTQIA+ and independent artist populations.

Have a question that wasn't answered? Check out the FAQ

Free, live information sessions will be announced and made available to any potential applicant and will provide a space where specific questions get answered right away in real time. Potential applicants may also submit questions for a quick response by email at the fund’s website:


AER Important Deadlines*

The AER – CAR program is not currently accepting applications

*Info sessions are hosted virtually and made available for replay at



Capacity Building Assistance – open to any arts organization or sponsored project with a budget of $2.5 million or less. Managed by PACE (Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise), this program is designed to quickly respond to requests to help nonprofits gain the skills or concrete strategies needed to address COVID-19 related challenges. Examples of assistance could include, but are not limited to: short-term action plans, financial planning, fundraising or marketing capacity, human resource assistance, anti-racism training, and other tools to create a sustainable future. With its long history of increasing the organizational capacity of nonprofits serving the African American and other marginalized communities, PACE is uniquely positioned to assist this effort. Learn more here.


The current list of collaborating foundations (CAWG) includes an anonymous donor, Allegheny Regional Asset District, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, The Benter Foundation, The Buhl Foundation, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, The Community, Foundation of Fayette County, Eden Hall Foundation, The Fine Foundation, The Grable Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, Henry L. Hillman Foundation, The McCune Foundation, Richard King Mellon Foundation, Opportunity Fund, and The Pittsburgh Foundation


New Sun Rising is pleased to play a critical role in implementing the Arts | Equity | Reimagined Fund. For over 15 years, we have supported artists through capacity building and intermediary funding. We view the strengthening of culture as a core strategy in our Vibrant Communities Framework – along with sustainability and opportunity.  In addition to fund management for the Collective Action + Reimagining aspect of the program, NSR is providing strategic support to the initiative, technical assistance to applicants, guiding the applicant review panel, and working closely with program consultants.

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