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Struggling N.H. Arts Communities In Store For Emergency Grants, Some Federal Aid

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Andre Belanger
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New Hampshire artists and arts organizations have been struggling during the pandemic, despite coming up with creative ways to stay afloat, including drive-by art shows.

Speaking on The Exchange, Russ Grazier, CEO of the Portsmouth Music and Arts Center, says shifting to online classes has been successful at the Center, even attracting new students – but that hasn't made up for severe losses in other sources of income, such as concerts, theater productions, and gallery showings.  

(To listen to the full conversation, "Artists, Arts Groups Close Studios, Cancel Events, Seek New Ways to Connect,"  visit here).

There are more than 22,000 New Hampshire citizens that receive their income through the arts and culture sector," Grazier said.  "And it represents $2.5 billion, and more, each year in the New Hampshire economy, and this is being significantly hit right now.”

Those are good reasons for the arts, too, to receive financial assistance during this time, he suggested. Artists may qualify for expanded unemployment benefits and relief for small businesses.  

Monday, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts announced it is accepting applications for Artist Emergency Grants from professional artists whose income has been impacted by COVID-19. The Council also expects to receive $427,000 in CARES Act funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and hopes to announce guidelines for those grants in the next few weeks.