We know many Connecticut businesses are struggling as they deal with the effects of COVID-19. We appreciate their perseverance and know they share our commitment to keeping our residents healthy. The state, working with its federal partners, has several programs and initiatives in place to assist businesses during this difficult period. For specific questions related to small business, email the Joint Information Center at COVID19.JIC@ct.gov, or call the DECD small business hotline at 860-500-2333. Individuals can call 2-1-1 for more information.

CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant for Connecticut Arts Organizations

Frequently Asked Questions


How do you define an arts organization?
A Connecticut Arts Organization is defined as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose core mission, vision, focus and legal purpose, as stated in its Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, articulate a commitment to create, perform, present or promote artistic activities* AND at least 51 percent of its annual fiscal expenditures is allocated specifically to support artistic activities, arts programming, services or arts-based initiatives.  *Artistic activities shall include, but are not limited to, music, theater, dance, painting, sculpture, literature, films and allied arts and crafts.

NOTE:  The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) reserves the right to request documentation as needed to determine an applicant's eligibility.

May an organization apply under a fiduciary (fiscal sponsor) non-profit with 501(c)(3)?

No.  An arts organization must have it own 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.  Organizations are not allowed to apply under a fiscal sponsor.


Is an arts organization eligible if its staff are independent contractors?

Yes, as stated in the guidelines, the part-time or full-time paid position may be salaried or contractual.


How many times may my organization apply for a CARES Emergency Relief Grant from the CT Office of the Arts (COA)?

Only one application may be submitted to COA's CARES Emergency Relief Grant by an eligible arts organization 

Is an organization responsible for paying back money received through this relief program?

No. This is a grant.  Not a loan.

Can an organization apply to both CARES Act funding and the Supporting Arts grant program?



Can an organization apply to both a COA's CARES Emergency Relief grant  and a Connecticut Humanities CARES grant?

No.  An organization may only apply to one - Connecticut Office of the Arts OR Connecticut Humanities -  for CARES Act Relief Funding.

Can an arts organization that received a PPP loan also apply for CARES Act funding?


Will there be another CARES Act Relief Funding opportunity for arts organizations with a budget over $500,000?
At this time, the CT Office of the Arts does not know.  We suggest that you write your federal delegation to urge them to direct more federal money to Connecticut.

We have completed our fiscal year but our financials are with our accountant who has not yet prepared our 990s. The CARES application asks for "most recently completed" financial information. Should I use the as yet to be finalized 2019 financials or 2018 for which we have 990s?
Applicants should use financial information from their "most recently completed fiscal year" - and it is OK to not have filed those financials with the IRS yet.

On the CARES application you ask for three lost revenue-generating opportunities and the approximate amount of revenue lost. Are you looking for gross or net loss?
Report net loss based on last year's event(s).