MILWAUKEE– Black Arts MKE is pleased to announce they have been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic.  Black Arts MKE is recommended to receive $100K and may use this funding to save jobs and to fund operations, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation.  In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by COVID-19 pandemic.  The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as Black Arts MKE, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA.  “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”

“This important NEA financial assistance will enable Black Arts MKE to restore and lift operations through capacity building, marketing/promotion for audience development, community engagement and partnership activities.  We invite everyone to join us in celebrating Black History Month and vibrant African American arts and culture programming throughout the year,” said Board Chair Cory Nettles. “We are grateful to Senator Tammy Baldwin for NEA American Rescue Plan application support, leadership and positive impact on the arts in Wisconsin.”

“I am proud to have supported the American Rescue Plan and this NEA grant funding for Black Arts MKE to continue their work providing the community with invaluable access to high-quality African American art, culture, and education,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am also very excited by their work to grow the African American arts scene in Milwaukee. Black Arts MKE is a community collaboration that adds value to Milwaukee, and I am honored to be a supportive partner.”

About Black Arts MKE, Inc.

Black Arts MKE’s mission is to increase the availability and quality of African American arts and culture.  Each year, we collaborate with over 100 local artists and arts organizations to bring our community renowned and original performance arts works by African American authors, playwrights, poets, musicians, and composers.  Our arts education outreach programs serve over 15,000 underserved neighborhood schools, youth and their families including our Youth Performing Arts Camp.  Black Arts MKE’s annual signature performance – Black Nativity by Langston Hughes is a holiday musical favorite in Milwaukee featuring an all-black, MKE-based cast.  Black Arts MKE is a recipient of the NEA Grant for Arts Projects and The Black Seed national awards.  We are a proud Member Group of the United Performing Arts Fund and Resident Group at the Marcus Performing Arts Center.  Black Arts MKE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. 

About the American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector.  The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organization.  In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs.  The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.