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Technical Glitches Stall COVID Relief For Arts Organizations

Apr 19, 2021

Credit Karen Kasler

Arts organizations in Ohio and around the country are waiting for the relaunch of a system that will allow them to apply for billions in COVID relief – after it shut down on the day it was supposed to open for business in early April. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts was among the tens of thousands of non-profits, companies, cinemas, performance spaces and venues that were online as the portal to apply for $16.25 billion in COVID grants for the arts crashed. CAPA president and CEO Chad Whittington is hoping as the Small Business Administration fixes its tech issues, it will retool the current application process.

“So you could have some folks that get 100% of the grant they request and some folks that don’t get anything. And from my perspective, that’s a huge concern. We need the entire entertainment and arts community to come through this together.”

A timeline to reopen the portal hasn’t been set. Whittington says with so many organizations needing funding, the question is whether that huge pot of $16.25 billion will be enough – especially since most facilities and venues won’t be reopened till summer at the earliest.