TACA Launches Resiliency Initiative

TACA revamps granting program to support arts industry during the coronavirus pandemic

Junior Players perform at TACA 2019 Grants Celebration

TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) is launching the TACA Resiliency Initiative as the arts industry struggles with prolonged closures and economic uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In response to this pandemic and its severe impact on the Dallas community, we are reframing our support for Dallas arts organizations with the new TACA Resiliency Initiative,” Terry D. Loftis, President & Executive Director of TACA, said.  “At its heart, we’ve conceived a multi-faceted funding system for the arts to make grants more frequently, simplify the grant application process, ease the criteria for consideration of a grant, and remove grant use restrictions.”

The initiative consists of three components: revised grantmaking program, capacity building and thought leadership. Two new grant programs, Resiliency Grants and Pop-up Grants, will replace TACA’s annual Arts General Operating Grants, Artist Residency Fund Grants, and New Works Fund Grants. TACA’s goal is to raise $1 million for these granting programs.

Resiliency Grants will be made in three disbursements over the next 12 months: in October 2020, February 2021, and June 2021. Eligibility for Resiliency grants will be limited to organizations that have received TACA Arts General Operating Grant funding in 2018, 2019 or 2020.

Pop-up Grants will kick off in August and be distributed more broadly as small, unrestricted disbursements to organizations demonstrating quality programming, exceptional creativity, and innovation.  TACA will award merit-based funding more frequently to raise the visibility of artistic work happening in the community. No application will be required, but rather awarded based on observation of work – in person, virtually, or via other mediums.

TACA is developing Resiliency Workshops to offer practical advice to the North Texas arts industry during this pandemic era. The first Resiliency Workshop was a webinar on July 22 called “The Doctor Is In: Medical Advice on Re-opening the Arts.”

The webinar featured Dr. Robert Haley, Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the Division of Epidemiology in the Internal Medicine Department at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Haley is a Dallas native, an enthusiastic arts patron and a member of the Dallas County Public Health Advisory Committee for the COVID-19 Response.

Dr. Haley outlined what is known about the coronavirus and mapped out the spread of the global pandemic. He provided information about methods of treatment and the development of the vaccine and provided a status report on the pandemic in Dallas. He emphasized preventative measures to slow the spread of the virus and detailed the importance of consistently wearing masks in public. He reviewed three arts organizations’ reopening plans, offering advice on how arts organizations can reopen safely.

The webinar attracted 117 unique viewers representing 78 different arts and cultural organizations. In addition to organizations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Richardson, Frisco, and Wichita Falls, representatives from cultural institutions in Fullerton, CA; Phoenix; New Orleans, Kansas City, MO: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Los Angeles, New York, NY; Norfolk, VA and Washington, DC also attended the webinar.

Terry Loftis giving opening remarks at 2019 TACA Perforum
Gary Donihoo
Terry Loftis giving opening remarks at 2019 TACA Perforum

TACA’s Perforum, an annual community-wide arts symposium designed to advance a collective vision for a thriving arts and cultural community in Dallas and North Texas, will take on a new relevance as artists and arts groups navigate the new dynamic of COVID-19’s impact on their missions.  The 2020 Perforum symposium will transition to a virtual experience to allow for maximum community participation.

“Despite funding being the primary need as COVID continues, organizations also need strategic and tactical guidance to move forward, whether that’s health and safety protocols around audience engagement or fundraising during the pandemic, as examples.  When we share and promote learning through capacity building and thought leadership, we believe the arts community benefit as a whole,” Loftis said.

Learn more: https://taca-arts.org/

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