The city of Palm Desert invites artist proposals for its new San Pablo Avenue roundabout. Photo courtesy of the City of Palm Desert.


Welcome to another COVID-19-themed dispatch from your California Desert Arts Council. In better times, this newsletter highlights the bounty of upcoming Coachella Valley arts and culture offerings. This month’s edition, however, focuses on resources to support our region’s creative economy.

We begin with grants and financial assistance for arts organizations and individual artists.

The Arts Action Fund regularly updates the 2021 COVID-19 Arts Resources Table, which provides information about all of the new and expanded federal resources for artists and arts organizations as a result of the economic aid package enacted on Dec. 27, 2020. 

Deadlines are coming up for two grants offered by the California Arts Council:

  • General Operating Relief: Up to $30,000 in operational relief funding for arts and cultural organizations who have experienced economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing small organizations. Application deadline: Feb. 17.
  • Individual Artist Fellowships: From $5,000 to $50,000 to recognize, uplift, and celebrate the creative practices of California artists at key career levels. Application deadline: April 1.

Read up on other California Arts Council grants and helpful application tips on the organization’s website.

The Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development’s $500 million Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program opens applications Feb. 2 for second round of assistance. Businesses are eligible for grants up to $25,000 based on annual revenue. Eligible applicants who did not receive funding during the first round are automatically considered and need not re-apply. The application deadline is Feb. 8.

The U.S. Small Business Administration also offers a variety of COVID-19 financial assistance programs established through the CARES Act and subsequent legislation. Among the programs is emergency assistance through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.



The National Endowment for the Arts has created a 42-page document to help with reopening after the long pandemic shutdown. The Art of Reopening: A Guide to Current Practices Among Arts Organizations During COVID-19 is based on in-depth interviews with nine arts organizations to identify common practices among those who have successfully reopened to audiences or visitors during the pandemic. In addition to these case studies, the NEA drew from national service organizations in the arts, document scans, and interviews with arts management consultants. 



Artists invited to submit proposals for Palm Desert’s new San Pablo roundabout
The city of Palm Desert invites experienced artists to submit their proposals to create an artwork for the new roundabout at San Pablo and San Gorgonio avenues. Apply through by March 15. For more project information and submission requirements, call 760-837-1664 or email



Tickets on sale for Modernism Week programs in April (Modernism Week)
Home tours and the popular Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale highlight the Modernism Week’s spring fling, April 8–18. Tickets are on sale, and some events have already sold out.

Dezart Performs ‘does the impossible’ with its virtual debut (CV Independent)
“It had been 10 months since the Independent reviewed a theatrical production,” VJ Hume writes, before going into her review of Dezart Performs’ virtual production of Mental Amusements. “Last night, I saw the future of theater—the immediate future, at least—and it is bright and beautiful.”



Brighter days for arts forecast in Biden administration (The Harvard Gazette)
Several Harvard experts say they see the incoming administration using cultural resources to help unite a nation devastated by pandemic and economic loss and divided by partisan rancor.

Should Biden appoint a cultural czar? (The Art Newspaper)
“Things are going to change,” says Nina Ozlu Tunceli, executive director of The Americans For the Arts Action Fund. “Because what the arts have evolved into is a policy solution at every level and every extent of government, whether it be transportation, housing, diplomacy, education.”