Cultural Organizations Receive Federal Assistance

Utah legislators have approved $9 million in federal relief dollars to assist cultural groups with activities that will help them recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage tourism.

The money will be distributed by the Division of Arts & Museums through their established grant process. It is part of a broader $62 million package approved by legislators June 18 to help community organizations and small businesses.

The funding is intended to cover 50 percent of the cost for a specific activity that is meant to encourage visitors and tourism. Qualifying organizations fall within the definition of the Zoo, Arts and Parks programs used by counties or equivalent for-profits. Beyond that, the rules are broad, said sponsor Rep. Robert Spendlove, R-Sandy.

“We didn’t want to be overly prescriptive, we didn’t want to define in the bill who qualifies and who doesn’t,” Spendlove said.

Funds will become available in August. The program is part of the CARES Act, which Congress passed in March to address the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.