MRAC’s COVID-19 Response

Like many organizations, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council is contending with the reality of a health crisis unprecedented in our lifetimes. Our highest priority is taking action that best protects the panelists, applicants, staff, and general public that make up the community MRAC serves. 

MRAC’s physical office has been closed since Friday, March 13th and staff is working from home. Our regular activities and services continue as planned via remote participation when possible.

Below are key details from our full plan. Please reach out to us with further questions or concerns, and we will attempt to keep this information updated to reflect frequently asked questions. Connect with us at mrac@mrac.org or go to the Staff page of our website to get in touch with a specific staff person directly.

MRAC implemented an Emergency Relief Fund for arts groups and arts organizations, but the available funds for this effort have been expended and we are no longer taking applications.

Grant Application Processes

  • Our grant application processes are entirely online, from guidelines to the online grant interface where applicants submit their proposals. 

Panel Participation

  • Panel reviews have been converted to an online process
  • Panels are conducted remotely through an online portal, rather than meeting in-person. All panelists log in to an individual online account and make confidential ratings. They also provide written comments on each criterion to provide feedback for applicants. Because of varying levels of access to technology like stable wifi and a landline phone, we have decided that this process makes it possible for the widest breadth of individuals to participate remotely.
  • Scores are compiled from the online portal for approval by the MRAC Board of Directors on timelines as originally planned.
  • Award notifications are sent on the published notification dates listed on our website. At this time, notification dates remain unchanged.
  • The panelist comments are available to applicants upon request after the awards are announced.

Current Grantees with Active Projects

  • First and foremost, we ask all grantees to make decisions that take care of their communities. 
  • We anticipate many project changes, and ask you to propose a change for staff to approve by contacting your program director. 
  • Final reports still need to be completed.
  • We have created a COVID Project Change Flow Chart (public) for you to assess what changes are possible for your open grant. This flow chart is also available in a Text Version- COVID Project Change Flow Chart for an alternative and accessible way to access the same information.
  • If after visiting the flow chart you determine your funded project(s) need to change, please reach out to your program director as soon as you are able to work on a plan to proceed.

Staff

  • MRAC staff will maintain regular working hours remotely.
  • MRAC program directors will continue to be available via phone and email for individual questions about grant program applications, draft reviews, and project changes.
  • We are committed to honoring all our existing contracts, including those with caterers, to minimize losses of income.

General Operations

  • MRAC’s main phone line will continue to be available during regular working hours.
  • Grant payments, panelist stipends, and MRAC’s other financial commitments will continue to be paid as usual.
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