Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Creative Industry Workforce Grants

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal Community Development Block Grant program received $1 billion in additional funding. Philadelphia's share of that allocation worked out to about $14 million. As part of its effort to foster the cultural and creative economy sector as an integrated component of building healthy communities, the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) was able to create a new $500,000 grant program as part of Philadelphia's plan for use of these funds, with the support of both the Mayor and the City Council. This grant program will include the nonprofit arts and culture community as well as for-profit arts, entertainment and creative businesses, and is a part of the Office's larger strategy to nurture and develop this sector by providing specific programs and resources to the creative industries. This grant program also intersects with The Commerce Department’s business services, neighborhood development, business attraction and job creation efforts.

Grants will provide funding for the construction or renovation of permanent offices or facilities linked to job creation (including permanent jobs, and temporary construction, installation, architectural and engineering jobs). Eligible projects include new or renovated office space,mixed-use facilities, artist workspace and creative industry incubators designed to retain and attract businesses and jobs.

In conjunction with the purpose of ARRA funds, the applicant must demonstrate that the project can start within three months from the award date. The project must also meet federal CDBG eligibility; i.e. located in a low/mod income neighborhood, serving a low/mod income customer or creating low/mod income jobs. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, community development corporations, for-profit creative businesses, microenterprises, and other businesses with projects that meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the RFP. Grant range is $20,000-$100,000. The application deadline is  FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2009, and organizations must apply online through eContractPhilly (Opportunity # 21091112130103)

There will also be a public meeting on November 23, 2009 from 3pm-5pm in the Mayor’s Reception Room, City Hall, Room 202, and anyone interested in applying is STRONGLY advised to attend this meeting. Please direct all questions via email to creative@phila.gov. An FAQ sheet will be developed to answer most questions, rather than responding to individual e-mails. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE OFFICE WITH QUESTIONS.

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