As we continue to navigate these unknown waters as a community, we have been heartened by stories from our grantees about their resilience and grace when faced with an uncertain future. We know it is a difficult time for our non-profits and the Miller Foundation’s priorities remain unchanged: to support a thriving arts ecology and strengthen student achievement in K-12 education.
In the Arts:
On Monday, April 20th, a one-stop application for COVID-19 aid was launched. Established in partnership with statewide and Portland metro arts funders, and administered by the Oregon Community Foundation, the program will support nonprofit arts and culture organizations throughout Oregon with grants for emergency operating support and recovery activities. Pooled funds will give preference to arts nonprofits led by and serving communities disproportionately impacted by the social and economic consequences of the outbreak of COVID-19.
Partners contributing to the pooled fund currently include: The Collins Foundation, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Regional Arts & Culture Council, and Schnitzer CARE Foundation/Jordan Schnitzer. Other partners aligning some of their giving with and supporting the effort include Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Arts Commission, The Reser Family Foundation, and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.
You can find the application here: https://oregoncf.org/grants-and-scholarships/grants/oregon-arts-and-culture-recovery-program/
We are following closely the guidance from the Oregon Dept. of Education to school districts. We hope nonprofit organizations working directly in historically underserved communities will remain our critical partners in meeting the needs of their communities. We are engaged in regular discussions with our peer funders in education to coordinate our support in meeting the educational needs of children statewide. Current education grantees will be contacted by Miller staff about how we can best support you right now.
Current arts and education grantees:
Here are some ways we can help:
If you have a current grant, we can accelerate your 2020 payment.
We can change a project or capacity-building grant to a general operating support grant.
We can remove contingencies from your grant to give you more flexibility.
We can extend grant timelines and reporting deadlines and minimize reporting requirements.
We understand that your financial health may look radically different than it has in the past and we will evaluate future proposals accordingly.
We are currently reviewing the responsive grant applications we received in our March 2020 round and will be notifying applicants of award decisions between now and mnid-June. In order to maximize our support for affected Arts and Education nonprofits in Oregon, the Miller Foundation will focus the remainder of our 2020 responsive funding (normally awarded after our June and September deadlines) on supporting our current grantees. We will also be providing additional funding to respond to requests through collaborative processes in partnership with other funders.
We expect to open our application process again in December of 2020 for consideration at our March 2021 board meeting.
While we are working remotely, we are able to respond to your calls and emails. Please be in touch and let us know how we can be supportive.
Miller Foundation staff
Martha, Michelle, Jennifer, Alma, & Lacey