First Coast Opera has been approved for a $50,000 award as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This grant will help the nonprofit opera company maintain and strengthen its administrative staffing over the next two years. Located in St. Augustine, First Coast Opera is the only professional producing opera company in northeast Florida, offering an annual series of performances and events featuring visiting guest artists as well as local and regional performers and technicians. FCO was one of 33 arts organizations in Florida to receive a CARES Act award.
“We are honored and thankful to receive this support,” said Artistic Director Curtis Tucker. “While we are anxious to sing again, this grant will help us continue operating and preparing for when it is safe for artists and audiences to gather for performances.”
Administered by the National Endowment for the Arts, CARES Act funding was awarded to 855 nonprofit arts organizations — located in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico — totaling $44.5 million in non-matching funds to support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs.
The National Endowment for the Arts received more than 3,100 eligible applications requesting $157 million for the $45 million available in direct assistance.
Arts and culture are a key component of the U.S. economy that contribute $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017 and employ over 5 million wage‐and‐salary workers who collectively earned $405 billion. This funding will help support those jobs and those nonprofit organizations during this time of great need so that arts and culture will persevere as a significant contributor to the American economy.
First Coast Opera plans to resume its performances in January 2021 with a new production of Verdi’s La Traviata. For more information, see www.firstcoastopera.com.