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PVLA to Receive $100,000 Grant

from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the American Rescue Plan

(Philadelphia, PA)—Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (PVLA) is pleased to announce they have been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. PVLA will receive $100,000 in operational support to allow them to prioritize the growth of PVLA’s programming and development efforts in order to enhance the organization’s capacity to meet the increased demand for pro bono legal services among the independent arts community within the Greater Philadelphia region. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as PVLA, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”  

PVLA plans to use the grant funding to offset some of the increased financial obligations stemming from its shift to fully independent nonprofit status, which began in the midst of the pandemic, ensuring that the organization is well-positioned to sustain and enhance its work of empowering artists. Since the onset of the pandemic, PVLA has witnessed a dramatic rise in demand for legal services from members of the creative sector, many of whom continue to experience financial hardship while grappling with complex or unique legal challenges not addressed by other legal aid organizations.

The funding will support the addition of two part-time employees focused on improved communications, development initiatives, and data management practices. In addition, the grant funding will help meet general operating costs, such as rent, for 2022 and 2023. This significant  increase in operating support will allow PVLA to thoughtfully consider refinements to its programming and services delivery model with an eye toward enabling the region’s creative sector to recover and flourish more rapidly.

“This crucial funding from the NEA comes at a time when PVLA as an organization is in a period of transformation,” said Ken Metzner, PVLA’s Executive Director. “We are seeking to strengthen our core program of matching volunteer lawyers with under-resourced artists and arts organizations while also re-envisioning new services and programming to advance the wellbeing and sustainability of the visionary artists of our community. This American Rescue Plan grant will help allow us to do that, and we are grateful to the NEA for their support.”

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.

For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, visit www.arts.gov/COVID-19/the-american-rescue-plan.

About Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts:

PVLA is a non-profit legal services organization through which lawyers assist artists and cultural organizations throughout the Greater Philadelphia area via legal representation, publications, advocacy, education, and counseling pro bono. In 2019, PVLA began to resume operations as an independent nonprofit organization after 10 years as a program of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s Arts and Business Council. In recent years, PVLA has provided, on average per year, roughly 3,600 hours pro bono legal services valued at approximately $1.4 million to more than 265 artists, arts groups and inventors. PVLA’s services to the legal and arts communities have also included continuing legal education for lawyers, free educational programming for artists regarding their legal rights, a speakers bureau offering speakers at no cost to arts organizations and schools, and other resources. For more information or to learn how to get involved, please visit www.pvla.org.