Pandemic Relief Mini-Grant Program

About the Program

In November 2021, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced an American Rescue plan (ARP) grant which would be distributed to 66 local art agencies to help artists recover from the pandemic. This grant totaled $20,200,000, which was then split between the 66 agencies who would be awarded either $150,000, $250,000, or $500,000.

Tamarack Foundation for the Arts (TFA) received a $250,000 NEA ARP award to administer the Pandemic Relief Mini-grant program. The regranting program was designed to support individual artists and arts-supportive organizations in effort to sustain, create, and restore arts-related jobs in 14 WV counties: Braxton, Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha (rural areas only), Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Nicholas, Wayne, Webster, and Wyoming.

In 2022 and 2023, TFA conducted outreach in the service area to bring awareness to the funding opportunity. We provided robust technical support to applicants during the application process, as many of the applicant’s were first time grantseekers. In total, TFA dispersed $210,000 mini-grants to 28 WV artists and arts-supportive organizations.

Recipients and Projects

In total, TFA dispersed $210,000 mini-grants to 28 WV artists and arts-supportive organizations.




Project Description

Alex Blankenship individual artist Mingo Lyrics in Motion: A song writing workshop and live local showcase held in Gilbert
Amy McLaughlin individual artist Fayette New River Gorge Creative Community-in-Residence (3 artists) at Lafayette Flats and a culminating show at Love Hope Arts
Big Creek People in Action nonprofit McDowell Music and Cultural Programming in McDowell
Bobby Lee Messer individual artist Cabell, serving southern WV Producing videos of young people under 30 about why they are called to stay in WV
Brian Michael Reed individual artist Clay Arts workshops in Clay County
City of Smithers nonprofit Fayette and Kanawha Community Arts Programming in Smithers that included the creation of two public murals by Nichole Westfall and Blake Wheeler; a theater a workshop for senior citizens facilitated by Rustic Mechanicals; and theater performance for the public
Coalfield Development West Edge Factory nonprofit Wayne Art From Within: Arts workshops with people of different abilities
Coda Mountain nonprofit Fayette Youth Fine Arts Camps and One-on-One Lessons
Dana Evans individual artist Logan Shawnee Island Park Mural
Doris Fields individual artist Raleigh, serving southern WV Created another video in in the series “Those Who Came Before” to document Black history, heritage, and art in WV
Gary Bowling individual artist Mercer Complete two permanent art installations in the Gary Bowling House of Art (Bluefield): Circus, Circus and Resonator Interactive
Guitars in the Classroom, Tracy Wayne nonprofit Clay and Nicholas Guitars and Uke’s in the Classroom for Beginners: Training Public School Teachers in Clay and Nicholas counties how to incorporate music in everyday teaching
Isaac Preston individual artist Mercer Studio Revitalization at the Gary Bowling’s House of Art and public arts workshops
Jes Reger individual artist Ohio County, served southern WV Facilitated Free Nature in Watercolor Workshops in five economically challenged communities
Keith Lahti individual artist Clay Study and research a new clay firing technique that could reduce environmental impact; document research and share findings at the WV Potters Gathering
Loren Preston individual artist Mercer Plan and host art workshops with youth
Love Hope Center for the Arts nonprofit Fayette Operating support
WV Mine Wars Museum nonprofit Mingo Operating support
Native American Indian Federation nonprofit Fayette

Thunder in the Mountains Pow-Wow 

arts programming

Nicholas Nisbet individual artist Mercer Illustrate and publish children’s book of Appalachian fables
Psychoflauge individual artist Webster and Fayette Introduction to Paper Quilting and Video Collage Workshops at Love Hope Arts
Randall Sanger individual artist Mingo Support the development of the Randall Sanger Gallery Space in Williamson
Reconnecting McDowell nonprofit McDowell Plan and host a series of music events in Welch at the Jack Caffrey Art and Culture Center
Sassa Wilkes individual artist Cabell, serving Wayne Trans Community Art Workshops at West Edge
Stella Gregory individual artist Braxton Create educational videos about the art of cutting stained glass
Step By Step nonprofit Lincoln and Logan Arts education and experiences during youth afterschool and out-of-school time programming
Thomas Jude individual artist Mingo Highwall Music Festival on reclaimed mining property in Matewan

Impact: TFA is currently collecting data about the projects and will be able to share more about the impact of this regranting program in the Spring 2024.


Thank you for supporting the arts in West Virginia.

National Endowment for the Arts