Northwest Arkansas Arts
and Culture Bridge Fund

Winter 2020

CACHE Awards Second Round of Grants to 22 Local Nonprofits

Springdale, Ark. (Jan. 28, 2021) – Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange (CACHE) at the Northwest Arkansas Council awarded grants to 22 more local arts and culture nonprofits through its bridge fund program. 

The second round of funding, supported through a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, provides support for organizations to develop long-term strategies around operations, infrastructure and creative production in response to the ongoing and dramatic changes within the arts and culture sector due to COVID-19. 

“CACHE is proud to partner with many of the region’s resilient cultural organizations to reimagine the structures and systems they use to create and operate,” said Allyson Esposito, CACHE executive director.

This Grant Leads
to Support

“This grant means support for a number of wonderful things at Arkansas Soul, including a platform for Black artists, a resource for Black audiences and a home for BIPOC-centered content,” said Niketa Reed, director of Arkansas Soul. “The pandemic made it incredibly difficult for us to stay connected and build valuable relationships in marginalized regional communities. We’re grateful and eager to use this opportunity as a bridge to meet diverse audiences where they are, increase our reach to them and mark a path forward in amplifying Black voices.”

Funds will be used to support transition planning and may be used for activities including, but not limited to: developing new sustainable and inclusive business models, staffing models, programs and strategies; winding down programming and operations where needed; generating new streams of revenues; developing new partnerships; and building capacity and infrastructure to take programming online for the duration of the pandemic and beyond.

A volunteer panel of community arts leaders made recommendations on which organizations should receive funding based on the strength and feasibility of each organization’s plan to adapt in response to the current pandemic and the organizational budget size. Panelists who identified an affiliation or conflict of interest with a Bridge Fund applicant refrained from reviewing, deliberating, or voting on that application.

Many thanks to the 2021 Bridge Panel reviewers for their efforts:

Evan Alvarado

Filmmaker, Musician, CACHE

Robin Atkinson

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum, Non Profit Administrator, Curator

Karen Castleman

Arkansas Arts Academy, NWA Conservatory of Classical Ballet, NWA Ballet Theatre Board, Dancer, Choreographer, Educator

Noelia Cerna

CACHE, Literary Editor, Prison Writing Mentor, Poet

Meghan Dale

Non Profit & Arts
Administrator, CACHE

Donna Jones

University of Arkansas
School of Art

Shannon A. Jones

TheatreSquared, Theatre Artist and Administrator

Octavio Logo

Visual Artist, Filmmaker

Sierra Polk

Founder, Blackground Professional Agency

Erin Shaw

Visual Storyteller, John Brown University Visual Arts

Mario Troncoso

Director, Filmmaker, CACHE

Kat Wilson

Experimental Artist, CACHE

Blake Worthey

CACHE, Dancer,
NWA Ballet Theatre

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Site image credits: NWA Ballet Theatre, Max Grubb