Saturday, April 17, 2021

YAC to Receive Funding to Support Creative Small Businesses

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020.

Included in this announcement are Our Town and Art Works awards for small business development in the creative arts, through programs offered by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.

The Our Town award of $75,000 to YAC will fund arts-based small businesses over a two-year period.

YAC_Logo_Large-220x300.jpgThis is one of 51 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category. The Art Works award of $20,000 benefits small businesses in Lafayette County through the funding of the Big Bad Business Series — a free workshop series hosted in partnership with the EDF and Chamber of Commerce focusing on small business topics like taxes, web presence, and intellectual property law.

This is one of 1015 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category.

“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their art projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We celebrate organizations like Yoknapatawpha Arts Council for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”

The Big Bad Business Lab will be a two-year pilot program to help creatives build their small business in a collaborative business incubator. It will include two cohorts of creative small businesses seeking to accomplish a business goal and develop a body of work.

The Arts Incubator is a series of free programs and professional development sessions aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and connecting them with resources within the community. Among these programs are the Big Bad Business Series free workshops in collaboration with EDF and the community-supported arts (CSA) program which provides seed funding to artists to accomplish a business goal.

YAC offers these programs at little or no cost so that entrepreneurs can learn, build, and grow their small businesses with little material disadvantage to themselves.

“We want to support work/ creative space, expertise, and logistical support so that innovative businesses flourish in Oxford,” said Wayne Andrews, executive director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. “Our community is unique and creative making it an attractive place to launch or grow a small business to a larger, regional audience. Using our sense of place as an asset this project seeks to launch businesses that don’t focus on earning a living but creating a life.”

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit

Staff report