Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner Friday encouraged artists in his district to apply for a portion of $500,000 in grant money aimed at helping arts-related nonprofit organizations and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In establishing the grants program, Wagner said it occurred to him that the arts community was hurt on a couple of fronts by the coronavirus outbreak.

“It seemed to me two things — one is that those organizations are also, of course, finding themselves in trouble because of COVID-19 because the donor base is drying up and the lack of activities to perform at or to do their thing,” Wagner told City News Service.

Much of the focus has been on helping small businesses with funding from the coronavirus relief bill as well as medical providers in need of personal protective equipment, Wagner said.

“This seemed like it was a niche that hadn’t gotten help,” Wagner said. “I’m a big supporter of the arts. They’re civilizing and we need that today.”

Information on how to apply for the grants can be found at

Applications are due by 5 p.m. July 17.

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