Arts and cultural organizations depend on large gatherings for ticket revenue. Social and physical distancing orders made it impossible for these organizations to remain open. That makes them one of the business sectors most severely affected by the pandemic.
Theaters across the country have gone dark, many museums are closed, or are operating on a reservation-only basis, modern movie theaters shuttered – although you may find a few drive-in movie theaters open. Concerts and festivals are canceled and we are seeing a resurgence of the ‘starving artist.’
It’s Ironic, art and culture are the things needed most right now. People need the connection from sharing art experiences. Arts and culture enrich our lives. They are a boost to our mental, physical, and social well-being. But, since the beginning of this public health crisis in March, art and cultural organizations are finding it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
According to a report done by the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs, COVID-19 threatens the very survival of cultural facilities and events and the livelihoods of arts workers, ranging from security guards to artists and stagehands to accountants.
Non-profit arts organizations continue to be most concerned about the enormous negative impact of COVID-19 on jobs – staff and artists – and on revenue lost as a result of the complete stop of cultural programs and events.
• 52.5% of respondents indicated that “Administrative and Artistic Salaries/Fees” is their #1 Financial Priority
• 36.4% of respondents indicated that “Reduced/Eliminated Earned Revenue and Contributed Income” is their #2 Financial Priority
Help for the Arts
Grants are now being offered to allow arts and cultural groups to retain employees, obtain new equipment, alter physical environments to maintain social distancing, or modify programs and services. Over 1,750 arts and culture grants are listed on GrantWatch.com. Here are 8 examples:
- Grants to Rhode Island nonprofit organizations and community-based organizations for programs that are responsive to the changing community needs of local residents.
- Grants to Indiana nonprofit organizations and public agencies in eligible locations for projects and programs that promote arts and culture.
- Grants of up to $15,000 to California nonprofit organizations in eligible regions to provide community art opportunities and programs.
- Grants to California licensed adult daycare centers, child care centers, and after-school programs to supply nutritious meals and snacks.
- Grants to USA nonprofits for activities that positively impact people around the world and their communities. Support is primarily given to programs in the areas of architecture and the arts, education, addressing the needs of underserved communities.
- Grants of up to $1,000 to Norman, Oklahoma arts nonprofits for management training on organizational issues.
- Grants of up to $10,000 to Massachusetts public and charter schools and districts in underserved communities to launch or expand free breakfast in the classroom programs for PreK-12 children.
- Grants to Connecticut nonprofits for programs in the areas of education, human services, and arts and culture, with a special emphasis on the needs of youth, children, and families.
The various sources of funding available to support arts and culture organizations will allow them to provide critical programming, especially in low-income areas, and support local artists with careers that have been interrupted by the pandemic.
The arts play a critical role in returning hope to our communities and these much-needed grants will help to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and help many organizations and individuals make survive the negative economic impact of the pandemic.