COVID-19 and the Arts: Response and Resources

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COVID-19 and the Arts: Response and Resources

The arts and culture industry is a rapidly growing industry in the US. According to the reports from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts, the arts industry contributes about $763.6 billion to the US economy or 4.2 percent of the GDP — thanks to the rise of art exhibits, galleries, and advertisements. 

However, since the beginning of the COVID, the US economy has been suffering from its negative impacts, including the arts and culture sector. The calculated national impact of Covid-19 on the arts and culture industry has been about $13.9 billion. Up to date, 96% of organizations have canceled events; or there have been over 100 million people in lost attendance. In response to this, many organizations may need to reduce their number of staff, either temporarily or permanently. Based on the latest survey conducted by the Americans for the Arts, about 24% of the organizations that participated in the survey will have to reduce staffing, either temporarily or permanently. This means that there may be 7, 994 vacant positions due to a hiring freeze. 

To minimize the impact of the pandemic, many arts and culture organizations have modified their operating status. 47% of the organizations have answered that they will increase their online presence, 46% of them have decided to use their financial reserves, while 33% would opt for laying off or furloughing artists. Sadly, 11% of the organizations in the arts and cultural sector are not that confident to survive the impact of the pandemic. 

More locally on Fairfax County arts, there has been almost $1.5 million in financial losses with a median impact per organization at $16,000. Unfortunately, this has been caused by a loss of attendance at almost 150,000. When asked what was the major financial obstacle 57% said they have limited savings/cash reserves with 14% are worried their businesses will close. 

CARES Act for Organizations and Individuals in the Arts and Culture Sector

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act is a bill passed by Congress and signed into law as a response to the economic fallout caused by the pandemic. Below are the resources that artists and organizations in the arts and culture sector can visit.

For Organizations

For Individuals

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