COVID-19 is having disastrous financial consequences on the arts sector, an essential part of Fairfax’s local economy. The lasting impact is unknown, but predictors indicate many small nonprofits arts organizations will close their doors, leaving many unemployed and a hole in the culture of our community.
The arts community needs immediate financial support, and that is why ARTSFAIRFAX is restructuring its grant programming for Fiscal Year 2021 to create the Emergency Relief and Recovery Grant Program. A total of $100,000 will be available in grant funding for arts organizations in Fairfax County, the Cities of Falls Church and Fairfax and Fairfax County individual artists most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The press release outlines the details and the application closes on June 29, 2020.
Nationwide, the arts sector is $166.3 billion in economic activity – $63.8 billion in spending by arts and culture organizations and $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences supporting 4.6 million in jobs and generating $27.5 billion in government revenue. In Fairfax County 3,054 arts-related businesses employ 14,012, according to the 2017 Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Creative Industries report.
Closings and cancelations have taken place across the country, and AFTA has initiated three ongoing COVID-19 related studies to understand the long-term impact on the arts. As of this writing, AFTA is reporting that two-thirds of the nation’s artists are now unemployed. When AFTA asked Virginia arts leaders if their organization would survive the impact of COVID-19, only 65% responded yes.
ARTSFAIRFAX mission is to support the arts. Now more than ever, the arts need the community’s support. We are seeing that individual artists are most often left out of COVID-19 relief funding. As part of our mission to support the arts, ARTSFAIRFAX is launching a fundraising campaign to raise private funds to support individual artists impacted by the pandemic. Additional information will be coming soon, but donations are being accepted.
ARTSFAIRFAX supports the arts. Please consider supporting the arts in your community.