Request your members of Congress ensure Congress will include $4 billion—to be distributed though the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)—to help offset the losses of the nonprofit arts industry, and expand eligibility through additional federal programs to ensure artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in the creative economy can utilize business interruption relief.
As of March 19, 2020, the coronavirus has already had a devastating economic impact on America’s nonprofit arts sector—financial losses to date are estimated to be $3.2 billion. Since the first U.S. case was reported on January 20, cancellations and closings have been reported in thousands of communities spanning all 50 states.
In a national survey by Americans for the Arts, 91% of responding arts organizations have cancelled one or more events. Many arts organizations have closed their doors for months to come. More than one-third of respondents expect to make reductions in staff; 26% have already reduced their creative workforce. The $3.2 billion figure includes actual revenue losses to date from admissions (ticket sales, subscriptions, memberships), non-admissions income (gift shop sales, sponsorships, contributed income), and unexpected expenditures (new cleaning and disinfecting protocols, adoption of new technologies, cancellation fees). Current indications from the CDC and President Trump suggest that social distancing and other measures could extend through the summer. Given that losses documented in the survey have occurred only in the last two months, Americans for the Arts anticipates additional billions in potential revenue losses for the nonprofit arts and culture field.
These estimates are based on more than 2,000 respondents to an Americans for the Arts nationwide COVID-19 impact survey, and then further extrapolation of those data nationally using IRS data about nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. The survey is ongoing, and these figures will be updated regularly.