League of American Orchestras

Support Relief for Nonprofit Orchestras and Musicians Impacted by COVID-19
To date, Congress has passed three federal relief packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are provisions in each of these relief packages that orchestras should become familiar with, but we – including federal policymakers – are all aware that there is still more work to be done. We will need to pinpoint the gaps where the first three packages fail to meet the needs of the nonprofit arts sector, including orchestras and musicians. As the release of guidance helps the bigger picture come into focus, we will continue updating this campaign so that you can keep your elected officials informed about concerns and losses that are not being addressed. The forced closure of many performance venues and places of work is having very real financial consequences for orchestras and musicians, not only from the loss of income from ticket sales and the indefinite loss of opportunities for musicians to work, but also from lost contributed revenue as donors reassess their capacity to give due to the stock market’s volatility.

It is essential that nonprofit orchestras carefully determine which forms of relief and support for the entirety of their workforce they are eligible to access. It will be likely that orchestras and other nonprofit organizations need to enlist the help of elected officials to access any relief that may become available, so those relationships need to be developed or strengthened now. Urge your Representative and Senators to advocate on your behalf and be as specific as possible about the impact to your orchestra, so they will understand the continuing ripple effect of the losses to your musicians, staff, and the communities your orchestra serves.

Talking Points:
  • In the interest of public health and in compliance with local health advisories, orchestras are canceling or curtailing performances, educational offerings, and other public events.
  • Orchestras and musicians who perform in them are vital contributors to the nonprofit sector and important to the economy of the communities they serve.
  • The unexpected loss of event-dependent revenue, income for musicians, and declines in charitable contributions is mounting and will only worsen over time. The arts sector is particularly hard-hit and has acute needs.sure that proposed forgivable SBA disaster relief loans are streamlined and support all arts and culture workers by: specifying that access to forgivable loans is available for self-employed workers, increasing the employer eligibility threshold by applying the 500 employee cap to fulltime employees, and eliminating the employer size cap for nonprofit organizations.
  • Nonprofit orchestras and their workforce are rapidly working to access new forms of federal relief and are identifying areas of ongoing need.
  • Orchestras are innovating to provide online arts experiences and distance learning opportunities. They will be an essential partner in jump-starting local, state, and national recovery efforts during and after COVID-19 and should be supported by all forms of relief.

Find our unified national Arts and COVID-19 Statement to Congress seeking federal arts COVID relief, as well as broader nonprofit sector statements, such as the Charitable Giving Coalition Statement and Nonprofit COVID Relief Statement.

Orchestras are encouraged to consult the League of American Orchestras' growing collection of COVID-19 resources and specifically review the League’s overview of current opportunities for federal assistance.
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