Information During the Impact of the Coronavirus

From ArtsReady

   The arts community’s response to the COVID-19 public health crisis has been collaborative and in solidarity. Here we offer updated resources to help you operate within an unknown and constantly-changing environment, for artists, managers/agents, funders, and arts organizations.

All decisions should be made with the advice of and within the context of, your local public health and other governmental officials. The CDC also offers advice for your home, workplace and arts venues:

The economic and legal impact of COVID-19 on the arts sector

Americans for the Arts is gathering data and impact stories. The survey will capture a broad spectrum of data and stories that will demonstrate how the arts and culture workers triumphed and survived this crisis as well as the effect of the outbreak on operations through canceled events, lost wages, and additional expenses. AFTA asks you to respond, and encourage you to share this survey with your communities.
Federal relief for the non-profit arts sector

Congress and the Administration are approving new forms of federal economic assistance. Artists, arts organizations and arts supporters can join with others in the arts and nonprofit sector to speak up to ensure that relief will meet all community needs. Learn how you can help the arts get critical support.

Brian D. Bumby with GG Arts Law offers this legal guidance (not legal advice!) on issues including cancellations, Force Majeure, and travel restrictions.

How Dancers and Dance Organizations [and other performing arts] Can Prepare for the Financial Fallout of COVID-19. This interview with Jan Newcomb, executive director of NCAPER (the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response), addresses things artists and organizations can be doing today to mitigate your situation and become more informed.

The Event Safety Alliance is making several key resources available for free or at a reduced cost, including the Event Safety Guide, and Event Safety Access core safety training.

Webinars for Organizations and Artists

We Are Stronger Together: Navigating Crises and Sustaining Healthy Relationships in the Era of Coronavirus – Wednesday, March 18 @ 3 Eastern, 2 Central, 1, Mountain, Noon Pacific. RSVP on the Facebook event.

The World Health Organization has now classified the spread of coronavirus as a pandemic, forcing cancellations of events by local mandate or out of “an abundance of caution”. As a result, the performing arts presenting, booking and touring industry is navigating unchartered waters, as we look to both contracts—and to each other—for direction. Join the partners of the Alliance for Performing Arts Conferences (APAC)*, as we host an informative, field-wide conversation with presenters, agents, artists, and legal and emergency response experts around the current business, legal, financial, ethical and relational realities we are facing TOGETHER.

Speakers include APAP executive director Mario Garcia Durham, musician Rhiannon Giddens, presenter Patti Libertore, NAPAMA president Gail Boyd, agent Mark Laurie, choreographer/dancer Sean Dorsey, ArtsReady Director Mollie Quinlan-Hayes, and arts and immigration expert Matthew Covey.

*APAC is Arts Midwest, Arts Northwest, ArtsReady, Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Folk Alliance International, North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents, North Carolina Presenters Network, International Performing Arts for Youth, South Arts and Western Arts Alliance.

Artists In a Time of Global Pandemic: A Community Webinar for Independent, Freelance U.S. Artists Across Disciplines
webinar for freelance artists is scheduled for Monday, 3/16, 8pm EDT/7pm CDT/6pm MDT/5pm PDT (1 hr, 35 min), hosted by HowlRound Theatre Commons

Join HowlRound and a group of artists, arts administrators, and others from around the U.S. on Monday, March 16 at 8pm ET to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting freelance artists (those who identify as independent contractors) from all disciplines, and where artists can look for support in this complicated moment. The conversation will focus on shared resources (legal, advocacy, how to take your work virtual, finding emergency funding, and financial best practices in crisis) and building and grounding our national community.

The Covid-19 Impact on Festivals/Live Events – Monday, March 16, 3 p.m. (EDT), hosted by FestForums

Arts and Culture Sector and the Coronavirus: What we Know and How to Move Forward – Thursday, March 19, 3 p.m. (EDT), hosted by Americans for the Arts

Networking for Disaster Management in the Performing Arts – March 24, 2020, 2 p.m. (EDT). Emergency response and preparedness for performing arts organizations can be a difficult task for individual organizations. This free two-hour webinar will demonstrate how working with multiple organizations in a network for disaster management can be accomplished.

Crisis Communication and Reputation Management for Performing Arts Organizations – March 25, 2020, 2 p.m. (EDT) Are you prepared? This class reviews elements of strategic communication that are essential before, during and after crisis events. It examines how your organization can best prepare to respond to crisis and restore organizational reputation.

Watch the recording of Coronavirus Preparedness for Theatres hosted by Theater Communications Group on March 6, 2020

Watch the recording of Prepare Your Organization for the Coronavirus Disease Outbreak hosted by the Event Safety Alliance on March 4, 2020

The Coronavirus – A Meeting Planner’s Perspective hosted by Event Tech Group and Freestone


Information and Emergency Funding for Artists

The Actors Fund fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan.

Freelance Artists can access this rich list of resources.

NAPAMA (North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents) provides COVID-19 information particular to performing artists, agents and managers. Their Resource List includes information related to airfare refund and/or cancellation policies, emergency fund and relief programs, sample communications, and more. A list of FAQs address questions including dealing with cancellations, how to mitigate losses, and more.

CERF+ The Artists Safety Net is focusing resources to assist artists who test positive for COVID-19 and require intensive medical care.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts: Emergency Grants provide urgent funding ($500-$2,500) for visual and performing artists who incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates.

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants: The fund provides one-time cash grants of up to $5,000 to cover expenses caused by one-time, unexpected medical emergencies. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to: hospital and doctor bills (including insurance co-pays), tests, physical/occupational therapy, prescription drugs specifically for the emergency medical condition, and emergency dental work.

Change, Inc.: Emergency grants for artists in all disciplines needing help with rent, medical expenses, utility bills, fire damage, etc. Grants up to $1,000. Call 212.473.3742 for complete instructions (via a clear, concise message) on how to apply for the grant.

Musician’s Foundation: Grants typically range in amount from approximately $500-$3,000. All professional musicians, regardless of their genre or instrument, can apply for themselves or a family member. You must be a musician in a time of serious need, due to personal, medical, dental, or family crisis, natural disaster, or other emergency situation.

MusiCares: May grant short-term financial assistance for personal or addiction needs that have arisen due to unforeseen circumstances. Funding may be awarded for needs such as rent, car payments, insurance premiums, utilities, medical/dental expenses, psychotherapy, addiction treatment, sober living, and other personal expenses.

Authors League Fund: The Authors League Fund helps professional writers in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune by providing no-strings-attached “loans” to pay for pressing expenses.

PEN American Writers’ Emergency Fund: emergency grant provides financial assistance to painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation.

Boston Artist Relief Fund: The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 and $1000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by Coronavirus.

Women and Hollywood Amplify Filmmakers Affected by SXSW Cancellation: If your project has been affected by the cancellation of SXSW or another festival or event, and you doing something else to recoup the costs or attend another event down the road, Women and Hollywood wants to help you amplify your campaign.


Communications Plans

ArtsKC offers this sample plan for communicating with local organizations and artists.

Additional communications examples can be found through APAP.


Additional Information and Resources

The Performing Arts Readiness Project (PAR) offers free webinars on many aspects of arts preparedness. More are scheduled, and previous webinars have been recorded and are available on demand. See the full list of offerings and register here.

CERF+ offers the new Studio Safety Guide, in addition to its longstanding resource The Studio Protector. Learn more!

Watch for the rollout of ArtsReady 2.0 later this spring!

Sign up for a free ArtsReady Basic Membership!

If you have questions or additional suggestions for your colleagues, please send them to

Be safe!

Team ArtsReady