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Please Support Our Local Arts Community by Joining CAA

October 26, 2020 by Jennifer Steele, CAA Executive Director

The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating impact on America's arts sector. Since the first U.S. case was reported, cancellations have taken place at virtually every arts organization in the country and artists/creative workers are among the most severely affected segment of the nation’s workforce.

The Cultural Arts Alliance and the Walton County arts community are no different, which is why we redirected a donor grant to create the Emergency Relief Fund for Artists that has provided $75,000 to artists, to date, even as the CAA feels the strain from lost event and sponsorship revenue that has historically sustained our organization.

Our national arts partner Americans for the Arts has been tracking the financial and human impacts of this crisis on the nonprofit arts and cultural sector, and here are some of their findings based on 19,700 survey responses. (October 12, 2020 report):

  • Nationally, financial losses to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are an estimated $14.0 billion, to date.
  • 96% of organizations have cancelled events—a loss of 478 million admissions and $15.1 billion in audience spending at local businesses (e.g., restaurants, lodging, retail, parking).
  • The total economic impact of organizational and audience-spending losses is $4.9 billion in lost government revenue and 845,000 jobs no longer being supported.
  • 29% laid off or furloughed staff.
  • 63% make their cultural product available online or through social media (67% of these organizations expect to continue their virtual presence post-pandemic).
  • 10% are “not confident” that they will survive the pandemic (a potential loss of 12,000 organizations).
  • 15% have canceled events originally scheduled to take place in 2021.
  • 41% of nonprofit arts organizations are currently open. 59% of organizations remain closed.
  • Artists/creatives are among the most severely affected workers by the pandemic. 63% have become fully unemployed. They expect to lose an average of $22,000 each in creativity-based income in 2020 ($50.6 billion, nationally). Findings are based on 26,019 survey responses.  

The CAA's own data is included in these findings, and we feel the negative effects of the pandemic even as we embrace innovation and change and strive to bring uninterrupted programming and services to our community.

Inevitably, we will have to continue to cancel, postpone and limit events to keep our audience safe, which means revenue from memberships is needed now more than ever before.

If you are not a member, please join us, and if you have not renewed your membership, please do so today. If you ARE a member, I thank and applaud you for your support and ask that you forward this email along to your friends who are in a position to join in your support!

Join the CAA and help keep the arts thriving in Walton County!


Jennifer Steele, Executive Director, Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County

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