Quarantine Statements

A New Survey Shows Coronavirus's 'Staggering and Immediate Impact on the Arts'

Eighty-five Puget Sound organizations responded to the survey from local nonprofit ArtsFund.

By Stefan Milne March 23, 2020

McCaw Hall, for the time being. 

ArtsFund—a Seattle nonprofit—has released a survey of 85 arts organizations in the Puget Sound region, investigating the impacts of COVID-19 on arts and culture in the area. “The data collected shows staggering and immediate impact to the arts sector," ArtsFund's interim president and CEO Sue Coliton said in a press release. 

The organization conducted the survey between March 12 and 19, as restrictions on public gatherings escalated. Around 57 percent responded before March 16, the day governor Jay Inslee banned gatherings of more than 50 people. So the results below likely skew low, as organizations continue to reckon with the unfolding situation. For instance, Pacific Northwest Ballet just announced today that it canceled its April performance of Giselle

You can read ArtsFund's full study results here, but below are the quick stats:

  • Projected losses through the end of March: $21.6 million. Through April: $43.8 million. Through May: $74.1 million. 
  • Organizations that canceled programming: 94 percent. 
  • Employees laid off or furloughed at time of survey: 1,997. Of them 611 were full-time, 898 were part-time, and 488 were seasonal.
  • Respondents from King County: 84 percent.
  • "Everyone has seen slower overall ticket sales and, where relevant, slower memberships sales."

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced an initial $1.1 million arts recovery package last week. ArtsFund has also set up the COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund

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