Costs & Values

A New Survey Projects Up to $135 Million in Cultural Organization Losses

The updated figures from ArtsFund look at lost revenue in the 2020 fiscal year.

By Stefan Milne May 5, 2020

Image: Nate Bullis

Back in March, ArtsFund released the results of an early survey trying to gauge the damage wreaked by coronavirus-related shutdowns in the nonprofit arts world. It projected $74 million in lost revenue through the end of this month. Now ArtsFund has fresh numbers. 

Conducted in April, a new survey of 90 regional organizations (93 percent of them in King County) projects between $133 and $135 million in lost revenue through the end of this fiscal year, with 4,967 employees laid off or furloughed. Some 76 percent of the organizations said they had to cancel fundraisers. 

In response to the immense need, ArtsFund has been working to expedite grants to cultural nonprofits. With the survey, the organization announced $4.8 million in grants, distributed to organizations in King and Pierce counties. The money is split between a round of keystone grants to 66 organizations in King and Pierce counties (ranging from $1,200 for Jet City Improv to $199,260 for Pacific Northwest Ballet) and a round of emergency relief grants to 80 King County groups. 

On a livestreamed conference, Bernie Griffin, the 5th Avenue Theatre's managing director, told viewers the most useful financial support they can offer is giving money directly to organizations—especially today, Giving Tuesday, when many organizations have other donors matching contributions. 

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