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The coronavirus has had a devastating impact on America’s arts sector. Since the first U.S. case was reported on January 20, 2020 cancellations and closings are taking place at thousands of arts organizations across the country, and two-thirds of the nation’s artists are now unemployed. Americans for the Arts leads the three premier national studies tracking the human and financial impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the arts.
As people across the country seek ways to connect and stay hopeful, the work of the cultural sector bringing the arts to communities is more important than ever. At Americans for the Arts, we are working to gather the arts field together this summer to better understand this crisis, how we are responding to it, and how we can move forward toward recovery.
During this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic when people need the arts more than ever, arts and cultural organizations have quickly responded by making their programming and content available to audiences around the world via online platforms. There is another important consideration, however, beyond availability: is the content accessible for people with disabilities?
New Mexico Arts, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, announced that it plans to allocate $1.5 million in Covid-19 relief to approximately two-hundred arts organizations as well as schools, tribal governments, and government entities in support of the retention of full- and part-time jobs and independently-contracted artists, arts administrators, and arts educators across the state.
The National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation are recognizing and celebrating the 2020 Poetry Out Loud™ student champions by distributing cash prize awards, sharing videos of poetry recitations by participants across the United States, and announcing the winners of the Poetry Ourselves contest.
Among other mass event cancellations and closures precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, various film festivals have been forced to transfer their programming online over the past few months. As the possibility of longer-term quarantine looms, many major fests are having to consider their options, even though they aren’t scheduled to take place for several more months or longer.