DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A new survey shows the COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on the nonprofit arts and cultural sector in the city of Dallas.
After polling nearly 100 organizations, the survey found that the sector has suffered more than $67,770,000 in losses in the period from March 13 — when the pandemic lockdown started — through July 31.
The amount is more than double the losses reported in a survey taken for the period through May 31. Some of the increase is due to the number of participating organizations increasing.
“All of these organizations are just struggling to hold on,” said Terry D. Loftis, president of the arts funding organization TACA. “The philanthropic community is certainly working to step up and help, but these losses are staggering.”
TACA has distributed nearly $600,000 in emergency COVID relief grants to 70 groups.
While many businesses in Dallas have reopened, capacity limits and social-distancing have kept arts and cultural organizations from resuming live, in-person experiences. The result has meant the cancellation or postponement of thousands of programs, performances and classes.
Results show that revenue losses for the 91 organizations participating in the survey have averaged 25% of their budgets since March 13.
As far as the human toll — more than 1,200 people have been furloughed or laid off and a number of remaining staff members saw their pay cut, with at least one-third of the groups implementing salary reductions to reduce expenses.
“It’s really pretty simple. Everyone is trying to find enough cash so we can live to fight another day,” said Joanna St. Angelo, president of the grass-roots arts advocacy group DACAC. “We are turning to donors, patrons, foundations and corporations. Perhaps the federal government will include the arts in another stimulus package, or maybe the City can find just a little bit more. We are checking under every couch cushion to see what we can find.”
The groups participating in the survey include dance, theater, music, visual arts, performing arts centers, literary arts and more.
The survey was conducted by the arts advocacy organizations Arts Community Alliance, Dallas Arts District and Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition.