WAA Roundup: Novel Coronavirus & the Performing Arts

Mar 10 2020


Updated 3/20/20

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) poses unique challenges to our performing arts communities, and WAA is working to evolve how we support you in the face of the virus’ uncertain impact. We’ve started to collect articles and resources to share, and we will continue to update this post as we learn more. Please consider taking a short survey, which we hope will help us to better understand how the virus is affecting the WAA community. 

In addition to what we’ve shared, we encourage members to connect with their local and state health departments as they’ll provide the most current location-based information, and subscribe to the CDC newsletter.

Have an article that you found particularly useful that we didn’t highlight or a strategy you’re employing at your own organization that you would like to share with the WAA community? Please reach out to staff@westarts.org.

We Art Stronger Together: Navigating the Coronavirus Webinar | Recorded 3/18/20

A sector-wide town hall meeting specific to COVID-19 organized in collaboration with Arts Midwest, Arts Northwest, Arts Ready, Association for Performing Arts Professionals, Folk Alliance International, North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents, North Carolina Presenters Network, International Performing Arts for Youth, South Arts, and Western Arts Alliance. 

Howlround: Livestreaming Panel, Artists in a Time of Global Pandemic  | Recorded 3/16/20

For US-Based Freelance Artists and Cultural Workers in all Disciplines. 

North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA) Coronavirus Resource Page | Updated 3/19/20

  • The resource page includes information related to airfare refund and/or cancellation policies, emergency fund and relief programs, sample communication and more. 
  • NAPAMA also developed a FAQ page tailored to agents, managers, and self-represented artists. Questions include dealing with cancellations, how to mitigate losses, and more. 

League of American Orchestras: Sample Audience Communications | Updated 3/18/20

  • Talking points for reaching your members in congress.
  • Sample orchestra communications.
  • Streaming and online learning events. 

CDC Guidelines for Mass Gatherings & Large community Events | Updated 3/15/20

  • Intended for organizers and staff responsible for planning mass gatherings. 

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers | Updated as-needed by the CDC

  • Strategies for employers to use now.
  • Planning considerations for an outbreak or potential outbreak.
  • Recommendations for an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan
  • Additional resource links

Event Safety Alliance: Prepare Your Organization for the Coronavirus Disease Outbreak Webinar  | Recorded 3/4/20

We recommend watching this video in its entirety as it provides 8 actionable steps to take right now.

Arts Ready: Preparing for Potential Impact of the Coronavirus  | Updated 3/19/20

Arts Ready shares steps you can take to prepare your facility now

  • Watch TCG's webinar: Coronavirus Preparedness for Theatres (recorded on 3/6/20) 
  • Create a checklist of items that your staff will need should you need to close the office.
  • Create a shutdown protocol (i.e. safe shutdown of IT and other equipment; securing/protecting assets that require regular attention or are of value). 
  • Make sure you gather all of your contacts should you need to shut down, cancel, or change an event and consider a contact tree. 
  • Review your insurance, general liability, and property policies

Americans for the Arts: Arts & Culture Can Prepare for the Coronavirus in the US  | 3/5/20

Americans for the Arts is working to understand the long-term effects on arts and culture and will continue to report out. The article currently suggest the following: 

  • Review your refund policies.
  • Communicate with audiences and stakeholders. 
  • Preventative measures such as social distancing and hygiene.
  • Work to dispel stigma, especially towards Asian/Asian American communities. 

New York Times: When the Show Must Go On | Updated 3/10/20

The article highlights creative ways the performing arts are responding to the virus, and how they're maintaining a relationship with their respective audiences.

  • Venice's opera house, La Fenice, currently closed, is streaming concerts online as a response to their closure. 
  • Artists are creating playlists to share with their fans in quarantine. 
  • Venues are taking action such as ticket buy-backs to create smaller audiences to comply with bans on gathers of 1,000 or more. 
  • One recommendation is to ask g folks to waive their cancellation refunds as a donation. 

Harvard Business Review: How to Reassure Your Team When the News is Scary | 3/5/20

The article includes tips for communicating uncertainty to your teams, as well as to your external netowrk. Leaders, take a break, stay calm and take a moment to center yourself. 

  • Put yourself in your audiences' shoes. Who are you communicating to, and what are their specific concerns or questions?  What do they need immediate answers to?
  • Seek out credible sources and do your research! 
  • Have specific next steps and provide your team with tangible action items. 

Emergency Funding Resources 

New York Foundation for the Arts: Rauschenberg Emergency Grants

  • Grants up to $5,000 for unexpected medical emergiences.
  • Deadline: late May/early June 2020.
  • Open to visual and media artists and choreographers. 

Covid-19 & Freelance Artists 

This comprehnsive, crowd-source resource page for freelance artists includes links to:

  • General resources and preperation.
  • Advocacy for freelancers.
  • Emergency funding. 

Creative Capital: List of Artist Resources During COVID-19 Outbreak

A growing list of resources that include:

  • Emergency financial support.
  • How to host virtual events via Facebook.
  • Closure news specific to the arts. 

Grantmakers in the Arts: Emergency Coronavirus Bill: A relief package with implications for nonprofits and artist residencies | 3/16/20

Brief synopsis of the implications of the relief bill on the arts. As an email from the Alliance of Artists Communities states, the bill includes:

  • Mandated emergency paid leave for employees for qualified sick leave, family and medical leave, and to care for a child whose school has closed"
  • "Refundable payroll tax credits for required emergency paid leave provided by employers with fewer than 500 employees (nonprofits are eligible for relief)"
  • "Emergency funding to states for unemployment compensation"
  • "Refundable individual tax credits for leave taken by self-employed workers for qualified sick leave, caring for a family member, or caring for a child whose school has closed"
  • "Additional provisions related to nutrition assistance and cost-free COVID testing provisions for the uninsured"

Artist Trust: Growing List of Resources in Response to COVID-19

  • Ermergency Funds
  • Financial Support
  • Healthcare
  • General Info

State Public Health Deparments (Western Arts Alliance Region)

Alaska Arizona California
Idaho Montana Nevada
New Mexico Oregon Texas
Washington Wyoming Utah
Canadian Provinces