In It for the Long Haul: How Arts and Cultural Organizations Can Consider Adapting

Aimed at helping arts and cultural organizations consider key questions and variables as they plan for reopening and a post-COVID-19 future, this report estimates the pandemic’s effect on the nonprofit arts sector and identifies three critical propositions and four prompting questions for consideration.

Our estimates draw on historical financial, operating, and attendance data, as well as reported near-term decisions and impact to date.[1] The estimated aggregate -$6.8 billion net effect of the COVID-19 crisis on the nonprofit arts and culture sector equates to a deficit equivalent to 26% of expenses for the average organization, over the course of a year.

This report underscores that COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges and proposes specific steps that can be taken to address the crisis while orienting toward sustained action and resiliency. These steps reflect three propositions that any organization can develop and align in order to achieve success: its value proposition, revenue proposition, and people proposition. We argue that these steps have the potential to differentiate the organizations that not only weather the crisis but grow through it.

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