Heeding Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's order to prohibit public events of 100 persons or more — in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 — ArtsWave released a statement yesterday calling attention to the impact it will have on working artists and also announcing the cancelation of OTR Arts Day, meant to take place tomorrow (March 14) in various venues around Over-the-Rhine and surrounding areas. The organization is also postponing the CincyJams concert at the Woodward Theater, which was originally scheduled for March 19.
“The health of our community is everyone’s first priority, including ArtsWave’s," ArtsWave President and CEO Alecia Kintner said in a statement. "We support the need for social distancing and all individual efforts to slow down the spread of Covid-19.”
According to statistics from Americans for the Arts, 60 percent of earned income for nonprofit arts organizations comes directly from ticket sales, sponsorships and fundraising events.
"The remainder must be raised through contributions and grants," an AFTA chart reads. "Even small fluctuations in contributed revenue can mean deficits for many organizations."
Several organizations have had to either cancel or postpone events, including the Aronoff Center for the Arts; Cincinnati Museum Center; Cincinnati Art Museum; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; Know Theatre; Cincinnati World Cinema; Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Contemporary Arts Center; Carnegie Hall; Freedom Center; Taft Museum of Art; Lloyd Library & Museum; and The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
That list could go on... and on.
“One thing that is within our control, however, is keeping support for the arts strong as part of protecting our community’s overall health and vibrancy," Kitner adds in the release. The ArtsWave Community Campaign, which kicked off this year on Jan. 30, is the largest source of annual funding for Greater Cincinnati arts organizations. It's currently at 50 percent of its $12.4 million goal.
To support institutions facing financial challenges as a result of drops in revenue, ArtsWave has a "bridge loan fund" in place that orgs can apply to for access.
What can individuals looking to help do? Consider donating to arts organizations or buy an artist's work. If you bought a ticket for an upcoming performance that's been canceled, several theatres have made it an option to donate the price of the ticket, versus refunding. To ensure the livelihood of artists — and the art they make — such support is paramount.
Visit artswave.org/corona for more cancelations, postponements and ways to give.