Read the Wisconsin Policy Forum's COVID-19 Research Brief: "Arts and Culture in a Pandemic: An Existential Threat"
Read the Brookings Institute's report on COVID-19's impact on the creative economy
Listen to the Imagine MKE podcast episode with Joe Peterangelo, lead researcher on the Wisconsin Policy Forum research brief.
Read the letter signed by over 40 arts and culture organizations in Milwaukee: Imagine MKE Coalition Letter
Read the principles for COVID-19 relief joined by a national coalition of arts and culture organizations: Arts and Culture Sector Relief in COVID-19
gener8tor and Sound Diplomacy's toolkit to help unlock to funding for our artists, arts organizations, and creative economy: #CaresForArts Toolkit.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves throughout all sectors, affecting many of our industries in Milwaukee and around the state. Like many, our city and county's artists and the arts and culture sector are experiencing a perfect storm where they can no longer perform or sell tickets due to the necessary public health response to coronavirus, while at the same time, the impacts from a global economic pause has also created uncertainty for our sector's business partners and donors.
As of August 24, 2020, the Coronavirus has had a devastating $12.5 billion economic impact on America's arts sector with a 63% unemployment rate among artists and gig workers. Since the first U.S. case was reported in January, 96% of arts and culture organizations have cancelled events—some as far out as 2021—resulting in a loss of 354 million ticketed admissions and billions of dollars more lost in event-related spending by audiences at local businesses (restaurants, lodging, retail), impacting 701,000 jobs.
This is an existential challenge to our sector and adjacent industries and it will require a strong public policy response at all levels of government. Yet, Wisconsin is 50th in the nation in public funding for the arts, despite the arts, culture, and creative sector creating 96,000 jobs and generating almost $10 billion in economic impact.
As our region's artists, creatives, non-profit arts and culture organizations, for-profit creative businesses and workers, and arts lovers, we must join with together to speak up and ensure that state and federal relief and recovery responses help our sector survive this current challenge. It is critically important to make your voice heard and get attention for this issue.