New York City arts organizations faced close to $1 billion hit from COVID: report

Dance performance from a 2017 gala at the NYU Skirball Center.
Dance performance from a 2017 gala at the NYU Skirball Center.
lev radin / Shutterstock
New York City's arts and cultural sector has been hard hit by the pandemic.

New York City arts organizations faced close to $1 billion hit from COVID: report

The arts and cultural sector still has a long road to recovery.
July 9, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic took a massive financial toll on New York City’s arts organizations, resulting in a cumulative income loss of about $920 million, a new report finds.

That number represents a 36% decline compared with the year before the pandemic, according to the analysis, which was done by the Center for an Urban Future using data from Americans for the Arts. Three in four of the 643 organizations surveyed reported that they had to make budget cuts, which fueled layoffs that have left the city with just half the arts jobs it had before the health crisis. 

Groups led by people of color were even more likely to report needing additional funding to survive and to lay off or furlough staff and creative workers as a result of the financial crunch.

While reopening and an ongoing recovery have many organizations confident they will survive, a number of challenges threaten the arts and cultural sector’s ability to recover, according to the report. Only one in three organizations reported having a clear plan for reopening and nearly half said they lost some or all of their access to a physical space used for programming. Access to space ranked among the top three needs organizations reported having, just below having an audience or customers and funding.  

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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