A recent New Jersey arts and culture survey revealed that 240 organizations have suffered a combined loss of more than $100 million since March due to COVID-19 related cancellations and postponements of cultural events and activities. The survey, conducted by ArtPride New Jersey in collaboration with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Dance New Jersey, and South Jersey Cultural Alliance, disclosed the need for more than $8 million to sustain operations through the end of 2020.
“People from all walks of life continue to turn to the arts for relief, entertainment, and a feeling of community,” notes Allison Tratner, Executive Director of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. “Even as artists and arts organizations creatively shift online, the financial losses from the inability to sell tickets, subscriptions, and in-person experiences continue to mount, making the future of this essential industry truly uncertain.”
More than 25 percent of the “COVID-19 Impact Survey on Arts & Cultural Organizations in New Jersey” respondents – which represent groups from nearly all 21 counties in the fields of visual arts, music, dance, performing arts, art education, and more – indicated they were uncertain of their ability to survive continued loss into the next calendar year.
When New Jersey’s nonprofit arts sector is thriving, it annually employs 22,000 creative workers with more than 8.5 million people attending cultural events throughout the Garden State. Additionally, as an industry, the nonprofit arts sector typically drives more than $662 million to the state’s economy each year.
“New Jersey’s complete economic recovery will not happen without a thriving cultural sector,” says Adam Perle, President & CEO of ArtPride New Jersey. “This is imperative to remember as policymakers consider all recovery and stimulus efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”