COVID-19’s Impact on Arts, Cultural, and Scientific Nonprofits

Published: May 8, 2020

Categories: COVID-19 | Featured

Artwork detail: Joey Veltkamp, 2019 GAP recipient 

Our friends at ArtsFund recently released data on COVID-19‘s impact on arts, cultural, and scientific nonprofits in the Central Puget Sound region. The numbers are staggering  

  • Projected loss of revenue for these nonprofits in 2020 is between $133,245,923 and $135,340,923With much still unknown about when organizations will be able to reopen, these estimates do not capture the losses that will carry over into their next fiscal year. 
  • 4,976 employees have been furloughed or laid off. 
  • 74% of respondents have implemented hiring freezes, staff furloughs, or layoffs, with a number of organizations reducing hours or pay for employees who are still working. 
  • 97% of organizations have canceled programs due to COVID-19. 

Impacts on cultural nonprofits also impact artists. Artists rely on arts nonprofits to connect with an audience and present their work. Many artists also supplement their artistic practice as teachers, production workers, and administrative staff at arts and culture organizations. When these organizations are shutteredartist’s jobs disappear, resulting in a domino effect of income loss, mounting bills, anxiety, isolation, and more.  

Let’s envision a future where artists, culture, and arts spaces are essential to community lifeArtist Trust is doing our part by standing with artists. These efforts include: 

  • Financial Support: As of today, May 8, we have distributed a total of $450,000 from our COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund to 254 artists statewide.  
  • Opportunities & Resources: Artist Trust compiles opportunities and resources to help artists navigate this crisis, such as a recent webinar, Tenant Rights During COVID-19 
  • CommunityArtist Trust’s online community includes artist’s stories such as our recent social media takeovers, giving us a peek into artists’ experiences in this crisis. Our Facebook grouphelps artists build connectionsshare information with each otherand cope. 

Thank you to KING 5 News for their recent coverage that raises awareness about these impacts.

With your help, Artist Trust will continue to be with artists, offering resources, connections, information, and opportunities through this crisis and beyond. We invite you to join us in support of this important work. To donate, visit