It’s hard to imagine what the cultural sector will look like once we reach the end of this current crisis. In a preliminary report based on a recent Americans for the Arts survey documenting the economic impact of COVID 19, organizations from around the country are reporting losses of over $3.7 billion. Such losses will force a contraction in the sector, and will have a very real and immediate impact on artists and employees in the Baltimore Arts Sector. Knowing that pain and loss are spread across all dimensions of the national economy and daily life, I hope you will stay engaged, support artists, and find solace and joy from continuing to connect with the arts and humanities.
As we announced last week in order to encourage said engagement, Culture Fly has gone virtual. You can now access upcoming events, videos, and tours, online. Please feel free to share the calendar with your networks and use the site to post your upcoming virtual experiences. You’ll find watch parties, performances, interviews, dance parties, and much more. According to the AFTA survey mentioned above, more than half of respondents have increased their online presence. That means there are more arts and humanities options than ever before, available at the tip of your fingers, all while maintaining social distance. You can also feed your spirit by connecting with artists and their work through the Baker Artist Portfolio, a virtual survey of the dynamic arts community of the Baltimore region.
GBCA’s Culture Fly makes space for the future of online innovation that is, and will continue to be, accelerated by the cultural sector. Yes, we will again find joy in direct contact, but right now you can keep up with your favorite artists, performers, writers, and organizations as our community evolves into a new way of being in this space.
Additionally, The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland has been working to strengthen many organizations in the Baltimore area. including GBCA where we have just completed our strategic planning process, more on that later. The Institute has published a call for proposals for pro bono consulting in: reviewing strategies for maintaining visibility and relevance during a temporary decrease or cessation of activity; communicating need to donors and funders, discussing approaches for short-term revenue development and fundraising; and developing strategies for maintaining the productivity of boards and staff members. You can find the application here. The Institute will provide one hour of consultation; where necessary, follow-up consulting may also be available. There will be no fee for this service.
In the meantime, if you need some inspiration in these difficult times, take a listen to this Creative Interactive podcast interview with Brett Egan, President of the Institute. Thank you to Donna Walker-Kuhn for sharing this great piece.
Finally, if you are looking for resources to navigate financial and other challenges you face as a result of the COVID 19 crisis, visit GBCA’s Resources Page. Also, check out the following links to our colleagues who have been doing a great job in making it possible to access information, and answers to your needs.
Maryland State Arts Council
Maryland Citizens for the Arts