(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – With the shutdowns and pivoting measures to navigate through the pandemic, the arts, culture, and creative sector has taken a toll on its financial impact.
Stages at performing arts venues went dark; art vendor events postponed and canceled for the season; tours and performances for musicians went silent. The pandemic affected the industry in numerous ways across the country – even trickling down to the local level in Tuscarawas County.
A survey conducted by Tuscarawas Arts Partnership (TAP) was sent out to assess the impact of COVID on the arts, culture, and creative communities in Tuscarawas County. The financial loss for the community in Tuscarawas County has reached $1.2 million between the months of March 2020 to August 2020 – and it continues to grow each month without many changes. COVID’s impact has affected local arts nonprofits, performing arts venues, creative businesses, individual artists and creatives, and more.
“The DeWine Administration’s reopening guidance for performing arts might allow some small organizations to utilize larger theaters in a limited capacity, but it won’t solve the economic crisis. To prevent institutions around Ohio from permanent closure, we look forward to working with our federal, state, and local partners in seeking financial relief,” Angela Meleca, Executive Director, Ohio Citizens for the Arts.
While the national and state-level arts agencies continue to advocate for support for the industry, what can we do at the local level?
In 2019, Artober became an organized month that coincides October’s National Arts and Humanities Month from a national level to a local focus to build awareness and celebrate the arts, culture, and creative sector in Tuscarawas County. This year, TAP will not only continue Artober’s month-long celebration for the arts in Tuscarawas County, but a month-long fundraising campaign will be organized to raise money for an Arts and Culture Relief Fund. The Arts and Culture Relief Fund will be used to award grant funding to Tuscarawas County’s arts, culture, and creative community members that have been impacted by COVID with a goal to provide an additional financial source to offset the costs created by COVID-19 and guidelines.
“The arts, culture and creative sector play a vital role in our local communities which transcend across industries as it stimulates local economies, enhances cultural values and experiences, and creates opportunities for artistic experiences to flourish. The Arts and Culture Relief fund is organized as an opportunity for the community to help support the arts during this pivotal time. Whether you are a local business or a person who loves the arts, your contribution and support matters as we strive to give back what was lost,” Wilma K. Mullet, Executive Director of TAP.
Fundraising for the Arts and Culture Relief Fund will begin October 1, 2020, and conclude October 31, 2020. Donations can be made through TAP’s website or through a mail-in donation form. For more information about the Arts and Culture Relief Fund, visit https://www.tuscarawasartspartnership.org/arts-culture-relief-fund or tune in to TAP’s Facebook and Instagram pages for more information.
About Tuscarawas Arts Partnership
TAP’s mission is to create and support environments that awaken, empower, and inspire. TAP’s vision is to promote a visible, sustainable, local arts culture through advocacy, education, and funding. This can be accomplished by encouraging the arts to thrive across Tuscarawas County and encouraging partnerships between the arts with other art, business, and community agencies to create positive impact and benefits throughout the county.
TAP can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org