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COVID-19 Losses Double to $67.77 Million for Dallas Arts & Culture Business Sector

COVID-19 Losses Double to $67.77 Million for Dallas Arts & Culture Business Sector

Categories: Media & Blog, Media Releases

Latest Survey Shows 1,219 Jobs Lost Since March 13 Shutdown
Handful of Venues Reopening to Limited Capacity, Most Remain Closed

Media Contact: Chris Heinbaugh, 214.507.1460

DALLAS – The pandemic-related financial and job losses are rapidly mounting for the nonprofit arts and cultural business sector in the city of Dallas, according to the results of the latest survey by the arts advocacy organizations The Arts Community Alliance (TACA), Dallas Arts District (DAD) and Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition (DACAC).

Responses from 91 participating organizations show the sector has suffered $67,771,172 in total financial losses in the 4 ½ month period from March 13 – when the shutdown started – through July 31. That is $34.12M, more than twice the $33.65M in losses reported in the first survey period through May 31. Some of the increase is due to the larger number of participating organizations. But 86% of that increase was from the 52 groups who participated in both surveys, $29.5M in just the past two months.

“This community is creative and resilient – two things that are critical to surviving a crisis like this,” says Lily Weiss, executive director of the Dallas Arts District. “If we can figure out a way to get back in front of our audiences and out into the community – and do it safely – we’ll find a way to do it. The arts will play an important role in the recovery of our economy and healing our community, and I’m optimistic Dallas will find the resources to do it. There’s too much at stake.”

Despite the daunting numbers, the survey indicates some optimism for reopening soon. 38% of the respondents have plans to safely reopen by the end of the year. 42% say they are targeting the first two quarters of 2021. And organizations are being proactive in moving forward. A Dallas Arts District-led task force recently created guidelines to safely reopen during the pandemic, with 61 Dallas cultural organizations signing on. A number of Dallas museums are reopening and some music organizations have started performing for small audiences. And organizations are working to find new ways to reinvent how they deliver their cultural offerings, art forms and reengage with audiences. One group is even staging drive-in theatrical performances in parking lots across North Texas.

“All of these organizations are just struggling to hold on,” said Terry D. Loftis, president and executive director of the arts funding organization TACA. TACA has distributed $592,500 in emergency COVID relief grants to 70 groups. “The philanthropic community is certainly working to step up and help, but these losses are staggering. And given the rate they are growing, we’ve got a huge challenge to overcome.”

While many businesses in Dallas have reopened, capacity limits and social-distancing have kept arts and cultural organizations from resuming live, in-person experiences. This has meant cancelling or postponing thousands of programs, performances and classes. Survey results show more than 2,155,000 in lost or deferred attendance, and the revenue losses show the 91 organizations have lost on average, 25% of their budgets since March 13.

The human toll is climbing as well. 1,219 people have been furloughed or laid off through July 31, up from 649 at the end of May. 189 of these were full-time staff members and 1,030 were part-time. These new job losses had been anticipated as forgivable Payroll Protection Program loans under the federal CARES Act began expiring in June and July. These funds had allowed many organizations to keep paying employees for two months. 5o groups said their loans had expired forcing cuts in their workforce.

Some of those remaining staff members also saw their pay cut. At least 1/3 of the groups implemented salary reductions to reduce expenses:

  • 15 reduced salaries up to 20%
  • 7 reduced pay from 20% to 40%
  • 7 reduced salaries by 40% or higher
  • 51 said they have kept their salaries stable.

“It’s really pretty simple. Everyone is trying to find enough cash so we can live to fight another day,” said Joanna St. Angelo, president of the grass-roots arts advocacy group DACAC. “We are turning to donors, patrons, foundations and corporations. Perhaps the federal government will include the arts in another stimulus package, or maybe the City can find just a little bit more. We are checking under every couch cushion to see what we can find.”

The groups participating in the survey reflect the vibrant diversity of the Dallas arts community today. Dance, theater, music, visual arts, performing arts centers, literary arts and more. Some are based downtown and in the Dallas Arts District, but many more are located throughout the city. They include the city’s historic institutions and new and emerging groups. 24 identify as ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) and seven focus on LGBTQ experiences.

Of the 91 organizations, 52 participated in both surveys and 34 new organizations participated for the first time. Five completed the first survey only but their losses are included in the total.

Despite the daunting numbers, the survey indicates some optimism for reopening soon. 38% of the respondents have plans to safely reopen by the end of the year. 42% say they are targeting the first two quarters of 2021. And organizations are being proactive in moving forward. A Dallas Arts District-led task force recently created guidelines to safely reopen during the pandemic, with 61 Dallas cultural organizations signing on. A number of Dallas museums are reopening and some music organizations have started performing for small audiences. And organizations are working to find new ways to reinvent how they deliver their cultural offerings, art forms and reengage with audiences. One group is even staging drive-in theatrical performances in parking lots across North Texas.

“This community is creative and resilient – two things that are critical to surviving a crisis like this,” says Lily Weiss, executive director of the Dallas Arts District. “If we can figure out a way to get back in front of our audiences and out into the community – and do it safely – we’ll find a way to do it. The arts will play an important role in the recovery of our economy and healing our community, and I’m optimistic Dallas will find the resources to do it. There’s too much at stake.”


SURVEY 2 BREAKOUT DATA

Respondent Organizations

91 Total Participants:

    • Survey 1 & 2 – 52 organizations
    • Survey 2 only – 34 organizations
    • Survey 1 only – 5 organizations

Cultural Genres:

    • Music – 19 organizations
    • Theater – 18 organizations
    • Dance – 13 organizations
    • Multidisciplinary – 13 organizations
    • Visual Arts – 9 organizations (includes art museums)
    • Museums – 5 organizations (non-art or historic sites)
    • Literary Arts – 3 organizations
    • Other – 11 organizations

Budget Sizes:

    • Under $100K – 20 organizations
    • $100K to $250K – 17 organizations
    • $250K to $1M – 28 organizations
    • $1M to $5M – 14 organizations
    • $5M and above – 12 organizations

ALAANA organizations – 14 organizations
LGBTQ focused organizations – 7 organizations

Programmatic Impact

Performances Cancelled

    • Survey 1 – 804
    • Surveys 1 & 2 – 1,461

Days Closed:

    • Survey 1 – 747
    • Surveys 1& 2 – 1,421

Programs/Workshops/Classes cancelled:

    • Survey 1 – 2,609
    • Surveys 1 & 2 – 6,155

Total Lost or Deferred Attendance:

    • Survey 1 – 1,303,705
    • Surveys 1 & 2 – 2,155,408

Budgetary Impact
Average revenue losses & increased expenses as a percentage of their annual budget (by expense)

All Respondents:

    • Aggregate annual budgets – $272,454,715
    • Reported revenue losses/increased expenses – $67,771,172
    • Losses as a percentage of budgets – 25%

$5M and Above:

    • Aggregate annual budgets – $225,698,278
    • Reported revenue losses/increased expenses – $55,170,989
    • Losses as a percentage of budgets – 24.4%

$1M to $5M:

    • Aggregate annual budgets – $27,867,278
    • Reported revenue losses/increased expenses – $9,217,595
    • Losses as a percentage of budgets – 33.1%

$250K to $1M:

    • Aggregate annual budgets – $15,177,025
    • Reported revenue losses/increased expenses – $2,409,028
    • Losses as a percentage of budgets – 15.9%

$100K to $250K:

    • Aggregate annual budgets – $2,881,461
    • Reported revenue losses/increased expenses – $536,500
    • Losses as a percentage of budgets – 18.6%

Under $100K:

    • Aggregate annual budgets – $830,521
    • Reported revenue losses/increased expenses – $387,060
    • Losses as a percentage of budgets – 46.6%

ALAANA Organizations:
ALAANA is defined as African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American

    • Aggregate annual budgets – $22,949,010
    • Reported revenue losses/increased expenses – $7,524,715
    • Losses as a percentage of budgets – 33%

Staff Impact – Furloughs & Layoffs

Total Employees:

    • Reported Pre-COVID Total Employees – 2,730
    • Survey 1 Reported Furloughs & Layoffs – 649
    • Survey 1 & 2 Reported Furloughs & Layoffs – 1,219

Full-Time Employees:

    • Reported Pre-COVID Total Full-Time Employees – 1,135
    • Survey 1 Reported Full-Time Furloughs & Layoffs – 82
    • Survey 1 & 2 Reported Full-Time Furloughs & Layoffs – 189

Part-Time Employees:

    • Reported Pre-COVID Total Part-Time Employees – 11,595
    • Survey 1 Reported Part-Time Furloughs & Layoffs – 567
    • Survey 1 & 2 Reported Part-Time Furloughs & Layoffs – 1,030

Staff Impact – Salary & Benefit Reductions

Salary Reductions:

    • 53% – No Salary Reductions
    • 34% –  Salary Reductions
    • 7% – Volunteer based

Average Salary Reduction:

    • Under 10% reduction – 3 organizations
    • 10% to 20% reduction – 12 organizations
    • 20% to 30% reduction – 5 organizations
    • 30% to 40% reduction – 2 organizations
    • Above 40% reduction – 7 organizations
    • No salary reductions – 51 organizations
    • Volunteer led – 6 organizations

Health and Retirement Benefits (85 respondents):

    • 3 organizations had to reduce or discontinue previously offered health and/or retirement benefits
    • 40 organizations continued to provide health and/or retirement benefits at pre-COVID levels
    • 42 organizations were not able to offer health and/or retirement benefits prior to COVID

Pre-COVID Economic Impact Study Numbers

2015 Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 – Americans for the Arts
The City of Dallas – Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Community

    • Annual Economic Impact: $861,170,549
    • Jobs Supported: 33,554
    • Local Tax Revenue Generated: $45,100,000
    • State Tax Revenue Generated: $52,132,000

Respondent Organizations

Academy of Bangla Arts and Culture*
African American Repertory Theater*
Allegro Guitar Society**
American Baroque Opera Company**
Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico**
Artstillery**
Art House Dallas
AT&T Performing Arts Center
Avant Chamber Ballet
B. MOORE DANCE**
Beckles Dancing Company
Big Thought
Bishop Arts Theatre Center
Blue Candlelight Music Series
Bombshell Dance Project**
Bruce Wood Dance**
Cara Mía Theatre Company
Chamber Music International**
Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas
Creative Arts Center of Dallas
Credo Community Choir**
Crow Museum of Asian Art at the University of Texas at Dallas
Cry Havoc Theater Company
Dallas Arts District Foundation
Dallas Bach Society**
Dallas Black Dance Theatre
Dallas Center for Photography
Dallas Chamber Symphony
Dallas Children’s Theater
Dallas Contemporary**
Dallas Heritage Village
Dallas Historical Society**
Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas SPARK!**
Dallas Summer Musicals
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Dallas Theater Center
Dark Circles Contemporary Dance**
Deep Vellum Publishing
Echo Theatre
Fine Arts Chamber Players
Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra**
Indian Cultural Heritage Foundation
Indique Dance Company**
Junior Players**
Kitchen Dog Theater**
Lone Star Circus Arts Center
Lone Star Wind Orchestra*
Lumedia Musicworks
Lyric Stage**
Make Art with Purpose**
Nasher Sculpture Center
Ochre House Theater**
Ollimpaxqui Ballet*
Orchestra of New Spain
Orpheus Chamber Singers
Over the Bridge Arts
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Prism Movement Theater*
Sammons Center for the Arts
Second Thought Theatre
Shakespeare Dallas
Soul Rep Theatre Company
South Dallas Concert Choir**
TACA – The Arts Community Alliance**
Teatro Dallas
Teatro Flor Candela**
Texas Ballet Theater
The Artist Outreach**
The Black Academy of Arts and Letters
The Cedars Union
The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture
The Dallas Opera
The Dallas Winds**
The Mexico Institute
The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art**
The No Limit Arts Theatre, Inc. **
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
The Women’s Chorus of Dallas
The Writer’s Garret**
Theatre Three
TITAS/DANCE UNBOUND
Turtle Creek Chorale
Undermain Theatre**
Uptown Players
USA Film Festival
Verdigris Ensemble**
Video Association of Dallas**
Women Texas Film Festival**
WordSpace**
* Participated in Survey 1 only
** New survey participant


About TACA
TACA – The Arts Community Alliance – supports excellence and impact in the arts through grant-making, capacity building, and thought leadership. TACA envisions an innovative, inclusive, sustainable cultural sector recognized for its essential contribution to a vibrant, prosperous community. Since its founding in 1967, TACA has worked to establish North Texas’ cultural community as one of the strongest in the nation. TACA’s growing investment in the arts translates to new premieres and productions, impactful residencies and community initiatives, and more opportunities for artists and audiences to connect – all striving to make Dallas a dynamic city and a great place to live and work. For more information about TACA, call 214-520-3930 or visit taca-arts.org. Connect with TACA on Facebook at facebook.com/tacadallas, Twitter at @TACADallas or on Instagram at @TACADallas.

About DACAC
The Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition (DACAC) is a grassroots member-supported organization representing a wide range local arts and cultural organizations of all sizes, budgets, genres and locations. Established in 2007 as a Texas nonprofit corporation, this coalition advocates on issues of importance to the arts community with its primary goal: to protect and grow city and state funding that supports the area’s diverse cultural ecosystem. DACAC promotes dialogue, understanding and cooperation among the artists, patrons and organizations in the community; provides education and training to small arts groups; and mobilize members on strategies that support the cultural community as a whole. www.dallasneedsthearts.com

About Dallas Arts District
Dallas Arts District serves as the primary steward and representative for the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation. The District’s purpose is to enhance the value of the city’s creative and economic life by engaging artistic, educational and commercial neighbors through excellent design, practices, and programs. That work transforms the neighborhood into a dynamic and vibrant destination for locals and visitors, powered by the imagination of regional and international artists, with integrated and exemplary artistic, residential, cultural and commercial life. Experience Dallas Arts District’s signature Block Party Series in April and June
attracting more than 60,000 visitors from 144 zip codes. Dallas Arts District Foundation has awarded 450 grants totaling $1.2 million to local arts organizations to produce innovative programming in the neighborhood. For more information, visit dallasartsdistrict.org.