Weekly Web Roundup: April 20-24, 2020

It’s been a busy week for research! We’ve just released findings from not one but two major studies: our annual Profile of Local Arts Agencies, conducted last summer, and the currently ongoing COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers. We also partnered on a new survey designed to measure the mental health impact of COVID-19 and social distancing, and how the arts may help mitigate those difficulties (and you can participate!). Elsewhere: on the blog, this year’s Arts & Culture Leaders of Color fellows are reflecting on the current health crisis, and our Equity in Arts Leadership team has advice on how to consider re-envisioning, rather than cutting, internships during the pandemic. Finally, check out a great blog on cultural organizing from a rural Appalachian community group, and tune in to part 3 of the DIAL Labs webinar series exploring how arts organizations can best navigate conversations around race, representation, and inclusion.


I Waited For the Sun by Michele Crawford
Sometimes the source of our perceived needs is shielded, just to remind us of the greatness we take for granted and get us to yearn for something regular again. My biggest lesson from the excessive alone time and relaxation of busyness is that though it seems many things are inaccessible, I can still create, think, make mistakes, and breathe.

Do those values come in my size? by Aseelah Shareef
Our core values should not be relegated to a page in a shelved binder or a forgotten annual report. Use them as a tool to navigate your leadership as an arts administrator during this pivotal moment in history while we create new avenues for arts and culture engagement.

On Cultural Organizing and Performing Our Future by Ben Fink and Denise Griffin Johnson
Cultural organizing is about building power. Cultural organizers organize not around problems, but around projects which draw on and enhance a community’s intellectual, emotional, & spiritual richness—its commonwealth.

Essential in a Different Way by Kavita Mahoney
It’s no coincidence that people are using the arts to stay connected to each other. The arts have always had a way of bringing people together, and this has been true even before we hit a global pandemic.

Re-envisioning Internships During COVID-19 by Nikki Kirk and Ami Scherson
Internships and other work learning opportunities are important to ensure future arts administrators and creative workers have the space to learn and grow within the field. At a time of consistent change and ongoing recovery efforts, consider ways you and your organizations can uplift the arts leaders of the future.

Unpacking the 2019 Profile of Local Arts Agencies Study by Randy Cohen
I conducted my first LAA survey for Americans for the Arts in 1991 (we didn’t even ask for fax numbers back then). The one constant over the years is my ongoing appreciation of how LAAs evolve to keep pace with how their community evolves.

News Room

Annual Report on Local Arts Agency Budgets and Programs Released
This annual survey of a core set of local arts agency (LAA) indicators is supplemented with rotating modules, enabling a more in-depth exploration into specific aspects of LAA work. The findings in this year’s study are based on 633 survey responses that were collected May through August of 2019.

Opportunity for the General Public to Participate in New Study Measuring Impact of Arts on Isolation and Social Distancing Resulting from COVID-19
Americans for the Arts is partnering on a new international study to measure the mental health impact of COVID-19 and social distancing on the American public and is seeking volunteers to participate via online surveys. Everyone age 18 and older is welcome to be part of the study, and participation is fast and simple!

Local Arts Agency Roundtable: Three arts leaders in conversation
Local, County, and State arts agencies provide infrastructure that support arts and culture in deliberate ways. As varied as their work is within each individual community and ecosystem, their genesis is also varied. We asked three agency leaders to share their origin story for insight into the journey, and in one case, evolution.

10,000+ Artists and Creative Workers Report Widespread Job, Income Loss Due to COVID-19
Americans for the Arts reports that of more than 10,000 artists and creative worker responses so far to the new COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, 62% have become fully unemployed because of COVID-19 and 95% have experienced income loss. The average decline in estimated total annual income per creative worker for 2020 is $27,103.


April 2020 Member Briefing: Gathering Insight into PAN Year in Review
In this member briefing, hear from Patricia Walsh, Public Art & Civic Design Senior Program Manager at Americans for the Arts, about the current state of the PAN Year in Review program, why it is on hold this year, and ideas for improving the program for the future.

2019 Profile of Local Arts Agencies
What is the current state of the local arts agency field? Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research at Americans for the Arts, discusses the findings from the 2019 Profile of Local Arts Agencies report, including two survey modules that focus on local option taxes and LAA partnerships.

The DIAL Labs: Dancing Between Intention and Impact
Phil Chan and Georgina Pazcoguin, founders of Final Bow for Yellowface, share their journey navigating conversations around race, representation, and inclusion, outline best practices for arts professionals, and discuss an essential path American performing arts must take to stay alive for increasingly diverse 21st century audiences.

Photo by Wes Tank courtesy of Performing Our Future

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