HomeDanceAn open letter from 28 Atlanta arts leaders on the pandemic monetary...

An open letter from 28 Atlanta arts leaders on the pandemic monetary disaster

This week, a various group of 28 Atlanta arts leaders banded collectively to write down an open letter that discusses the challenges of surviving the pandemic, which has confirmed to be “the largest disruption to the American Arts sector in historical past, and essentially the most damaging for the reason that Nice Despair.”

The letter concisely articulates the disaster confronted by the humanities group as all of us wrestle and struggle to recuperate from the financial devastation of the pandemic. Most, if not all, arts group face monetary challenges. The letter affords 5 tangible methods to basically change and remodel how arts and tradition are financially supported.

Due to its significance, ArtsATL is publishing the open letter in its entirety under:

An Open Letter from the Metro Atlanta Arts Group within the Wake of the Lyric’s Closing

On Tuesday, March seventh, we had been devastated to listen to that the Atlanta Lyric Theatre has shut down after 42 seasons. Not solely is its closing a loss for our vibrant business, it’s also an indicator that if left unchecked, the disaster within the theatre and humanities sectors attributable to the COVID-19 shutdowns will proceed to ravage our group.

Atlanta is a superb theatre metropolis, distinctive from some other within the nation. Its theatrical ecosystem encompasses small entrepreneurial corporations led by thrilling younger artists, a vibrant group of midsized theatres who specialise in creating programming that displays the group in and round Atlanta, and huge theatres nationally acknowledged as scorching spots for producing new performs and Broadway tryouts. By all of it runs an entrepreneurial spirit, a dedication to new work, and the need to broaden audiences and increase what it means to be an artist, a southerner or perhaps a particular person.

Our native theatre is a exceptional alternative to hone the craft of artists. Steve Yockey, Danielle Deadwyler, Jennifer Garner, Donald Glover, Amy Adams, Julia Roberts, RuPaul, and Kenny Leon, amongst many extra, began their careers on and round Metro Atlanta phases. It’s this dedication to discovering and supporting native southern expertise that makes the theatre business so vibrant and permits us to offer the robust basis that the TV and movie business have constructed upon so spectacularly. Marvel Studios, Tyler Perry Studios, and Netflix have all discovered a house right here in and round Atlanta, largely resulting from beneficiant funding by way of tax breaks that they obtain from the Georgia authorities but in addition due to the expertise the native theatre cultivates yr after yr.

Our theatre group’s vibrancy is mirrored throughout town’s non revenue arts sector. Wherever you look in Metro Atlanta you will discover dancers, singers, musicians and visible artists creating and defining a brand new cultural vocabulary that’s distinctive to our metro. Past the creativity and pleasure this business brings to our metropolis it’s also an financial and job creating energy home. The Atlanta Regional Fee in 2017 estimated that the non revenue arts sector by itself was a $719.8 million greenback business that supported greater than 23,000 full time jobs throughout town, greater than Dwelling Depot, Piedmont Well being Care or Publix, and that the Atlanta arts group contributes greater than $65 million to native and state authorities income via taxes yearly.

The financial impression of patrons who attend arts programming is even larger. Every patron spends between $23 and $48 each time they attend an occasion, virtually all of which is spent at native companies. In 2015 the Arts and Financial prosperity report estimated that the mixed impression of the non revenue arts sector and the patrons who attended occasions was greater than $600 million {dollars} in Metro Atlanta. This exceptional impression is along with the immeasurable cultural enrichment that theaters and humanities venues present to their communities, particularly to college students whose faculties depend on theaters and cultural establishments throughout Atlanta to curate inventive programming that evokes kids to dream, discover and attain for one thing new via artwork.

Arts and theatre corporations throughout the nation are at an inflection level. Now’s the time to behave to make sure theatre and the humanities keep on the middle of Metro Atlanta communities.

COVID-19 was the largest disruption to the American Arts sector in historical past, and essentially the most damaging for the reason that Nice Despair. And it’s nonetheless threatening our business. From the elevated prices we have now all seen since returning to work, viewers members’ ongoing well being issues, and rolling shutdowns as firm members check constructive for COVID-19, the business remains to be in turmoil. Due to this turmoil, nationwide solely about half of pre-pandemic audiences have returned — severely limiting earned income because the business rebuilds its viewers base.

Coupling decrease than common attendance with the truth that arts funding is the smallest fraction of philanthropic giving implies that there are merely not sufficient assets obtainable for the brief time period well being and long run viability of the Metro Atlanta cultural arts group. Sadly, the problem has been exacerbated submit pandemic as group funders and basis leaders who beforehand funded the humanities have considerably delayed releasing funds, haven’t centered on the humanities through the pandemic and restoration, or have ended their arts assist altogether. Midsize and small corporations are much more challenged by the present funding panorama as a result of they’re much less capable of navigate disruption in funding.

We suggest a five-pronged strategy to basically change how arts and tradition are supported within the metropolis and transfer the business ahead not primarily based on shortage however as an alternative on a mannequin designed to let the humanities thrive as a core worth of our metropolis and state.

First, we are going to ask main philanthropic foundations and space philanthropists to make a transformational, one-time reward to each arts group in Metro Atlanta. In cities throughout the US particular person philanthropists and foundations have realized that now’s the time to behave to stabilize native communities of arts organizations. We want that management in Atlanta.

Second, we are going to suggest doubling the grant making capability of town, county, and state arts workplaces throughout the metro whereas concurrently reducing pink tape in order that awarded funds might be accessed shortly. In response to ArtsATL, Georgia nonetheless ranks close to the underside of arts funding, rating forty ninth out of all states. By including lower than 10 million {dollars} mixed throughout all state, county and metropolis budgets to the grant funding arm of arts companies native organizations would have extra constant funding obtainable, extra organizations might obtain funding and funding ranges might be elevated. This deeper funding is a win-win, funding offered to native arts corporations comes again to the granting authorities companies by an element of at the least 3 to 1.

Third, we are going to ask the Group Basis of Higher Atlanta to rent an arts program director shortly and provides that particular person enough employees and assets to develop new inventive assets from nationwide funders, not simply shepard current funds. For too lengthy the humanities have been relegated to an underfunded and understaffed division on the Group Basis for Higher Atlanta and at foundations throughout town. To alter the system we want a metro large advocate who’s energetic within the nationwide philanthropic group whereas additionally being dedicated to a thriving native arts scene.

Fourth, we are going to ask that the manufacturing tax credit score loved by the movie and tv business be prolonged to non revenue arts organizations headquartered and producing reside performing arts productions in Georgia. With out us offering the coaching and yr spherical alternatives, the movie business wouldn’t have the entry to expertise they so rightfully get pleasure from. By extending the tax credit score to work produced on the phases throughout the state we are going to create a extra holistic ecosystem.

Fifth, we are going to name upon manufacturing and media corporations primarily based in Georgia to hitch us as we advocate for elevated arts funding whereas concurrently creating deeper working relationships between for-profit and nonprofit arts organizations. Strengthening the symbiotic relationship between the movie and media business and native artists will be sure that each thrive.

How are you going to assist as a patron:

If in case you have not attended for the reason that shut down, come again, we want you. Ticket gross sales are important to our well being however so is phrase of mouth advertising and engaged audiences. When you can’t afford a ticket please ask about reductions and particular codes. Practically each firm on the town has particular performances and admissions which might be discounted to make sure anybody who needs to can get in. We’re all making an attempt to maintain our ticket costs low to stay accessible to the best variety of folks potential, even within the face of inflation and rising prices.

When you’re somebody who can afford just a little extra, think about including a donation every time you buy tickets in order that we will proceed paying artists pretty. Take into account becoming a member of the 1000’s of people that have donated money and time to the humanities all through the shutdown and restoration. With out the exceptional assist of donors giant and small the humanities wouldn’t have survived, we thanks for all that you’ve executed for the business.

If in case you have been coming, inform your family and friends concerning the work you see on stage. Advocate for the humanities at your organization, submit to your social media accounts and produce up the final present you noticed if you end up out with mates. The perfect advertising we have now is phrase of mouth — and we want you to get the phrase out.

Uncover new theatres. Discover a brand new style. With greater than 30 theaters and a whole lot of arts corporations within the metropolis there are probably at the least a dozen you haven’t attended, or a style you haven’t seen lately. From puppets to improv and from Shakespeare to world premiere new works, you could find something on stage in Atlanta. To not point out choral music, fashionable dance, indie motion pictures and lectures by well-known artists.

What we promise:

Together with your assist we are going to proceed to supply work fueled by our group. Queer youth, a girl battling psychological well being, Black entrepreneurs, and younger ladies searching for a more in-depth relationship with God had been all portrayed onstage final weekend throughout Atlanta phases and we pledge to proceed to symbolize this metropolis and all of the sides that make it nice.

We decide to amplifying thrilling new voices and showcasing exceptional, various expertise that displays our area. The Metro Atlanta arts group’s capability to nurture rising expertise on native phases earlier than launching it onto the nationwide stage implies that our subsequent technology of tastemakers could have deep ties to Georgia.

And we promise to proceed bringing our group collectively. To entertain, to discover and to take a seat some time in one other world, in one other particular person’s reality, and possibly turn out to be just a bit nearer.

Your assistance is important to our future, however collectively we will solely go to this point. We want group funders, philanthropic leaders, and political leaders to hitch us. With their assist, we will chart a brand new path ahead for the humanities in Atlanta by seizing the chance introduced throughout this difficult time and to rewrite the best way arts and tradition are funded and supported. If we will accomplish even a fraction of what we suggest right here, we will write a brand new future for the humanities in Atlanta and Georgia, solidifying our standing as a middle for arts and tradition in America.

If you’re concerned about signing on to assist this work, e mail [email protected]

If you’re a funder concerned about speaking about easy methods to make a transformative reward within the sector, please contact [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected]

If you’re a authorities chief or can assist advance the concepts round an arts tax credit score or in creating native funding for the humanities e mail [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]

If you’re a patron and wish to make a donation or attend a efficiency please go to the web site of any of the cosigned corporations. If in case you have different concepts on how we will advance the humanities in Atlanta or the state or Georgia, e mail [email protected] Thanks from all of us within the Metro Atlanta Arts Group.



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