The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has changed our world overnight. People are feeling stressed, scared, and uncertain about their futures. Some businesses have had to close shop for the time being, and artists have had gigs and events cancelled and planning paralyzed. But our community is strong, and we’ll get through it together.
As we practice social distancing, it is more important than ever to support one another through this trying time. Business & Arts NL is committed to uniting and supporting the local arts and business communities. The safety and well-being of our staff, board, and members is top priority, and while we’ve had to postpone some of our programming and change the way we do things for now, our commitment to our community will never change.
What can we do?
- Use our voices. Business and Arts has consulted with our arts organization members and written the following letters to help ensure decisive actions are taken to proactively protect artists and arts organizations, so we can all look forward to getting together at concerts, theatre productions, and galleries as soon as it is safe to do so.
2. Reach out. Show support for individuals and organizations within our community. Since March 2020, we have helped connect artists and arts organizations with over $33,000 worth of extra support.
The Canada Council for the Arts is urging arts organizations to carefully and thoroughly document their losses related to cancelled shows, lost box office guarantees, aborted contracts etc. Do you have a skill set that might help an arts organization do a good job of this? Have an hour for an online consultation to help out? Send us an email.
There are organizations set up to offer aid to artists in unprecedented times of emergency and need. These organizations are now overwhelmed with requests and underfunded. Want to donate some money but not sure the best place to give? Get in touch. We can help.
3. Continue to enjoy the arts. A silver lining to the pandemic, artistic content is popping up everywhere online, much of it for free. This is because artists and arts organizations are needed. During this unprecedented global crisis and unfamiliar social isolation, we desperately need ways to find beauty, consider the bigger picture, connect to other people, and use our imaginations. Check out this list of online galleries, museums, local e-book sales and more. We will continue to update this resource.
4. Hold onto hope. Amid shock, fear, disorientation, and homeschooling (!), many of us are rapidly adjusting. Every business, large or small, for profit or non-profit, is digging deep and using creativity to look at our workplaces, modes of communication, priorities and outcomes to adapt. We believe in the creativity and resilience of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and we are looking forward to adapting through this with you.
For those of you in the arts community, here is a list of resources (funding information, online opportunities, communities, ideas, etc.) that may help.