The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every part of our society and economy, but particularly our arts community. I know I'm not alone in having had dozens of upcoming events and concerts canceled. I've even been the canceler; the arts commission was planning a State of the Arts event in April that we've decided to postpone.
Let me use our small event as an example of what happens when an arts event gets canceled:
- The musicians and dancers we were going to hire, who have set aside that night for us, now will not be paid (at least, not until the event actually happens and we don’t know when that will be).
- The ArtsCenter staff (box office, lighting tech, bartenders) who would have gotten paid extra hours for our evening event will not be working.
- The ArtsCenter will not receive revenue from our rental fee or their concessions sales, both of which are rare sources of unrestricted revenue.
- The visual artist on exhibit at The ArtsCenter, who might have sold a piece of their work to an event patron, will not.
- The neighboring restaurants, like Amante Pizza, Vecino Brewing, and Luna, who would have certainly hosted a few of our guests before or after the event, will lose this business.
These are just a few of the negative consequences of us having to cancel an event we hoped would draw 100 people. Imagine the impact of the cancellation of large performances and festivals on local businesses. Artists and arts organizations are very much a part of our business community, and unlike many industries, when they suffer, the ripple effects are felt by everyone from the performer to the parking attendant to the babysitter.
I invite you to join me in helping support our local artists and arts organizations. All donations received through this effort will be dispersed through an application process to help those in our local arts community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 100% of your donation (less the processing fee by GoFundMe) will be given to artists and nonprofit arts organizations who apply for assistance. Those applying will be asked to explain how they been impacted and we will work to disperse funds as quickly as possible.
I am raising money through Go Fund Me because the arts commission currently doesn't have a mechanism to accept online donations. We are in the process of forming a nonprofit fundraising arm, for initiatives just like this, but we're not there yet. The ArtsCenter has graciously agreed to serve as our fiscal agent for this project, meaning all donations and grants will flow through them, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Dan Mayer is the Executive Director of the ArtsCenter, which is why this page says he is the beneficiary.
Thank you for helping support our arts community as we navigate these challenging times!
- The Gathering Church of Durham-Chapel Hill
- Amanda Godwin
- Orange County Arts Commission
- Robin Frelier
- Kristin Trangsrud
Organizer and beneficiary
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