The Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust are focused on supporting Oregon’s arts and cultural community through the current health crisis.
Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations across the state have cancelled all activities that involve social gatherings –including key fundraising events – and many, if not all, have closed their doors to the public. These organizations, like businesses, operate under the assumption of earned revenue from ticket sales for performances, admissions to exhibitions, rental income and other services and learning programs. In addition to losses in earned revenue, nonprofits are expecting lost charitable contributions as donors reassess their capacity to give given the volatility of the stock market.
Cash flow is essential for cultural nonprofit organizations to maintain operations. At this point major layoffs and deficits are occurring and many organizations may face bankruptcy and permanent closure.
The cancellation of events and programming, in addition to school closures, has also adversely affected hundreds of artists whose livelihoods depend on income from teaching, performing and participating in cultural activities.
As of March 24, 423 Oregon cultural organizations have reported financial losses to-date of $8,611,881. These organizations have cancelled 95% of their events with an audience loss of 339,575.
The Arts Commission and Cultural Trust have already reached out to all grant award recipients to assure them that we will do our best to protect their funding regardless of whether or when they can complete contractual grant award projects.
In addition, the recently signed federal CARE Act includes $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts; 40 percent of that will go to state arts agencies including the Oregon Arts Commission. Stay tuned for news on what that means for Oregon arts organizations. And the Oregon Cultural Trust Board of Directors voted to deploy $10 million of the Trust's $29 million permanent fund for an emergency relief grant program for Oregon's cultural community. The fund requires approval by the Oregon Legislature during an anticipated special session. If approved, the Cultural Trust will share details on the application process.