Flare-ups of cases in some provinces of Canada have dampened optimism with 42% planning in-person performances, down from 44% in the initial study.
A new study released today by international arts management consultants TRG Arts reveals just 23% of U.S. arts and culture organizations plan performances for in-person audiences by the end of 2020, a drop from 61% of organizations that had planned to in June. “Arts and Culture Comeback Planning: September 2020” is the third in a series of studies launched since the COVID-19 pandemic on the plans of arts and culture organizations in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. In comparison, positive containment and infection reduction in the U.K. reveal more optimism with 71% of organizations planning a 2020 in-person return to performances, up from 50% in June. Flare-ups of cases in some provinces of Canada have dampened optimism with 42% planning in-person performances, down from 44% in the initial study.
Of 219 organizations surveyed on September 2, 50% of U.S. organizations plan to introduce paid digital programming to offset revenue losses from the cancellation of in-person performances within the next 12 months, while 33% have already done so. 59% of Canadian and 26% of U.K. organizations articulated an initiation date for paid digital engagement. 52% of all participating organizations do not have plans to offer paid digital content within the next 12 months.
The September study also reflects decreasing confidence in all U.S. regions for a 2020 return to in-person performances. Notable is the decrease of optimism in the Northeast to 16% (from 41% in July) and a sharp decline in 2020 performance plans in the South to 33% (from 100% in July).
By genre, U.S. multi-disciplinary and dance organizations experienced the steepest declines in optimistic expectations for returning in 2020.
“Six months into the pandemic arts and culture organizations continue to lose ground in bringing back performances, threatening their existence and risking the economic return of the creative sector, a significant driver of U.S. GDP,” said TRG Chief Executive Officer Jill Robinson. “Arts and cultural experiences also drive the human side of the recovery. They play a critical role in the fabric of human connection in our cities and nation. TRG Arts is advocating for targeted stimulus relief, as well as a nationally coordinated pandemic approach to restore consumer confidence, so we can once again raise curtains and fill seats. I strongly encourage supporters of the arts to reach out to their elected officials as well.”
The full study of Arts and Culture Comeback Planning: September 2020 is available at https://go.trgarts.com/ComebackStudySep20.
TRG Arts is continually studying the impact of COVID-19 on the resiliency of the arts and culture field, and has made several resources free and available to all.
• TRG 30, a weekly 30-minute webinar series of crisis counsel and best practices that attracts hundreds of executives globally each week: https://go.trgarts.com/TRG30.
• TRG blog for the latest on COVID-19 related topics: https://go.trgarts.com/Blog COVID-19 Sector Benchmark studies live transactional data from across the globe. It allows participants to compare their patron purchase trends to geographic-specific benchmarks and is intended to be used for arts advocacy and planning. Participating organizations can learn how their recovery compares to other similar organizations.