(Largo, FL) – With the arrival of COVID-19 to Pinellas County and the subsequent cancellation of events and performances, along with the closure of galleries, museums and art centers, Creative Pinellas set out to determine the immediate and future economic impact the virus would have on the arts community, in terms of business closures and social distancing. A survey was distributed starting on March 23, 2020, and through mid-April to Professional Artists, Nonprofit Arts Organizations, and Creative Businesses throughout Pinellas County.
Economic activities affected by the COVID-19 emergency included the shutdown of festivals, gallery sales, concerts and musical and theatrical performances, arts education, workshops, receptions and fundraising. Survey respondents reported that the revenue losses from the beginning of March, when COVID-19 was first identified in Florida, plus a forward looking 90-day period were projected to be $4.8M. At the time of the survey’s release, that number was already $1.6M in losses to date. This does not include lost wages or ancillary losses, such as decreases in purchasing and taxes, etc. Fifty-three percent of those who responded reported having to furlough, reduce hours or eliminate W2 and 1099 employees.
“We already knew that in addition to being vital to the quality of life and vibrancy or our community, arts and culture are a significant economic driver in Pinellas County,” said Barbara St. Clair, CEO of Creative Pinellas. “These numbers really bring that home. When you consider the small sample size, the economic impact is far greater than that $4.8M represents.
The full survey is available at creativepinellas.org/covid19impactsurvey and includes detailed economic information by category, for revenue and employee impact for all three of the categories. It also provides an overview of the types of arts and arts related activities impacted.
“COVID-19” has already had a tremendous impact on the arts community,” said St. Clair. “And of course, the impact will continue, in ways that we are only beginning to understand. In fact, we are in the process of designing a follow up survey, that will update the financial information with today’s knowledge, and develop a further understanding of the critical issues and needs in order to sustain and rebuild the arts moving forward.”
For more information about Creative Pinellas, please visit creativepinellas.org or contact Sherri Kelly, Manager of Communications and Brand Relations at email@example.com.
About Creative Pinellas
At Creative Pinellas our mission is to facilitate a vibrant, integrated, collaborative and
sustainable Pinellas County Arts Community and cultural destination. We strive to be the premier Local Arts Agency, recognized locally and globally for our contribution to arts and culture. We are focused on creating vibrant communities; supporting artists, arts organizations and the creative community; supporting economic development; showcasing Pinellas County as a cultural destination; and making arts and creative expression and experience available to all.
As the County’s Local Arts Agency, Creative Pinellas and the programs we deliver are funded by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, Visit St Petersburg / Clearwater, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and by sales of the State of the Arts specialty license plate in Pinellas County.