Erie Arts & Culture is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on communities; globally, nationally, and locally. Many in our community have shared their concerns with us and have inquired about about how COVID-19 is effecting EAC's operations and the cultural and creative sector at large.
As of this morning (Monday, March 16, 2020) 76 Pennsylvanians have tested positive for COVID-19. The Pennsylvania Department of Health anticipates that there will be more Pennsylvanians who test positive for COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks. For the latest state information about COVID-19, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website. Additionally, we encourage all to refer to the resources published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which can be found online here.
Last Friday, Governor Tom Wolf declared a disaster emergency for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He ordered that all K-12 schools close for 10 business days, effective today. Additionally, he placed four counties in lockdown. At 2:00 pm this afternoon, Governor Wolf ordered the closing of all non-essential businesses in the state.
To limit community spread, the CDC recommends that organizers responsible for any event scheduled within the next six weeks either cancelled or postpone their events. This has a tremendous impact on the creative and cultural sector. Cultural institutions are closing and live events are postponed, and in situations where rescheduling is not an option, cancelled.
Below are the changes that Erie Arts & Culture has made in our operations in response to the current pandemic:
- Our office will be closed to the public starting Tuesday, March 17.
Operations are not suspended, but the office will remain closed until further notice. Staff will work remotely and be available by email. For a complete listing of staff emails, please visit our About Us webpage.
- All of our community activities and events are suspended until further notice.
Events and activities that were scheduled for March will be rescheduled, if possible. Nothing will be rescheduled until after Governor Wolf lifts his restrictions. This includes our New Horizons initiative, Creating with Community program, and our visiting artist residency program.
- All Arts in Education (AIE) residencies are temporarily suspended until further notice.
Many of our AIE residencies serve youth, elderly, and individuals living below the poverty level. These are the same populations that are most negatively impacted by COVID-19. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts has extended the deadline of AIE residency grants by six months to accommodate this necessary decision.
- We are working with others to immediately identify the needs of those in the creative and cultural sector and calculate the impact of COVID-19.
Nationally, Americans for the Arts has published a survey to analyze the negative economic impact of COVID-19. If you are a cultural non-profit, please take a few moments to complete their survey. Locally, the Non Profit Partnership is conducting a survey to determine how COVID-19 has negatively impacted their members. If you are an NPP member, please take a few moments to complete their survey.
We know that you believe in the importance of the individuals and organizations that comprise the creative and cultural sector. Many of our community's valued organizations and artist will be dramatically impacted as a result of lost revenue from cancelled events. Purchasing a membership, subscribing to a season, making an online charitable donation, or purchasing art are all great ways to help our creative and cultural assets weather this storm.
If you operate in the creative and cultural sector and are experiencing a setback as a result of this pandemic, please review the resources blow to determine if you are eligible for assistance.
- CERF+ Emergency Relief Fund
- Grantmaker in the Arts
- National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness & Emergency Response (NCAPER) - Coronavirus/Covid 19 Preparedness for Arts Sector
- Theater Communications Group (TCG) webinar - Coronavirus Preparedness for Theaters
- American Alliance of Museums - Resources & Information for the Museum Field
- League of American Orchestras
- Americans for the Arts (AFTA)
- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
- Freelance Artist Resources
- Rauschenberg Foundation Emergency Grant
- Authors League Fund
- PEN America Writers' Emergency Fund
- The Blues Foundation Handy Artists Relief Trust Fund
- Musicians Foundation
- Gottlieb Emergency Grant Program
If you have any questions, please email Patrick Fisher at [email protected].