During a recent State of the Cultural Sector Town Hall, the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County shared results from a preliminary COVID-19 impact survey sent to local cultural organizations this summer to gather information about how the pandemic impacted the institutions. The Council also announced several key initiatives to help Palm Beach County’s cultural sector recover from the impact of COVID-19.
According to the survey, which included responses from 33 of the county’s cultural organizations, Palm Beach County’s cultural sector lost more than $48 million in economic impact since the start of COVID-19 as of August 20.
The survey also revealed:
- 888,277 in lost attendance
- 1,641 events postponed or canceled
- 593 people furloughed (full- and part-time)
“Palm Beach County’s cultural sector continues to be impacted by COVID-19,” said Dave Lawrence, the Council’s president & CEO. “These statistics are concerning, but our sector is resilient and innovative. During a healthy year, it brings $633 million in economic impact and welcomes 3.9 million visitors. The time is now to help Palm Beach County restart with the arts and join our movement to restore Florida’s Cultural Capital.”
Supporting the Cultural Sector
During the Town Hall, the Council also announced its Palm Beach County Cultural Resiliency Fund. With the support of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, Tourist Development Council, and County Administrator Verdenia Baker, this new grant program will allow the Council to distribute CARES Act funds to cultural organizations in need of financial assistance.
Earlier in the year, the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County raised more than $45,000 through its crowd-sourced Palm Beach County Artist Relief Fund to help local creative professionals who lost critical income due to COVID-19. Between April and November 2020, grants were awarded to 117 individuals who lost income from cancelled gigs, festivals, and other events.
Join the Movement to #RestartPBC
To raise awareness for the recovery of Palm Beach County’s cultural sector, the Council also announced the launch of its Restart with the Arts Campaign, a movement designed to encourage locals and visitors to support their local cultural organizations by visiting, becoming a member, or donating.
On Friday, October 16, cultural institutions lit their buildings green and encouraged individuals to wear green to show their support of the #restartpbc movement. Cultural organizations, venues and businesses can also access the #RestartPBC Social Media Toolkit for graphics, suggested messaging, and more.
Community members could also support the arts by visiting cultural organizations or engaging in virtual experiences during MOSAIC (Months of Shows, Art, Ideas and Culture). From October through December, 2020, this celebration of local arts & culture featured discounts and special offers intended to jumpstart cultural tourism and visitation to cultural organizations.
Our cultural sector is resilient! As the county’s local arts agency, the Cultural Council provides resources, aid, and support to the cultural organizations and creative professionals that make Palm Beach County such a vibrant place to live and visit.
By donating to the Cultural Council’s Annual Fund, you’re providing critical operating support for advocacy efforts and programs that strengthen cultural organizations, helping them to reopen safely. Your gift also ensures artist services that keep creative talent living and working here.
We need your help to strengthen our cultural sector as it recovers from the devastating impact of COVID-19. Join our movement to help Palm Beach County restart with the arts by making a gift to our Annual Fund today.