How You Can Help Your Local Arts Organizations and Artists

Check out our list of things that you can do (from home!) to help your local arts and culture organizations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you purchased a ticket to a performance that was canceled, donate the refund.

Many events have been canceled throughout the rest of March and some arts organizations have even canceled the remainder of their 2019-20 seasons. If you have a ticket to an event that is now canceled, consider skipping the refund; this is an easy way to make a donation to the organization. And hey, since you had already paid for it, it won’t seem like a big dent in your wallet. Check out our full Events Calendar to see which events have been canceled and postponed.

Make a donation.

This is a bit of an obvious one. Even if you didn’t have tickets for an upcoming performance, consider donating to your arts organization of choice―non-profit organizations are always accepting donations, but during these uncertain times, when many have lost hundreds of thousands in profits from canceled shows, they will rely on donations more than ever. For some ideas of performing arts organizations to donate to, check out our Partners page, or donate to your favorite organization. Any amount helps.

Make a donation to an emergency relief fund.

If you’re unsure of an individual organization that you would like to donate to, you can give money to a larger fund that distributes grants to organizations or even individual artists.

If you are in Washington: ArtsFund is leading the COVID-19 Arts Emergency Fund. To date, the group has raised $1.5 million and is currently working to raise additional funds to stabilize the sector with immediate relief grants for arts organizations negatively impacted by COVID-19 and its corresponding economic effects. ArtsFund is also working with Artist Trust to provide rapid response grants directly to individual Washington State artists for immediate and vital needs. Donate to the Arts Emergency Fund or the Artist Trust Relief Fund.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area: Theatre Bay Area has launched the COVID-19: Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund. This fund is a resource for performing arts workers who are facing a loss of income due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Donate to the Fund.

The City and County of San Francisco are accepting tax-deductible monetary contributions for the City’s COVID-19 outbreak response efforts. These efforts include providing shelter, food and other assistance to individuals, families, small businesses, and nonprofits in San Francisco. Donate here.

Berkeley City Council has approved $3 million for emergency relief grants to small businesses, nonprofit arts organizations, and residential tenants, that are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Donate to help match this amount with other members of the community.

Purchase tickets for the upcoming 2020-21 season.

Amidst all the bad news going around, there has been some exciting news―many organizations are announcing their next seasons. Get ahead of the curve and purchase a season subscription. Not only will you save money by buying early and bundling, you’ll also give the organization some much needed revenue for immediate use. It’s a win-win! For a list of arts organizations that have announced their 2020-21 seasons, check out our Events Calendar.

Appeal to your representatives.

America’s arts and cultural sector losses to date are estimated to be $3.2 billion. Many organizations won’t be able to bounce back through individual donations alone―governmental grant help will be necessary. Through Americans for the Arts Action Fund, you can request that your members of Congress include $4 billion—to be distributed though the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)—to help offset the losses of the non-profit cultural industry. Take a moment (really, it only takes few!) to send your representatives a request to give arts and cultural organizations these funds.

And finally, if you are able, stay home!

This one helps us all. While all of us aren’t fortunate enough to work from home or aren’t able to stay home for other reasons, many of us are. Don’t go out unless necessary. The sooner we slow down the spread of COVID-19, the sooner we can get back into venues and enjoy the arts we love.

Stay safe!

Updated on March 25, 2020: Updated with additional donation options.