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146 organizations awarded $815,000 through Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the arts and culture sector, particularly performing arts organizations.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture today announced the City of Boston awarded $815,000 in grants to 146 local arts and cultural organizations as part of the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund. This fund, made available by the City of Boston's allocated CARES Act funding, was established earlier this summer to support small and mid-sized arts and culture nonprofits in adapting their programs, spaces, and operating models as a result of COVID-19.

"Supporting the organizations that bring transformative arts programming to every neighborhood in our city is imperative during this unprecedented time," said Mayor Walsh. "These organizations have put a tremendous amount of effort into making sure Bostonians can still participate in the arts and express themselves creatively, and it's important that we do what we can to ensure they remain a part of Boston's arts community in the future."

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the arts and culture sector, particularly performing arts organizations. Boston's arts and culture sector is a critical part of the city's economy and generates $1.35 billion in total economic activity, according to Americans for the Arts'  Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 reportArtsBoston's 2019 Arts Factor report indicated that more than 21 million people attend arts and cultural events annually.  Mass Cultural Council reported cultural nonprofits in Massachusetts have lost $425 million in revenue with 17,000 jobs impacted, and are facing $441.8 million in total recovery costs.

As organizations and cultural facilities begin reopening, the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund aims to mitigate costs for finding new safe spaces for performance and rehearsal, adapting existing facilities to comply with public health standards, developing new capacities in streaming and virtual engagement, addressing issues of equitable access on digital programs, retraining staff, and other costs associated with physically distanced program delivery. 

"By enabling us to access video and audio engineering services, the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund is helping us do something amazing: to continue paying performers and bringing opera performances to Boston audiences during a pandemic," said grantee Greg Smucker, Artistic Director of Boston Opera Collaborative.

In addition to the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund, the City of Boston  distributed grants totaling $490,000 to 146 arts and cultural organizations that offer programming in the City of Boston through the Boston Cultural Council. Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, the City of Boston in partnership with Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) have also awarded grants totaling over $330,000 to over 600 artists as part of the Boston Artist Relief Fund, which was established to support artists whose creative practices and incomes were adversely impacted by the pandemic.

"Providing ongoing support to Boston's arts organizations is critical during this time," said Kara Elliott-Ortega. "We hope this will encourage Boston residents to do what they can to make sure these organizations are able to continue providing valuable programming to our communities in the future." 

View the complete list of Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund grantees here. To learn more about how the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture is supporting artists and arts organizations during COVID-19, visit  

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