CINCINNATI — This Giving Tuesday, local arts organizations are hoping you’ll consider supporting them through donations.
A new study from the Urban Institute shows small arts organizations have been some of the hardest hit during the pandemic.
“We want to get through this,” said Kathy DeBrosse, Vice President of Marketing and Engagement for ArtsWave. “We don't want to lose arts organizations, or artists in the process.”
Artswave supports local arts organizations and independent artists through funding, services and advocacy.
“The toll has been huge,” DeBrosse said.
She estimates organizations in the ArtsWave network have lost a total of $400 million during the pandemic.
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is one of those organizations who have lost so much.
“We had to cancel all of our programming for the remaining quarter of our fiscal year (in 2020),” said Kim Kern, Managing Director and CEO. “It was almost a half a million dollar revenue loss for us.”
The theatre found a miracle in patrons willing to donate tickets back.
“Obviously in a situation where we're having to cancel programming and close our doors for certain performances, that contributed-income piece becomes even more important,” she said.
For other organizations, donations were harder to find.
“We saw a huge drop off on donations, especially corporate donations, which makes sense, companies were hit so hard,” said Colleen Houston, CEO and Artistic Director at ArtWorks
ArtWorks is a local organization the helps youth teams create murals throughout the region. It pays them for the work, too.
“When you're supporting artworks, you're helping create jobs for underserved youth across the region,” Houston said.
Youth apprentice Angela Ramirez has completed three projects with the organization.
“I feel like without artworks, of course, I wouldn't be here,” Ramirez said. “When I was little, I never thought I would be able to paint a building here in Cincinnati or Newport.”
The biggest message these organizations hope to send on Giving Tuesday is that funding art is funding the community.
“Our arts are a sign of who we are as a region,” DeBrosse said. “People come to Cincinnati and we decide to stay in Cincinnati because of the health of the region. And the arts are critical to connecting us.”