Economic and Fiscal Impacts of COVID-19 on Palm Beach County Cultural Organizations

Surale Phillips, Steven R. Nivin, PhD, LLC

April 6, 2022

Responding to the Coronavirus state of emergency in 2020, the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County issued a survey about COVID-19 impacts on its constituent organizations between March 2020 and August 2020. At the pandemic’s early stage, the total economic loss reported by 53% of the survey respondents had already reached $48,313,070. These organizations had lost 888,277 attendees, postponed or canceled more than 1,600 events, and furloughed 150 full-time and 443 part-time employees.

Using a portion of the county’s federal CARES Act funds allocation, the Cultural Council partnered with Palm Beach County to establish the Palm Beach County Cultural Resiliency Fund. In 2021, 15 organizations received direct relief support through grants totaling more than $186,000. Additionally, the Cultural Council raised private funds to create the Palm Beach County Artist Relief Fund, providing micro grants to more than 130 professional artists in Palm Beach County.

As of February 8, 2022, Americans for the Arts reports that arts attendees have begun returning to in-person programs. The sector’s employment lags behind the Nation’s Economy and is still down by 12% since pre-pandemic. Nationally, as of July 2021, financial losses to nonprofit arts and culture organizations were estimated by Americans for the Arts to be $17.97 billion.

This report documents the economic and fiscal impacts of COVID-19 in the Palm Beach County arts and culture sector from 2018-2019 (FY 19) through 2021 (FY 21) based on financial statements and attendance information collected from grantee reports for FY 20 and FY 21 and attendance and visitor information collected from intercept surveying for FY 19 reporting.

The data is provided in the aggregate and broken out by geographic location of the cultural organizations located in Boca Raton, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and other cities.

Read the full report.


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