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Arts Midwest Resources: COVID-19

Arts Midwest is currently monitoring the ongoing rise of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the United States. We know that the virus raises particular questions for our community members in the arts and culture sector, many of whom are anticipating short-and long-term impacts. With that in mind, we’ve started to assemble a list of articles and resources to share with our constituents and networks, as well as some answers to questions we’ve been receiving.

Arts Midwest will continue to update this post as the situation evolves. Last Update: March 26th, 2020

Public Health Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends connecting to your state, territorial and local health agencies for location-specific information on the status of COVID-19 in your community, guidance on whether events should proceed, and information about health care resources.

State Public Health Departments (Arts Midwest Region)

Illinois Indiana Iowa
Michigan Minnesota North Dakota
Ohio South Dakota Wisconsin

National and International Public Health Resources

Center for Disease Control World Health Organization Johns Hopkins: Mapping 2019-nCoV

Resources for Arts & Culture Organizations

Ask an Expert: Contracts, insurance, visas, employment, and legislation in the COVID-19 Era (Updated 3/24/20)
Join Arts Midwest and Alliance of Performing Arts Conferences for an upcoming free webinar “Ask an Expert: Contracts, insurance, visas, employment, and legislation in the COVID-19 Era” this Friday, March 27th at noon (CST). This informative panel presentation will gather a group of legal experts including Heather Noonan (League of American Orchestras), Matthew Covey (Tamizdat), and more to discuss and answer questions about the current business, legal, and financial realities facing the performing arts sector. Questions will be accepted in advance. A recording of this webinar will be available on Tuesday, March 31.

We Are Stronger Together: Navigating Crises and Sustaining Healthy Relationships in the Era of Coronavirus Webinar< (Updated 3/23/20)
This 1.5-hour field-wide webinar put on by the Association of Performing Arts Conferences gathered presenters, agents, artists, and legal and emergency response experts around the current business, legal, financial, ethical and relational realities we are facing together. Most helpful for: Performing Arts Presenters and Organizations, Artist Managers, Artist Agents, Nonprofit Arts Organizations, Individual Performing Artists

North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents: Coronavirus FAQS (Updated 3/14/20)
This list of frequently asked questions includes a variety of information and action resources for agents, managers, and self-represented artists compiled by NAPAMA.
• Information about cancelled/postponed events and force majeure clauses.
• Mitigation strategies for presenters, artists, agents, and managers.
• Links to immigration and visa resources for artists, agents, and managers.

CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers (Updated as needed by the CDC)
We recommend looking through the CDC’s general guide for businesses and employers, which includes resources on:
• Strategies for employers to use now.
• Planning considerations for an outbreak or potential outbreak.
• Recommendations for an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan.
• Additional resource links.

CDC: Interim Guidance for Event Planners (Updated as needed by the CDC)
This interim guidance plan specifically for organizers of mass gatherings and large community events includes information on:
• Reviewing and updating your organization or event’s emergency operations plan.
• Implementing key prevention strategies.
• Communicating internally and to your wider community.

Event Safety Alliance: Prepare Your Organization for the Coronavirus Disease Outbreak Webinar (Updated 3/4/20)
We recommend watching this one-hour webinar in its entirety as it provides 8 actionable steps to take right now.

Arts Ready: Preparing for Potential Impact of the Coronavirus (Updated 3/4/20)
Arts Ready shares steps you can take to prepare your facility now, including:
• Create a checklist of that your staff will need should you need to close the office.
• Create a shutdown protocol (i.e. safe shutdown of IT and other equipment; securing/protecting assets that require regular attention or are of value).
• Gather all of your contacts should you need to shut down, cancel, or change an event and consider a contact tree.
• Review your insurance, general liability, and property policies.

Americans for the Arts: Arts & Culture Can Prepare for the Coronavirus in the US (Updated 3/5/20)
Americans for the Arts is working to understand the long-term effects on arts and culture and will continue to report out. The article currently suggests the following:
• Review your refund policies.
• Communicate with audiences and stakeholders.
• Encourage preventative measures such as social distancing and hand washing.
• Work to dispel stigma, especially towards Asian and Asian American communities.

New York Times: When the Show Must Go On (Updated 3/4/20)
The article highlights creative ways the performing arts are responding to the virus, and how they’re maintaining a relationship with their respective audiences.
• Venice’s opera house, La Fenice, is streaming concerts online as a response to their closure.
• Artists are creating playlists to share with their fans in quarantine.
• Venues are taking action such as ticket buy-backs to create smaller audiences to comply with bans on gathers of 1,000 or more.
• One recommendation is to asking folks to waive their cancellation refunds as a donation.

Harvard Business Review: How to Reassure Your Team When the News is Scary (Updated 3/5/20)
The article includes tips for communicating uncertainty to your teams, as well as to your external network. Leaders: Take a break, stay calm and take a moment to center yourself.
• Put yourself in your audiences’ shoes. Who are you communicating to, and what are their specific concerns or questions? What do they need immediate answers to?
• Seek out credible sources and do your research!
• Have specific next steps and provide your team with tangible action items.

Yellow Peril: Resources to Address Coronavirus Racism (Updated on a rolling basis)
A crowd-sourced list of textual and digital resources addressing COVID-19 related racism.

Thanks to Western Arts Alliance and NAPAMA for collecting many of these resources. Is there an article or resource that you’ve found useful that we didn’t highlight here, or a strategy you’re employing that you’d like to share with Arts Midwest? Please reach out to [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

How is Arts Midwest responding to COVID-19?

Arts Midwest has postponed its spring 2020 World Fest and Folkefest tours featuring Choor, Hadar Maoz, and Kardemimmit.

Our physical office in Minneapolis is closed as of March 16th. Our teams remain available for questions and support. Employees are working from home, and using remote tools to conduct upcoming internal in-person gatherings virtually.

What if you are an Arts Midwest grantee and wondering whether to move forward with a performance or event?

Arts Midwest is closely monitoring recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organizations as they pertain to travel and public health and safety in the United States as more public gatherings, including performances and festivals, have been cancelled to help limit the spread of COVID-19. We have encouraged our grantees and partners to be prepared and have a plan in place for their grant activities in the event that, in the interest of public health or safety, their organizations need to delay events, cancel events, or temporarily close. As always, Arts Midwest staff are here as a resource, and seek to be supportive and flexible. Please contact relevant program staff to keep us informed about disruptions, cancellations, postponements, and the impact of COVID-19 on your grant, program, or event.

Will COVID-19 affect the Arts Midwest Conference?

At this moment, the annual Arts Midwest Conference taking place in Omaha Wednesday, September 9th – Saturday September 12th, 2020 is moving forward as previously planned. We want to assure you that we are monitoring the situation closely, and are thinking about how we can best serve our communities in a way that prioritizes wellness and safety. We will follow up in the coming weeks with more details on our plans.