Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

COVID-19 Advocacy & Action

Unleash the Power of Your Art!

You have power - extraordinary life and mind-changing power in your art. Imagine the force that would be the collective voice of artists answering a call to action so the haunting words heard during COVID-19 crisis are never said again: 

"Rejected…used all my savings….I'm invisible….after years of performing at community events, no one can help me….arts nonprofits are not eligible to apply….didn't get the grant….can't pay my rent."

Artists could be the most incredible lobbyists! They already deliver awe-inspiring messages with a glance, a string of notes, an image or a lyric. 

America's artists on message every day, using their powers and the arsenal of their collective creative toolkit. What elected officials or "art isn't necessary" naysayer wouldn't be turned into a believer? Imagine it and start working on it - now!

As you do, be active and use your voice, raise your hand, take action now. The only way gig artists, nonprofits and the Art and Humanities Endowments were included in the CAREs Act was because people were advocating. But, it wasn't enough people because in comparison to other sector investments, we were grossly underfunded.

Do one advocacy action every day.  Begin with the action lists below.

Please, if you discover updates, broken links, errors or new sources, contact us at Thank you!

COVID-19 Can't Crush Creativity - Push Your Activate Button Now!

The Arts + Creative Industries Seek Sector Specific Support

$9.1 billion in financial losses to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations.

12% have reopened.

62% of our nation's 5 million creative workers have become unemployed most of them gig workers or contractors. 94% report income loss.

$16,000 is the average an artist expects to earn this year - a drop from $40,000 before COVID-19.  $50.6 billion in income is expected to be lost nationally in 2020.

No compensation is being paid to 75% of the artists whose work is being shared online right now.

MORE THAN HALF of all artists are now out of savings.

8-IN-10 artists are unable to plan for recovery, most noting they have no time to look to the future right now.

66% are unable to access the supplies, resources, spaces, or people necessary for their work.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, 63% of artists & creative workers experienced unemployment.

46% of organizations laid off or furloughed staff. Of this group, 35% had more than half of their staff affected; 49% expect to return to pre-pandemic employment levels, though not until 2022 or beyond.

Local government revenue losses are $5.8 billion and 1.01 million jobs have been negatively affected as a result of cancelled events.

BIPOC organizations are more likely to report that they currently lack the funds they need to return to in-person programming than non-BIPOC organizations (55% vs. 38%).

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey reports that “arts, entertainment, and recreation” businesses are among the most likely to take longer than 6 months to recover from the pandemic.

“Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation” jobs dropped from 2.5 million to 1.2 million between February and April 2020 (-53%). By January 2021, jobs rebounded to 1.7 million and are up to 1.9 million as of April 2021. Positive news, but arts jobs are still down 25% since before the pandemic (S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Join the Arts Action Fund

Sign up here - TODAY. It's FREE.

423,454 members and counting. Congress needs to know there are millions of arts and creative workers, businesses and citizens who insist that arts and creativity are critical to our country.

Stay Informed & Take Action

Current Legislation

Put Creative Workers to Work Proposal (The policy proposal was collaboratively developed by over 100 partner organizations and individuals, and has been endorsed by over 2,300 creative businesses and creative workers. To see more detail on the proposed actions to take to address these policies, which together would put 300,000 creative workers back to work, click here. These actions were arrived at through focus groups with the signatories to the Put Creative Workers to Work proposal.)

Current Arts + Creative Industries Bills Currently in Congress as of July 15, 2022

WORK Now Act (validating the arts as an eligible entity/sector) See also here for specifics. 

Arts Education for All bill (entitle arts support through Title I Funds)

The Create Act (Past Legislation that has helped creative workers immensely)

For a complete detailed list of bills and "asks," please visit the NAAS Handbook here

Congressional "Asks" for the Summit broken down by category.

WHO IS IN vs. WHO IS OUT - Do every survey!

If you are not in the count, you don't count. Elected officials, community leaders and decision makers look at data, numbers and statistics to decide who is first in line to get emergency support, unemployment and other relief programs.

 "COVID-19 and Social Distancing Study: Exploring the Impacts of Arts and Other Activities on Mental Health" is a study designed to strengthen our understanding of the mental health impacts of sheltering in place, social distancing, and isolation-and to determine if there are activities that buffer against those ill effects (such as the arts).

Americans for the Arts - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource and Response Center - keep up-to-date on action in Washington. 

The COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor  - this timely and essential data collected by WolfBrown is adding to the sector's decision-making about what it all means for programming, marketing, and engagement.

Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Social and Economic Impact Explorer

As a local arts leader, the Arts + Social Impact Explorer in your case making tool. Explore the intersection of the Arts with 30 sectors to gather resource to educate decision makers about the social impact of the arts and encourage more arts-supportive policy action at the local level. 

  • Spin the Explorer wheel and review a snapshot of Arts + your selected sector’s social impact through sample projects, impact points, and selected publications.
  • Search for projects that are having significant social impact at the local level and add your own projects and stories to the Local Project database.
  • Make your case and Build a Fact Sheet to present to decision makers that includes your own organization’s projects and pulls from resources in the Explorer.
  • Find publications and studies in the National Arts Publication Database, your one stop publications bibliography of arts administration, policy, and practice for Arts Administrators.

Spin the interactive wheel!