Updated: March 26, 2020
Make sure to see the latest on the stimulus package.
Quick Links to What's on This Page
- A Letter from the League President and CEO to Members Regarding the COVID-19 Crisis, 3/13/20
- League Member Discussion Group
- Executive 1:1 Consultations
- Federal Assistance
- ArtsReady Resources
- Fundraising and Marketing
- International Artists and Travel by Orchestras
- Streaming and Online Learning Events
- Business Continuity and Infectious Disease Planning for Events
- CDC Coronavirus Planning Guides
Community by community, the impact of COVID-19 is variable and rapidly changing. As Congress and the Administration consider new forms of federal economic assistance that may be targeted or widespread, orchestras should be contacting elected officials to let them know of the unexpected loss of event-dependent revenue, income for musicians, and declines in charitable contributions.
Contact Your Member of Congress Today!
- Relief Package #1: Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (signed into law 3/6/2020)
The SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program has received additional funding to provide disaster relief loans, related to COVID-19, with eligibility for nonprofit organizations. The CARE act adds an expectation of three-day processing of loan applications for up to $10,000 in emergency funds. The SBA has informed the League that, as of March 24, 2020, all states are in the process of being granted eligibility, and that all interested loan applicants should originate an application now. Keep in mind that multiple forms of SBA relief may not be used for the same purpose. Guidelines should spell out how the SBA-backed forgivable paycheck protection loans approved in the third relief package will relate to economic injury disaster loans.
Unemployment Benefits Guidance was expanded by the federal government on March 12, giving states the flexibility to expand their unemployment benefits coverage to include COVID-19 related worker displacement. These changes are being made state by state. Some states have stated their intention to also develop new support for self-employed workers who are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Consult your state department of labor for more details. Please also stay tuned for how the third COVID relief package will expand unemployment benefits to support self-employed workers.
- Relief Package #2: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (signed into law 3/18/20)
This package has a central focus on COVID-related paid leave for employees, relief for employers (including nonprofit employers) that provide the paid leave, and comparable leave provisions for self-employed workers. Details will be determined in regulations and guidelines issued by federal agencies during the week of March 22, which should provide answers to questions orchestras will have about how the requirements and relief apply to staff, musicians, and independent contractors who are not able to work due to rehearsal, concert, and program cancellations; inability to telework; and other impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions are effective on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. The League will provide additional details as soon as they become available. In the meantime, see the following resources:
- U.S. Department of Labor Hosts Dialogue through March 29, 2020
- U.S. Department of Labor Overview of COVID-19 Topics
- U.S. Department of Labor FAQ on Paid Leave Requirements (March 24, 2020)
- U.S. Department of Labor Overview of Employer Paid Leave Requirements
- League Update on COVID-19 Paid Leave and Employer Relief Provisions (March 21,2020)
- U.S. Department of Treasury Overview of Employer Paid Leave Relief and Self-Employed Relief Provisions
- Relief Package #3: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) (passed by Senate 3/25/2020)
The largest COVID-19 federal relief package yet is expected to be signed into law on March 27 and includes new forms of support that can be accessed by arts organizations and self-employed individuals. The League of American Orchestras has been a leading voice as orchestras join advocates in the arts and nonprofit sectors nationwide seeking federal relief that will protect their substantial workforce and safeguard their essential service to communities in the wake of unprecedented closures and event cancellations. Forms of federal support that have traditionally been more limited are now expanded to offer opportunities for the nonprofit sector and workers in the gig economy, like many self-employed musicians, to find relief amidst the COVID-19 crisis. While these forms of assistance are meant to be rapidly available, more details will be needed as federal agencies sort out the fine print.
- National Endowment for the Arts Funding
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) includes $75 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to administer for COVID-19 assistance. Of the total, 40% of funding will be administered in partnership with state arts agencies, and the remaining resources will be delivered through direct NEA grants. The agency is authorized to make grants to support general operating expenses, and matching requirements may be waived for grants. The NEA will be rapidly providing more information about grant opportunities. In the meantime, the NEA makes the following information available to current grantees and FY20 applicants:
ArtsReady is an online service by and for arts and culture nonprofits, and provides ongoing guidance in support of emergency preparation. The ArtsReady homepage features advice specific to the coronavirus, including consideration of how to review what is covered by insurance policies. It was recently updated to feature a number of free webinars that will be of interest to orchestras.
What board members should be doing right now
Many consultants are now publishing articles online and offering webinars. Check in with your favorite consultant. Some are offering free consultations. Here are a few we like, along with a ink to the resources offered by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
A curated collection
Covid-19 Nonprofit & Philanthropy Resources
Big Duck (communications and fundraising firm)
International Artists and Travel by Orchestras
The coronavirus is impacting international tours and engagements with international artists travelling to the U.S. As communicated by public health officials, it is important to separate facts from fear and guard against stigma. Following are resources regarding travel advisories and global cases of the coronavirus.
How Futurists Cope With Uncertainty–This is a tool you can use to see plausible future states early from Amy Webb, a renowned futurist who spoke at the League’s 2016 Conference.
The Event Safety Alliance hosted a March 4 webinar outlining eight steps that should be taken by organizations that host public events. The guidance is specific to the coronavirus outbreak, and also describes emergency preparation strategies that are important to adopt on an ongoing basis.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have issued guidance to help businesses and employers prepare for the potential spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within the United States. The CDC has prepared materials specifically for employers, and community-based organizations. Here is a collection of current resources:
- CDC overview of COVID-19 resources
- CDC guidance for businesses and employers
- CDC guidance on mass gatherings
- CDC guidance for community- and faith-based organizations
- World Health Organization guidance on mass gatherings