The Coronavirus (COVID-19) represents an unprecedented challenge for all of us. Across our region, arts organizations are struggling, and we’re no exception. In a matter of days, almost the entire industry has shuttered -- and thousands are out of work. It’s bad all over, and we’re looking to make sure that when this is all over, we’re ready and able to continue our mission.
With a rapidly changing landscape we are experiencing a degree of uncertainty that makes it difficult to plan more than a few weeks, even days, in advance. With limited guidance from the state and vague, often conflicting advice, we’re very close to reaching our limits.
What we do know: the public health situation will be financially damaging, it will be bad, and we cannot count on rapid relief.
We’ve done everything we can to insulate our operations and safeguard our future, but we are an organization with no substantial cash reserves, limited credit, and margins that grow thinner with each passing day of the crisis. As the domestic severity of COVID-19 has progressed we have had to close the studio for at least two weeks, cancel Dance Northeast, our dance festival weekend, and Treasure Island: our original ballet that was due to debut in early April. All of these items are how we keep our organization running and have created financial uncertainty for not only the organization but also our staff. Insurance does not cover this kind of loss (for us or anybody), and relief from other sources may take months. The one clear thing is we will need substantial support through unearned income to offset the loss in the short term.
Our response has been proportionate to the threat and within guidelines from public health organizations, but this is bigger than us. In order to remain viable, we are asking for donations to build an immediate emergency cash reserve while we react and explore other options. There are possible avenues through the emergency SBA loans made available as soon as our governor makes them so, but they are still at least a month and a half off.
We are asking for your financial support to limit the damage while other options emerge. If you can give anything at all, it will help us safeguard our continued operation, or our re-opening at the earliest possible opportunity with a minimal amount of disruption while we weather this closure.
Whatever you can give will help. Thank you for supporting us through these hard days. We are tremendously grateful to you, our community.