COVID-19 Guidelines and Resources for the Arts

As Coachella Valley arts and culture organizations recalibrate their upcoming season to curb the spread of COVID-19, we’re dedicating this edition of This Month in the Arts to sharing resources to help you safely reopen venues, host events, identify emergency financial assistance, and navigate other pandemic-related concerns.

First, we encourage arts venues and event promoters to:

  • Refer to this checklist when reopening the local cultural economy: Download Reopening the Culture Sector in U.S. Cities, which encapsulates what’s at stake and outlines solutions including capacity limits, venue hygiene, ticketing and reception, visitor requirements, activity and program adjustments, and special considerations for at-risk staff and visitors. It’s offered by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ COVID-19 Local Response Initiative.
  • Download the Events Safety Alliance Resource Guide: The document addresses health and sanitary issues that event and venue professionals need to consider in order to protect both patrons and workers. The first edition is tailored to event professionals reopening the smallest events with the fewest resources available to mitigate their risks. You can also submit questions that will be answered in future editions.
  • Access state and industry-specific guidelines: The California Arts Council links to official state guidelines as well as venue- and discipline-specific recommendations, such as the “Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater” and the “American Alliance for Museums Considerations for Museum Reopening.”

Financial stability is the greatest concern of local arts organizations as well as individual artists. Here five resources where you can find small business loans, artist grants, and other financial relief:

  • Apply for a Riverside County small business loan through August 31. This second round of first-come, first-served small business grant funding expands eligibility to include sole proprietors (those with no employees) and businesses that received a SBA EIDL loan or advance. Visit the website to learn more and apply.
  • Explore emergency resources for creative professionals: California Lawyers for the Arts maintains a list of emergency resources for organizations as well as individual visual and performing artists.
  • Check the California Arts Council’s COVID-19 page: The agency lists emergency funding opportunities as well as emergency preparedness best practices, resources for event planners, and webinars featuring arts leaders and artists.
  • Artist Relief offers $5K grants to artists: To support artists during the COVID-19 crisis, a coalition of national arts grantmakers has created an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States.
  • WESTAF and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are partnering on the $10 million Regional Arts Resilience Fund to help support small and mid-sized arts organizations of all artistic disciplines in rural and urban areas that are regarded as having statewide, regional, or national impact. Organizations will be recommended by regional advisors over the summer of 2020 with awards typically ranging from $30,000 to $75,000.

The Governor’s Office has launched a comprehensive, consumer-friendly website that highlights critical steps people can take to stay healthy and resources available to Californians impacted by the outbreak, including paid sick leave and unemployment assistance.

The state has mandated face coverings in indoor public spaces and wherever social distancing is not possible. Download and print signs created by the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Capacity Interactive, a digital marketing firm focused on the arts, has posted advice to help arts organizations continue to play an important role in audiences’ lives while they’re at home. A recent blog recommends thinking long-term and maintaining a marketing presence so that, on the other side of this crisis, it will be easier to resume business as usual.

CDAC’s mission is to unify, empower, and promote art and culture in the Coachella Valley. Look for more news and resources on our website and follow California Desert Arts Council on Facebook and Instagram.