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Nonprofit Arts Organizations In Atlanta Will Collectively Lose More Than $10,000,000

A new survey has found nonprofit arts organizations in Atlanta will collectively lose more than $10,000,000. This data is part of a push for the arts sector to receive additional economic relief.

As part of its commitment to saying "Yes, and..." to the community, Dad's Garage Theatre has organized a new survey of more than 55 arts nonprofits to determine how coronavirus will affect this sector.

Dad's Garage Managing Director, Lara Smith, compiled this data after hearing calls from fellow nonprofit leaders to quantify how hard the arts will be hit by coronavirus. This data comes from a survey of most of the leading arts organizations in metro Atlanta, including many nonprofits that are part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies cohort. The Atlanta Regional Commission assisted in the creation of the survey and data analysis.

Among the survey's key findings are:

-Organizations are looking at average losses of $25,000 to over $1 million, depending on budget size. For instance, organizations with budgets under $250,000 are currently set to lose an average of $25,000 while organizations with budgets of between $1 million and $2 million are set to lose $345,000 on average. All in, right now there are $10.6 million in anticipated losses across the arts nonprofit sector in Atlanta. This number will only go up, as these numbers are underreported, by a large margin. Four organizations with budgets of over $10m participated in the survey, but only three reported anticipated losses. And we had one third of the region's nonprofit arts organizations participate.

-19% of arts nonprofits in Atlanta aren't sure they are going to make it, and may close permanently. Another 34% are only going to make it if they get SBA funding (or something similar).

-96% of respondents expressed the need for additional funding in the form of an unrestricted grant with a total need of $4.78 million.

-Those surveyed indicated needing just over $2.5 million in loans, with 65% of that falling into the long-term loan category, as many have concerns they will not receive SBA funding.

There is some good news to this survey, including:

-64% of organizations started this crisis with a financial safety net in the form of a reserves, a line of credit, or an endowment. The average amount of buffer is six months, but ranges from one month to four years.

-30% of respondents have not made any staffing changes, as they have been able to maintain current payroll and contractor payments.

Additional Survey Information:

Participating organizations include:

7 Stages

A Través

Academy Theatre

Alliance Theatre

Architecture and Design Center

Art Papers

ART Station Contemporary Art Center and Theatre Company

Atlanta Ballet

Atlanta Chamber Players

Atlanta Film Society

Atlanta Freedom Bands

Atlanta Jewish Music Festival

Atlanta Master Chorale (AMC)

Atlanta Lyric Theatre


Atlanta Workshop Players


Aurora Theatre

City Springs Theatre Company

Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts

Dad's Garage

Cultural Arts Council Douglasville/ Douglas County

Dance Canvas, Inc.

Decatur Book Festival


Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre

High Museum of Art

Horizon Theatre Company


Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA)

Museum of Design Atlanta

New African Grove Theatre Company

Out Front Theatre Company

Out of Hand Theater

Spruill Center for the Arts

Roswell Arts Fund

Saving Our Sons & Sisters International- SOSSI

Several Dancers Core, dba Core Dance

Synchronicity Theatre

The Actor's Express

The Skies Group presents "Ghosts of the Rubble"


The Michael O'Neal Singers

Theatrical Outfit

True Colors Theatre Company

Whole World Theatre Co

Youth Ensemble of Atlanta

For additional information on the survey, including some raw data, please contact Matthew Terrell at

According to Lara Smith, the arts are a vital part of the economy of Atlanta:

"Cutting arts organizations and artists out of economic relief packages would be a mistake, especially since our sector is central to building a strong economy. Arts and culture organizations (theaters, music venues, museums) have a symbiotic relationship with many other industries, such as tourism, hotels/hospitality, travel, restaurants, and nightlife. "Dinner and a show" is a real thing - people want to go out and have a great night on the town, they want to see a show and have a delicious dinner. Music venues and museums draw in tourists, which helps our hotel and airline industries. When looking for new corporate headquarters, companies often consider the density of arts organizations - they know their employees want to live in a vibrant, fun, enjoyable town."

Data on Economic Impact of Arts in Atlanta:

The advocacy organization Americans for the Arts recently published the "Arts and Economic Prosperity V" report, and partnered with Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to measure fiscal impact of the arts in metro Atlanta.

According to Josh Phillipson, who manages Arts and Culture for ARC:

"The nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $719.8 million industry in metro Atlanta - one that supports 23,514 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $64.5 million in local and state government revenue. Spending by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations totaled $434.8 million in metro Atlanta during fiscal year 2015. This money moves through our local economy and supports a variety of businesses and government initiatives. Event-related spending by arts attendees totaled $285 million in Metro Atlanta during fiscal year 2015, excluding the cost of event admission."

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