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Philadelphia Arts Organizations Struggle to Stay Afloat Amidst the Pandemic

Many have shifted to digital offerings for the time being.

Many performing arts organizations across the Philadelphia area have been struggling since the start of the pandemic. ABC 6 talked with some about what that has been like, and impact it has had.

"We have furloughed, we have had a round of layoffs, we have a hiring freeze from the beginning at the office," said Karen Corbin, chief operating officer of the Philadelphia Pops.

The Philadelphia Orchestra is also struggling, but are doing their best to ensure their survival in the future.

"The musicians and the staff made big sacrifices to their pay in order to make sure the orchestra can thrive on the other side of this," said Matias Tamopolsky, CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Arts and culture brought in $4.1 billion annually to the Greater Philadelphia region, and provided 55,000 full time jobs prior to the pandemic. Since March, the industry has lost nearly $131 million.

Not just the organizations themselves, but the performers have also had to figure out alternative methods of income.

"I'm one of the many people right now that even though I've lost almost all of my income, I still haven't been able to secure an unemployment payment," said actress Campbell O'Hare.

Actor Justin Jain agrees, saying, "The whole summer and thereafter was unemployment and it was scary and we suddenly have to pivot into doing a lot more digital work."

Read more on ABC 6 and watch the full segment below:

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