RI Arts Sector loses over 10K jobs and $436 million in four months of pandemic, says national study

Image from “Lost Art: Measuring COVID-19’s devastating impact on America’s creative economy”

Rhode Island’s arts sector lost over 10,000 jobs and sales of over $436 million during the months of April to July of this year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a report recently issued by The Brookings Institution. The report, “LOST ART: MEASURING COVID-19’S DEVASTATING IMPACT ON AMERICA’S CREATIVE ECONOMY”, documents the impact of the health crisis on arts and culture nationwide, describing the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on a sector that contributes more than $2 billion annually to the Rhode Island economy.

The study from the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution estimate losses nationwide of 2.7 million jobs and more than $150 billion in sales of goods and services from creative industries during the four-month period from April through July 2020.  The fine and performing arts industries are hardest hit, suffering estimated losses of almost 1.4 million jobs and $42.5 billion in sales. These estimated losses represent 50% of all jobs in these industries and more than a quarter of all lost sales nationwide.

Authored by Richard Florida and Michael Seman, the report goes on to say that creative occupations in the fine and performing arts—which include the visual arts, music, theater, and dance— are being disproportionally affected by the pandemic.  In Rhode Island and elsewhere, arts venues and events were among the first to shut down and will be among the last to reopen in response to the pandemic.

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, expressed grave concern over these findings.  “This report documents how, in just four short months, the arts sector nationwide and in Rhode Island has literally ground to a halt.  Theatres and concert halls and museums were shuttered, and artists and cultural workers lost their livelihoods. Arts jobs are jobs, and our greatest challenge is providing our state’s artists and arts organizations with the resources they need to survive. We must ensure the arts return to contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of our state.”

The complete report from The Brookings Institution can be found here.

About The Brookings Institution

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.