Americans for the Arts | St. Louis Public Radio

Americans for the Arts

Brian McKinley, left, and Drummond Crenshaw rehearse a scene from 'Spell #7' at the A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre at Washington University.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Leaders at fewer than half the arts organizations in the St. Louis area say they are confident their organizations will survive the impact of COVID-19. 

That uncertainty is revealed in a survey by the national advocacy group Americans for the Arts. 

Only 38 of 79 arts organization leaders in St. Louis and in St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin and Jefferson counties who responded reported that they will likely survive the economic disruptions of the pandemic. Nationwide, 58% of arts organizations who responded to the survey expressed confidence.

St. Louis-area arts organizations lost more than $2.5 million during the coronavirus crisis, according to the survey’s calculations.

(L to R) Michael Donovan, Robert Lynch and Sherry Sissac
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

In Missouri’s big cities and in its rural area, the arts have a big impact – not only for their inherent value – but economically as well.

“It’s a billion dollar story [in Missouri],” said Michael Donovan, Executive Director of the Missouri Arts Council, an organization that has funded the arts in communities across the state for more than 50 years.

Donovan along with Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Sherry Sissac, Deputy Director of the Regional Arts Commission, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Friday.