New Report Details How NYC Arts Sector Has Been Devastated By The Pandemic


When Broadway went darkish in March of 2020, there was nonetheless hope that the shutdown can be short-term. Now, almost one 12 months later, the pandemic rages on worldwide, and the Nice White Approach hasn’t turned a single gentle again on.

The final replace got here in October of final 12 months, when The Broadway League, the commerce group representing theater homeowners and producers, made the announcement that Broadway’s shutdown would final by way of at the very least Could 2021, with exhibits presumably returning within the fall of this 12 months. There have been no updates on a reopening timeline since, although Governor Andrew Cuomo has signaled that restarting that sector of the financial system is a precedence. Forward of a latest launch of pop-up occasions across the state, he famous, “There are venues that we wish to begin to reopening with testing and capability limitations,” together with theaters, arenas and Broadway.

A brand new report from the New York State Comptroller’s workplace displays the urgency, displaying how devastating a toll the shutdown has taken on Broadway and your complete New York Metropolis inventive sector.

Total, the humanities, leisure, and recreation sector had the largest decline out of all sectors in NYC, based on Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. (This contains performing arts, spectator sports activities, museums, amusement parks, casinos, and health facilities.) Between 2009 and 2019, the report says that jobs in arts, leisure, and recreation grew by 42%, outpacing the 30% progress in whole personal sector employment—however, in 2020, employment fell by 66%.

A chart showing how employment in the arts has cratered since the pandemic started in March


NYC Arts, Leisure and Recreation Employment, 2020

Sources: NYS Division of Labor; Workplace of State Comptroller evaluation

About 93,500 individuals in arts, leisure, and recreation had been employed by 6,250 institutions in NYC in 2019, based on the report, which estimates that the overall wages had been round $7.4 billion for a median wage of $79,300.

“There isn’t a metropolis on this world that provides a extra dynamic or deeper array of venues and museums for arts and leisure than New York,” DiNapoli stated in an announcement. “The COVID-19 outbreak has had a profound and adverse influence on the business. It has pressured amenities to shut, thrust hundreds into unemployment and pushed companies to the brink of collapse.”

DiNapoli recommends:

  • Extending unemployment aid commensurate with want, together with prolonged aid for freelancers and self-employed staff;
  • Offering institutions with outlined and achievable milestones for reopening which are aligned on the metropolis and state ranges;
  • Enabling the usage of outside area with versatile tips and easy allowing processes because the climate warms;
  • Facilitating the move of federal funding to corporations and not-for-profit organizations by way of outreach and technical help; and
  • Delivering healthcare provides, together with speedy assessments and private protecting gear, in order that venues can reopen safely.

Aimee Todoroff, the League of Unbiased Theater’s Managing Director, known as the financial research “important,” and stated it “couldn’t have come at a extra crucial time—“We all know our indie theater sector is in peril, but we’re hopeful the info on this research will generate actual insurance policies to make sure the survival of the artists who make New York the cultural capital of the world.”