The outdoor stages are silent. There are no art fairs or gallery walks, no concerts in the parks. The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated arts and culture in America, wiping out as many as half of all jobs for performing artists and musicians, and nearly a third of jobs for all those who work in the creative economy broadly spanning arts, music, theater, design, entertainment and media, according a study we did for the Brookings Institution.
Between April and the end of July, some 2.7 million jobs and $150 billion in revenues were lost. As the crisis took hold this spring, the average income of American artists and creatives plummeted to just about $14,000 a year.
While Broadway’s darkened marquees stand as the most prominent symbol of the crisis, the damage is being felt across the nation. Atlanta, Nashville, New Orleans, Austin, Orlando, Las Vegas and Miami lost an even