Arts & Culture Economic Recovery Strategy

PSRC released the Arts & Culture Economic Recovery Strategy to support recovery and resiliency for the region’s arts and culture sector. The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the region’s arts and culture industry due to the in-person nature of activities and events that are critical to their business models and revenue streams. The ArtsFund COVID Cultural Impact Study (CCIS) conducted in 2021 by ArtsFund used data from cultural organizations and Washington residents to document and analyze the pandemic’s impacts on Washington’s cultural community. It found that the sector contracted by more than a quarter between 2019 and 2020, shedding 26% of jobs.

PSRC leveraged funding from the CARES Act to develop strategies to help the arts and culture industry and workforce recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategy was developed under the guidance of an advisory group of representatives from across the region. In addition, it was informed by interviews with cities, counties, employers, cultural sector partners, guilds, and unions; secondary workforce data analysis; a cultural workforce survey and focus groups; and online research of national and global strategies.

This Arts and Culture Economic Recovery Strategy is a guiding document for regional partners to align efforts in support of organizations and workers in arts and culture industry. The strategy guides the region toward a vision for arts and culture that is transformed, equitable, and sustainable. It includes arts and cultural infrastructure that creates access to the arts for audiences of all ages, abilities, and walks of life. It includes meaningful investment in cultural workers to recognize their unique and irreplaceable contributions to our society and economy and placemaking. The vision also emphasizes the need for a new business model for the arts, a sustainable one that enables collaboration for the greater good.