SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

There is still much to learn about the full impact that COVID-19 will have on our lives and the lives of those around us. We stand in solidarity with arts organizations, their employees, and artists as things continue to unfold and we encourage the community of audience members, donors, and grantmakers to do what they can to continue their support throughout this time of uncertainty.

What We Can Do

While data may be the last thing on your mind, we encourage arts and cultural leaders to be mindful of capturing data that will help to tell the complete story about the pandemic’s direct and indirect effects on finances, operations, and attendance. This includes tracking all forms of attendance, modifications to the number of programs offered, and changes in employment, alongside financial data.


In addition to tracking your own data, you can provide information to help us understand the broad impact of the virus. The COVID-19 Sector Benchmark Dashboard is a free tool that provides near real-time intelligence and advice to help arts leaders see results as they respond to the pandemic.


Additionally, Americans for the Arts has been capturing information about the financial and human impacts that the spread of the virus has had on arts and cultural organizations since the first U.S. case was documented on January 20, 2020. A new impact survey has been launched to continue to gather the impact data that are critical to our collective advocacy efforts. 

Take The Survey

Read the weekly updates on survey results from AFTA 


Taking the necessary precautions to protect your staff and patrons is crucial. If you don’t have a plan in place already, the CDC offers a helpful tool that can be used to begin preparations. See the links below to stay informed on the latest available information. 


Centers for Disease Control & Prevention - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy


There will be many aspects of society in need of recovery and support, including the arts. With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, NCAPER has developed a new guide that will give artists and arts organizations step-by-step assistance in navigating the bureaucracy in identifying and applying for Federal funding and other assistance. 

Download Now


The unknown brings with it elevated anxiety about the future of our sector, but what we do know is that arts and cultural organizations are comprised of resilient, passionate, and creative minds. It is your strength that will be a driving force to help communities get through this together.

Get Your Free Advocacy Report and Share Your Reason for Supporting the Arts

Build a powerful, fact-based case that demonstrates the reach and impact of the arts. Our free Advocacy Report and online courses can help you get there. Currently, data reflected in these reports communicate the pre-COVID story about the impact of the arts, which emphasizes community contributions in addition to the critical role the arts play in bringing people together, physically and emotionally.

Take Action

View an Example Report

State Arts Agency Directory - National Assembly of State Arts Agencies 

State Senators Directory - United States Senate

The COVID-19 Sector Benchmark Dashboard

A free dashboard that provides near real-time intelligence and advice to help arts leaders see results as they respond to the pandemic. This project was developed by TRG Arts, SMU DataArts' longtime partner in advancing the arts and culture sector, in collaboration with U.K.-based audience analytics company Purple Seven.

Learn More


Donorbox Nonprofit Blog

A COVID-19 resource center for nonprofits. The Donorbox resource center features a number of links to outside resources (and a few of their own) – like information about laws, articles, webinars, free templates, and more – to help your organization cope with the current situation, plan ahead, and emerge as strong as possible in the next few months.

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COVID-19 Glossary in 12 Languages

Eriksen Translations has compiled a COVID-19-related glossary in 12 languages and made it available for download. This resource was assembled with the hope that it will help organizations efficiently translate critical coronavirus-related information and achieve consistent messaging.

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File for Unemployment

We're facing the harsh reality that many in the cultural sector have lost their jobs due to the impact of COVID-19. Along with applying for grant funding opportunities, make sure you also apply for unemployment if you've recently lost your job and are eligible for unemployment benefits.

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What is the Federal Government Doing in Response to COVID-19?

A complete list of information and resources provided by the government to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments. Including updates from the Institute for Museum and Library Services on grant applications and awardees.

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Data & Insights on the Impact of COVID-19 on Arts & Culture

Explore Our Research