COVID 19 Is Affecting the Arts!
Hello ICO Friends & Patrons,
I am writing today to ask supporters of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra to reach out to their respective members of the Indiana congressional delegation in Washington, DC. This is a crucial time for us to let our leaders know that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a major impact on how the ICO will operate once we resume our concert schedule and education programs. The coronavirus already has had a devastating economic impact on America’s nonprofit arts sector—financial losses to date are estimated to be $3.6 billion.
Please find direct links to our Indiana delegation and suggested copy for a communication below urging them to do all they can to provide financial assistance to the ICO and the Indiana arts and cultural sector as Congress considers emergency and recovery assistance.
Thank you for your continued support of the ICO during this challenging time.
Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra
Suggested Statement to Copy/Personalize:
Dear (Name, member of congress)
I write to you today as a supporter of both the arts in Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, which serves thousands of patrons and community members each year. Under the leadership of Music Director Matthew Kraemer, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra has become one of this nation’s leading chamber orchestras. The ICO continues to engage audiences through innovative programming including regular season concerts, the popular silent movie with live orchestra, free summer parks concerts, the ICO radio broadcast on WFYI and education outreach to the Indianapolis Public Schools.
Because of COVID-19, the ICO has suspended all performances and programs until at least May 17, 2020. A new impact survey conducted by the Arts Council of Indianapolis has confirmed massive losses to-date in central Indiana due to COVID-19:
● As of March 16, more than 1,000 central Indiana arts and culture events have been cancelled and venues closed and that number keeps growing.
● 95% of individual local artists anticipate significant losses as the result of these closures, with a majority estimating critical impact on their financial stability.
● Two-thirds of Indy’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are reporting devastating financial losses. Initial estimates total more than $8 million in immediate financial relief required and we expect that to double or triple as timelines extend.
● More than half of Central Indiana’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations indicated they will need emergency relief within one to three months to continue operations and nearly all currently predict layoffs impacting thousands of full-time and part-time staff.
While the 2019/2020 arts season may be lost, we maintain hope for the future of the ICO and other arts organizations. I write to you today to ask that you consider the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and other cultural institutions who provide direct service to Indiana’s communities in any stimulus and/or recovery aid or assistance package being considered. Specifically, I ask that you include the following in the legislative package currently being negotiated:
* Support $4 billion in COVID-19 relief funding to be administered by the National Endowment for the Arts.
* Encourage charitable giving by increasing the allowable amount of the proposed $300 above-the-line tax deduction and removing AGI limits on allowed deductions for charitable giving.
* Ensure that proposed forgivable SBA disaster relief loans support all arts and culture workers.
* Support pandemic unemployment benefits for workers ineligible for state unemployment benefits, which will provide essential support for self-employed arts and culture workers.
* Ensure arts eligibility for additional forms of disaster relief, such as Community Development Block Grants, education and lifelong learning programs, and health and wellness initiatives.
We thank you for your support of the important work of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the arts and culture in Indiana.