In partnership with our state’s nine regional arts councils, the Louisiana Division of the Arts conducted the Louisiana Art Field survey through May 2020 of the initial impact of COVID-19 on our arts community. Following is a brief summary of those results.
EVENTS & SHOWS
77% OF INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS EXPERIENCED CANCELLATIONS
68% OF INDIVIDUAL ARTIST CANCELLATIONS WON’T BE RESCHEDULED, 25% WILL CANCEL 15+ EVENTS & SHOWS
ESTIMATED REVENUE LOSS
80% OF RESPONDERS REPORTED LOST OR EXPECTED LOSS OF INCOME, RANGING FROM 10K TO 100K.
73% OF THE INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS THAT RESPONDED TO THE SURVEY HAVE ALREADY LOST THOUSANDS IN INCOME.
10% OF THE INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS THAT RESPONDED TO THE SURVEY HAVE ALREADY LOST OVER 10K IN INCOME
THE MAJORITY OF RESPONSES CENTER AROUND FINANCIAL STABILITY, ABILITY TO PAY BILLS, LOAN REPAYMENT, AND LOSS OF INCOME.
A core group of the individual artists represented in this survey are teaching artists who work in a variety of arts education programs. Recognizing the importance of continuing to serve students and their families who have been quarantining at home, a number of the state’s regional arts councils and arts education organizations began digitizing their programs. Not only have they been able to consistently serve these students and their families, but they were also able to continue employment for the teaching artists.
Following are a sample of highlights of what has been provided within our state:
Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
Recognizing that students are without traditional education routines and camp experiences during the COVID-19 crisis, the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge compiled a list of resources to help students, families, and teachers fill in arts education gaps during this time. These are posted in the Creative Relief page of the www.artsbr.org website. This list is updated periodically as new resources are made available. The Council hired some of the teaching artists who were contracted to do work in schools or who otherwise found themselves without work in traditional settings to create videos with lesson plans that could be shared. In addition, these artists were hired to produce “Tutorial Tuesday” videos for the public, which were also showcased during the virtual Ebb & Flow Festival June 27 – July 4, 2020. This virtual model was extended to camp sessions coordinated through a regional initiative, the Louisiana Summer Camp, which provides free online activities. Kits were also delivered to those interested families who may not have internet access. The Council is also working with the Pennington Biomedical Center to co-produce healthy living and eating initiatives using artists to relay scientific data and recommendations. Filmmakers, sound engineers, and theatre tech workers have also been hired to create the digital work used in these productions. Through social media, the Arts Council promotes and advocates arts education programs of its region’s arts organizations and constituents.
Acadiana Center for the Arts
This year, just one week after schools closed, the Acadiana Center for the Arts took the PACE arts integration program online, with teaching artists creating daily video lessons in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade. PACE, which stands for Primary Academic Creative Experiences, places teaching artists is preK through third grade classrooms in Lafayette Parish public schools to provide students with experiences in visual and performing arts through weekly lessons that integrate the arts into the school curriculum.
Staying true to the program, the PACE Online art lessons are integrated into the curriculum in fun and grade-level appropriate activities using simple supplies that most kids have at home. Many different curricular areas were covered, including fractions, landforms, weather, punctuation, habitats, phases of the moon, mythology, sound, the five senses, outer space, life cycles, and art history, just to name a few. These were shared daily via social media, and many elementary schools in the Acadiana area shared them with their students directly. A partnership with a program of United Way called Learn United made it possible to air the videos on the local public access channel, making them even more widely accessible. Over a 12-week period, 180 videos were produced.
They can be found on the AcA’s YouTube channel on the PACE Online playlist: https://bit.ly/AcAPACEOnline.
PACE Online Art Classes were made possible with support from the Lafayette Parish School System and a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
KID smart blends dance, music, poetry, theatre and visual art with academic subject to make classrooms more joyful and effective places to learn.
When Covid-19 closed schools on March 13th, KID smART was serving students in 16 school sites through arts integrated residencies and after school and enrichment work. These teaching artists immediately pivoted to providing Art Apart online arts lessons (YouTube.com/KIDsmARTNOLA) as well classroom teacher support through planning and teaching in distance learning settings. KID smART professional development was able to continue through Zoom and the online format enabled more teachers than ever to participate in sessions about building empathy through monologues, deletion poetry, integrating drama in the classroom, and helping students of all abilities access arts learning. The Board of Directors decided within days of school closures to continue paying our staff and teaching artists through the end of the school year and, once a PPP loan was obtained, through most of the summer months as well. Both the cancellation and postponement of summer camps created a need for quality online resources as well as an employment crisis for many of the artists who normally work in summer camp settings, and through the thoughtful care of the programming team, both were mitigated. Looking to the fall, the team of artists and arts coaches are becoming more fluent in online learning tools, learning about best practices in creating engaging and interactive online lessons, and thinking about how to bring more trauma informed and social emotional wellness practices into classrooms. Current goals are to bring quality arts integrated lessons to our students and to be a responsive resource to partner schools, no matter what school looks like this year.
Shreveport Regional Arts Council
The “oh so disappointing” cancellation of the 2020 annual ArtBreak Festival was, perhaps, the major impact of COVID19 on the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. In 36 years, neither rain, nor high winds nor standardized testing schedules have cancelled or squelched this annual celebration of the achievements of Student Artists in Caddo Parish – and all Northwest Louisiana Schools that include Music, Theatre, and/or Dance, Literary and Visual Arts as part of the basic curriculum. The Shreveport Regional Arts Council took the opportunity to pivot by creating a virtual celebration of the 36 years of ArtBreak to include highlighting each aspect of the Festival: Musical Performances, the Visual and Literary Exhibition, STEAM Hands-On Learning, the Talent Show, Culinary Art Competition, Film Prize Jr, and more!
(https://www.artbreaksb.com/abkretro-1 or www.artbreaksb.com).
Additionally, with the help from a grant awarded by the Educational Foundation of America, the Arts Council was able to create “ArtBreak@ArtSpace,” providing a 10-week series of daily STEAM Camps created and taught by the ArtBreak Artists. ArtBreak Artists are teaching at these Daily Camps that are provided with all of the requirements for masks, safe spacing, hand-washing, and sanitizing. Students in nearby Social Service Organization programs are attending the daily camps at no charge. This is a remarkable Arts in Education moment in the life of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, Caddo Schools, and the City of Shreveport.