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Atlanta’s arts nonprofits may lose more than $10 million due to pandemic

Metro ATL

Atlanta’s arts nonprofits may lose more than $10 million due to pandemic

Dad’s Garage Theatre now has a kid’s improv comedy show. Photo courtesy of Dad’s Garage.
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By Alex Brown, contributor

Atlanta, GA – According to a new survey of more than 55 local arts nonprofits conducted by Dad’s Garage Theatre, the total losses faced by Atlanta’s arts nonprofits may be more than $10 million.

The survey found that organizations are looking at average losses of $25,000 to over $1 million, depending on individual budget size.

“For instance, organizations with budgets under $250,000 are currently set to lose an average of $25,000 while organizations with budgets of between $1 million and $2 million are set to lose $345,000 on average,” says Matthew Terrell, Communications Director of Dad’s Garage. “All in, right now there are $10.6 million in anticipated losses across the arts nonprofit sector in Atlanta. This number will only go up, as these numbers are underreported, by a large margin. Four organizations with budgets of over $10 million participated in the survey, but only three reported anticipated losses. And we had one-third of the region’s nonprofit arts organizations participate.”

Nineteen percent of arts nonprofits in Atlanta are concerned about surviving the economic strain and may close permanently. Another 34% said they will only be able to remain open if they get small business assistance funding or something similar.

There were some positive discoveries from the survey, however: 64% of organizations started this crisis with a financial safety net in the form of reserves, a line of credit, or an endowment. The average amount of buffer is six months but ranges from one month to four years. In terms of employment, 30% of respondents have not made any staffing changes, as they have been able to maintain current payroll and contractor payments.

This data comes from a survey of most of the leading arts organizations in metro Atlanta, including many nonprofits that are part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies cohort. The Atlanta Regional Commission assisted in the creation of the survey and data analysis.

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