Small- to mid-sized arts organizations, meanwhile, are grappling with lost income from rentals and ticket sales, and they’re anticipating reduced donations. Some are beginning to lay off employees. SOMArts, for example, has lost some $20,000 in rental revenue, and expects the number to climb to $100,000, 30 percent of its projected 2020 rental revenue, within months.
Gabriel Nunez de Arco, a lighting designer and sound engineer, is disappointed the individual artist category doesn’t appear to have been created with freelance technical workers in mind. “We don’t get healthcare, we don’t get sick time and we don’t have anything to burn to make up for all of the lost gigs,” said de Arco, 26, who worked events regularly at venues such as Joe Goode Annex and Counterpulse. “It’s not obvious to me how we can access these funds.”
“San Francisco is defined by our vibrant arts and culture and we need to support this sector now more than ever,” Naomi Kelly, who runs SF’s Grants for the Arts agency, said in a statement. “Although this emergency has paused many live performances, we will do all we can to provide support to the artists and organizations who make them possible during this trying time.”
San Francisco also has a Give2SF Fund. Tax-deductible monetary contributions can be spent on various public efforts to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. As the Arts Relief Program announcement notes, the city is also soliciting donations of personal protective equipment for frontline health workers, cleaning supplies and technical equipment for telecommuting.