Pandemic Brings Immense Challenges, and Some Silver Linings, for Bay Area Arts Organizations

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Dancers from the The Bang Group perform excerpts from David Parker's "Nut/Cracked" during a dress rehearsal at Arts on Site in the Greenwich Village section of New York Dec. 15. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a $500 million grants program for nonprofits, small businesses and cultural institutions in an attempt to alleviate COVID-19’s impact on California’s arts industry. Still, the pandemic’s toll on the state’s large and small arts institutions has been devastating, as venues and theaters have closed, ticket revenue has vanished and funding sources have become scarcer. But a number of organizations are finding new and creative ways to survive. We’ll talk with the leaders of some Bay Area arts organizations about the pandemic’s impacts, how they’ve adapted and what’s ahead.


Julie Baker, executive director, Californians for the Arts

Khori Dastoor , general director, Opera San José

Dena Beard, director, The Lab

Margo Hall, artistic director, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre

Pam MacKinnon, artistic director, ACT