COVID-19 Reactions and Resources

Given the timeliness and importance of the information it contains, our Spring newsletter (March 2020) for members is being shared publicly.

For an April update on impact and recommendations, please click here.


From the President

Recognizing the huge implications world-wide that are evolving currently, I challenge you to keep in mind – and help our government and community leaders understand – that the creative sector is and will always offer avenues for creatively addressing challenges, healing, understanding, and joy.

We all know the statistics that show the economic impact of the arts, but there are highly valued – and often understated – effects that are powerfully life-changing and community-shaping. Recently, thanks to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, a fresh and inspiring podcast – Divested, Episode 6: Arts and Culture – gave me a much needed shot in the arm in this regard. The podcast shares stories that will reinforce so many reasons why the arts are so important for all our communities – especially now.

Here’s the link to the podcast, and a link the transcript.

Remember that the Arts Matter in more ways than economically, and tell your stories. Especially as we deal with the crisis of the Coronavirus, let’s remember and remind others that the arts should play an important part of coping during the crisis and dealing with the aftermath.

Sincerely,

Amy Wynn
President, Connecticut Arts Alliance and
Executive Director, American Mural Project

P.S. Our thanks to Jonathan Winn of Thrown Stone Theatre Company in Ridgefield for creating the Arts Matter logo.


Help to Gather Data

For our arts and culture community to qualify for all the resources available to us, it is important to gather data about the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are national, state, and, in some cases, regional surveys to complete, and although some questions are repetitive, we do ask that you take the time to complete each one as applicable.

UPDATE: Some surveys are time sensitive and links may change. We will update links as we receive them.

National Survey

The Americans for the Arts’ (AFTA) survey is “designed to collect information about the financial and human impacts that the spread of the coronavirus have had on arts and cultural organizations.” There are over 10,000 arts-related businesses in our state, and we’d like to see a strong showing of responses from Connecticut!

The survey should take only 5 minutes. Be sure to complete only one survey for your organization.


State Survey

In Connecticut, the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD), which the Office of the Arts is a part of, is collecting information from businesses (including nonprofits) to help direct the work of the Governor and the Department. This survey should also take no more than 5 minutes to complete.


Regional Surveys

Finally, the Connecticut Office of the Arts has nine Designated Regional Service Organizations (DRSO) that serve as local field offices. Four of these organizations have developed on-line surveys to gather information on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in their region. If you’re uncertain which region your town is in, please check the listings on the DRSO link in this paragraph.

  • If you are an individual artist, please complete the survey for the city or town in which you reside.
  • If you represent a nonprofit arts organizations or for-profit creative businesses, please complete the survey based on your business location. Again, please complete only one survey for each organization or business.
  • Please note that the regional service organizations for several towns and cities do not have a survey available at this time.

Arts Council of Greater New Haven / TAKE SURVEY

Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County / TAKE SURVEY

Northwest Connecticut Arts Council / TAKE SURVEY (This is a survey for individual artists, musicians, and creative service employees only)

Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition / TAKE SURVEY


Resources and Links

Data and resources available are changing rapidly during this time of crisis, so we’re providing links to governmental and organizational websites that are collecting information of interest to the cultural community.

The State of Connecticut has complied a website of information on COVID-19 and has published a document of Frequently Asked Questions on the State’s Actions Related to COVID-19 . Of particular interest to artists and art organizations may be sections on unemployment (including the Shared Work Program which supplements employees’ pay when their hours are reduced ) and assistance for small businesses and nonprofits. Note that nonprofits are eligible for low-interest Small Business Association loans.

The Connecticut Office of the Arts has also assembled an extensive list of COVID-19 Resources, including links to resource pages from Regional Service Organizations.

The Alliance, a membership organization for Connecticut nonprofits, has published a COVID-19 Response Resource Center collecting links to Federal and State agency resources.

The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy has also collected Coronavirus Resources for Funders and Nonprofits.

Americans for the Arts (AFTA) has a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource and Response Center. AFTA provides one of the best sites for national information for our creative sector, including up-to-date news and links. Particularly useful is a chart outlining relief program eligibility for nonprofit arts organizations, commercial arts organizations, and individual artists.

The New England Foundation for the Arts has also compiled a webpage of resources and links for artists and cultural organizations.

Finally, COVID-19 & Freelance Artists is one of the most comprehensive websites of resources we’ve found for individual and freelance artists.

If you’ve found other resources you’d like to share, please email links to info@ctartsalliance.org.

We may be socially distant, but we’re culturally connected, and sustaining each other and our arts and culture community is our top priority now.

CAA News and Updates

This page includes current and past news, updates, and blog posts. Please browse the page to learn more about Connecticut Arts Alliance and our advocacy efforts and education campaigns.

To read our most recent Member Newsletters, please click below.

At the bottom of the right column of this page, you can enter your email address to receive a notification whenever this page is renewed.

Meet Our Members: Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus

Connecticut Arts Alliance continues a series of posts spotlighting its CAA members. The Membership Program, begun in 2019, joins together arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons throughout Connecticut to collectively raise our voice and increase recognition of the important role the arts play in building and inspiring an equitable, vibrant, and connected Connecticut.


The Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus is celebrating their eighth season this year. Founded in 2012, the 60+ member organization is celebrated for their musicianship, creative programming, and community outreach. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dr. Wendy K. Moy and Executive Director Robert Reader, the HGMC sings a wide range of music as a catalyst to inspire, impact, and enrich the lives of their members, patrons, and the community.

The HGMC recognizes the sociopolitical statement inherent in being an openly gay organization and, as such, representatives of the LGBT community. In addition to concerts, the HGMC represent the LGBT community through partnerships with other gay and gay-affirming organizations, outreach within our community and beyond, and participation and performances at pride events, cultural celebrations, civic programs, sporting events, and other special occasions.

The HGMC recently began a YouTube channel and uploaded its first virtual chorus video, Bridge Over Troubled Water. Also visit their website and Facebook page. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter at #hgmcsing.


If you agree that the advocacy efforts of Connecticut Arts Alliance on behalf of arts and culture in our state are important, please consider becoming a Member today.

Meet Our Members: Fairfield University Art Museum

Connecticut Arts Alliance continues a series of posts spotlighting its CAA members. The Membership Program, begun in 2019, joins together arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons throughout Connecticut to collectively raise our voice and increase recognition of the important role the arts play in building and inspiring an equitable, vibrant, and connected Connecticut.


The Fairfield University Art Museum (FUAM) is a dynamic space for engagement with the visual arts on the campus of Fairfield University. It is comprised of the Bellarmine Hall Galleries and the Walsh Gallery in the Quick Center for the Arts. In the Bellarmine Hall Galleries, FUAM presents its small but choice permanent collection of European and American paintings, drawings, prints and photographs, as well as Asian, African and Pre-Columbian objects, and objects on long-term loan from major museums and private collections.

FUAM presents special exhibitions showcasing works of art in all media from a broad swathe of time periods and world cultures, ancient to contemporary, in both galleries. FUAM is an essential academic and cultural resource serving all of its audiences through outreach, free admission, and free events.

While the doors to the Museum are temporarily closed due to COVID-19, our website offers educational programs, videos, exhibition audio tours, and activities to enjoy from your home. (Check out the Watch, Listen & Learn section).

Follow FUAM on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and join their email list (email museum@fairfield.edu) to stay connected.


If you agree that the advocacy efforts of Connecticut Arts Alliance on behalf of arts and culture in our state are important, please consider becoming a Member today.

COVID-19 Operating Guidelines for the Arts & Culture Industry

The Connecticut Office of the Arts, in partnership with CAA and our state’s nine Designated Regional Services Organizations, has developed COVID-19 Operating Guidelines for Connecticut’s Arts & Culture industry.

“This document is designed to aid organizations as they plan to reopen in accordance with the guidelines of both state and federal government, and it presents information that is currently recommended and/or mandated as of the date of issuance. Please note that this is a working document that will regularly be updated to reflect changes in state and federal guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Impact Update

In response to the pandemic crisis and its economic impact, CAA continues to gather resources, data, and information for and about our statewide arts and culture community. When the time comes, we stand ready to assist in the reopening and rebuilding of arts organizations and the well-being of individual artists. We also have recommendations for funders, donors, and audience who share our hope to see the arts survive and thrive.

For PDF version the graphic below, please click here.

Video and Resources from Arts Community Meeting

On April 7, CAA hosted an Arts Community Meeting with guest speaker Liz Shapiro, State Director of Arts, Preservation and Museums, within the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). Over two hundred arts administrators, artists, and advocates participated on Zoom and Facebook Live!

In addition to updates about programs and resources available through the Office of the Arts, Liz spoke about eligibility for Federal and State relief, including small business loans, unemployment benefits, and NEA funding. Liz also had words of support and encouragement for the cultural community:

Our thanks to everyone who attended and to those who submitted some excellent questions and comments for Liz to address.

If you’d like to re-watch or were not able to attend, you can click here to watch a video of the Zoom meeting through Facebook. (A Facebook account is not required.)

For links to additional resources during this public health and financial crisis, please visit the COVID-19 Response and Resource List on the CAA website.

Meet Our Members: Sally Rogers

Connecticut Arts Alliance continues a series of posts spotlighting its CAA members. The Membership Program, begun in 2019, joins together arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons throughout Connecticut to collectively raise our voice and increase recognition of the important role the arts play in building and inspiring an equitable, vibrant, and connected Connecticut.


Sally Rogers began her career as a full-time touring musician in 1979, after encouragement from Stan Rogers, the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter.  That was followed by an invitation from Garrison Keillor to appear on A Prairie Home Companion.  She appeared more than a dozen times on that show, which launched her performing career.  Her travels have since taken her to Europe, China, Hungary and Poland, England and Scotland, and across the United States.

Sally has released thirteen albums, not including several collaborative projects with other artists. Her first album, The Unclaimed Pint, has stood the test of time and continues to be a big seller. Her songs are included in the Unitarian Hymnal, the Quaker songbook, Rise Up Singing, Rise Again and both national music textbook series. Several of her songs are considered to be folk music classics.

Although much of Rogers’ time is spent teaching music in the public schools and being an artist-in-residence these days, she continues to perform in concerts as opportunities arise.  Her gorgeous singing voice, boundless energy and good humor are welcomed from coast to coast.

PHOTO: (l-r) Sally Rogers with her dulcimer, and with husband and musical partner, Howie Bursen.


If you agree that the advocacy efforts of Connecticut Arts Alliance on behalf of arts and culture in our state are important, please consider becoming a Member today!

Meet Our Members: La Grua Center

Connecticut Arts Alliance continues a series of posts spotlighting its CAA members. The Membership Program, begun in 2019, joins together arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons throughout Connecticut to collectively raise our voice and increase recognition of the important role the arts play in building and inspiring an equitable, vibrant, and connected Connecticut.


La Grua Center is a small nonprofit cultural center—open to all—offering a wide variety of concerts, talks, and art exhibitions in a welcoming space with distinctive acoustics located in Stonington Borough. It is also a beautiful rental venue for classes, meetings, celebrations, and other community gatherings.

Their signature monthly series of Saturday afternoon concerts of classical and early music, and world-ethnic-folk music is called Music Matters. These curated concerts allow people in our community to experience live acoustic music in an intimate setting, in an ambience that invites musicians to communicate with immediacy and warmth. 

On Our Minds and The World Comes to La Grua talk series present speakers who share their expertise in current events, world affairs, journalism, the economy, environment, health, and more. The abundance of cultural resources in our region allows us to enjoy conversations with artists, authors, producers, and historians in our Behind the Curtain, Local Treasures, and Good Stories Well Told series.


If you agree that the advocacy efforts of Connecticut Arts Alliance on behalf of arts and culture in our state are important, please consider becoming a Member today!

Preparing for the Potential Impact of a Pandemic

The following article is shared with permission from ArtsReady, a national initiative of South Arts in Atlanta, Georgia. ArtsReady provides an online emergency preparedness service by and for arts and cultural nonprofits, and it provides arts organizations with customized business continuity plans for post-crisis sustainability.

While the Coronavirus is not widespread in North America, we at CAA do encourage preparedness for epidemics and other emergencies and crises. This is an excellent time to take stock of your own organizational policies and procedures. Please review the following information and suggestions, and adjust them as necessary to the scale and operations of your own organization.

Visit ArtsReady.org for the latest information and to sign up as a Free Member to receive future updates.


Are you ready for a temporary closure? 

In Asia and Europe, public gatherings including performances, museums and festivals have been cancelled and shuttered to help limit the spread of the Coronavirus. Coronavirus Outbreak Shutters Italian Museums; Event Cancellations Continue in China and South Korea.

While the spread and impact of the virus here in the United States is not yet known, arts organizations should have a plan in the event that, in the interest of public health, your organization needs to delay or cancel events or temporarily close.

Preparing Your Facility Now 

Put hand-sanitizing stations (or additional stations) in lobbies, theater spaces and bathrooms, and make wipes available for people to use on armrests if the surface is wood or metal. 

If you do need to temporarily close, refer to What to Take When you Evacuate. This checklist suggests what your staff should plan to take with them if you must leave your facility on short notice, to be able to continue to work and communicate. 

Ensure you have an up-to-date facility shut-down protocol. Individuals should be aware of their specific responsibilities and processes, including data backup, safe shutdown of IT and other equipment; securing/protecting any assets that require regular attention or are of value (including cash, blank checks, and sensitive artwork); and have a clear protocol to sweep the facility and ensure everyone is out before locking it down.  

Supporting Your Staff and Volunteers 

Inform all staff and volunteers to limit contact with audience members. Look at the tickets rather than taking them and handing them back. Review cancellation and work stoppage policies with staff during a special meeting.

Stay updated on the status in your local area. Identify your local and regional health department personnel and websites to make sure you have the most up-to-date knowledge of the spread of the disease locally. From Heather Noonan at the League of American Orchestras: 

Communicating with Audiences and Stakeholders

Make sure you have a current and clear event cancellation policy.

  • Will you refund tickets, reschedule, or not? Does everyone on staff know your policy? How will you be in touch with your audience? Here’s advice from NCAPER’s Executive Director Jan Newcomb: “Review your ticket refund policy and resend it to all your patrons – you may decide to give credit to people who cancel up to 2 days before their ticketed performance.  You may want to extend that policy to include all other performances during a limited time frame so that sick people stay home.  You should prepare a financial impact statement before you do so, so you know your liability.” 
  • Review all performance contracts to understand your financial liability if you decide to cancel performances. Prepare a financial liability statement for the board. 

Meet Our Members: Out Film CT

Connecticut Arts Alliance continues a series of posts spotlighting its CAA members. The Membership Program, begun in 2019, joins together arts organizations, artists, and arts patrons throughout Connecticut to collectively raise our voice and increase recognition of the important role the arts play in building and inspiring an equitable, vibrant, and connected Connecticut.


Since 1987 (originally as AlteRnaTiveS) Out Film CT has entertained, educated, and promoted community through the exhibition of LGBTQ film. A volunteer, nonprofit cultural organization, Out Film CT is dedicated to presenting outstanding LGBTQ cinema and other theatrical events throughout the year, culminating in the nine-day Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival. The event this year will be held on May 29 through June 6.

Connecticut’s longest-running film festival, now celebrating its 33rd season, holds a special place in our state’s cultural landscape, bringing the community together to introduce, celebrate, and rediscover the ideas and values that make the LGBTQ community unique.

Out Film CT also presents the monthly Queer Thursdays (usually shown on the second Thursday of each month) film series in partnership with Cinestudio, located on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford.

To learn more, visit OutFilmCT.org.

PHOTO CREDITS: Cinestudio doorway: Helder Mira, The Trinity Reporter. Cinestudio seats: Shane Engstrom, Out Film CT Festival Director/President.


If you agree that the advocacy efforts of Connecticut Arts Alliance on behalf of arts and culture in our state are important, please consider becoming a Member today!