Artist Ruth Reeves and an assistant working on a mosaic mural for the Works Progress Administration in 1940. (Shalat. Ruth Reeves, 1940 June 10. Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection, circa 1920-1965. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)
The coronavirus pandemic has upended nearly every industry, and the arts are no exception. Over the last six months, all corners of the creative economy, from freelance artists to top-tier museums, have been impacted by financial losses, sharp drops in sales and attendance, canceled events, and unforeseen expenses.
As the arts scramble to adapt to a new normal of virtual exhibitions and timed ticketing, questions loom over the future of the cultural sector — and whether the next administration can lead its recovery. In advance of today’s presidential election, Americans for the Arts has outlined 16 specific actions that the next administration can take to help boost the creative economy — many of which can be achieved through executive action, without additional federal funding.