July 20, 2021 – ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council has launched a year-long campaign with a mission to elevate the importance of the arts’ contributions on individuals, social, and economic levels. The campaign was created after witnessing the devastation the COVID-19 pandemic had on the Kansas City arts community.
The Kansas City metro arts industry – which was thriving prior to the pandemic – faced many challenges because of shutdowns and stay-at-home orders:
- In total, it is estimated that the local arts and culture sector suffered a loss of $18,755,525 in admission and revenue in 2020.
- Performing art groups such as musicians and actors faced more difficulty than those whose work easily transferred to a digital platform.
- Unemployment rates for musicians, actors and dancers doubled between 2019 and 2020.
Working with local creative agency Design Ranch, ArtsKC is launching the #WhoNeedsArt campaign as artists and art organizations begin reopening their doors for the first time since 2020. In the past year, ArtsKC partnered with local artists, art organizations, and community members from various sectors to research and draft the main strategies of the campaign:
- Help humanize the arts and remind our community that the arts are essential.
- Highlight events happening within the region.
- Encourage audiences to go back to the arts spaces, live performances, and support the art community in general.
To connect with the campaign and follow along with the vibrance of the arts community in Kansas City, visit https://campaign.artskc.org/.
Why the #WhoNeedsArt Campaign Matters
Throughout the pandemic, community members turned to the arts to find solace and comfort when isolation kept everyone apart. In fact, more than 76 percent of local artists reported their artistic practice has been used to help raise morale and create community cohesion throughout 2020.
“The arts touched the lives of many throughout the pandemic and continue to play a pivotal role in our society, the human experience, and the recovery plans in our region,” said Dana Knapp, president and CEO of ArtsKC. “Sadly, many artists reported a heavy income loss in 2020 and several local art organizations and communities were at risk of dissolving. To help reverse that trend and reengage the local community to support the arts, we are thrilled to launch the #WhoNeedsArt campaign.”
Kyla Pitts-Zevin, Northeast Community Center executive director, reiterated the importance of the arts saying, “We were faced with bridging the arts, access gap, and the digital divide in the city. We fundraised to provide tablets to families in need so they could continue to be a part of Harmony Project KC. The mental health and well-being of children is of critical importance, and so many of our children echoed sentiments that making music together lifted their spirits unlike anything else.”
Communications & Program Associate