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COVID-19 Has So Far Cost Dallas Arts Groups $68 Million 17

Dallas-area arts and cultural organizations have lost nearly $68 million and more than 1,200 jobs since businesses were forced to close in March due to COVID-19.

So says the latest survey conducted by The Arts Community Alliance, Dallas Arts District and the Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition.

Ninety-one organizations in Dallas’ nonprofit arts sector participated in the survey. It showed a total financial loss of $67,771,172 from March 13, when the shutdown began, through July 31. That more than doubles the losses reported in the first survey released in May.

“All of these organizations are just struggling to hold on,” Terry Loftis, president and executive director of The Arts Community Alliance, said in a statement. “The philanthropic community is certainly working to step up and help, but these losses are staggering. And given the rate they are growing, we’ve got a huge challenge to overcome.”

Part of the increased loss is due to more groups participating in the survey. Only 52 groups took part in the first report. Still, 86% of the latest losses come from that initial group.

The survey shows arts businesses have logged more than 2,155,000 in lost or deferred attendance. The 91 groups surveyed have also lost about 25% of their budgets since March 13. That’s despite some venues and institutions having reopened at a limited capacity. The six major museums in the Dallas Arts District announced a joint reopening schedule earlier this month. 

The survey found that 1,219 people have been furloughed or laid off through July 31. That’s up from 649 at the end of May. 189 of these were full-time staff members and 1,030 were part-time. Many groups said cuts began after fund from the forgivable Payroll Protection Program loans began running out in June and July.

Remaining staff saw their pay cut. At least 1/3 of the groups cut salaries to reduce expenses.

  • 15 reduced salaries up to 20%
  • 7 reduced pay from 20% to 40%
  • 7 reduced salaries by 40% or higher
  • 51 said they have kept their salaries stable.

“It’s really pretty simple,” said Joanna St. Angelo, president of DACAC, in a statement. “Everyone is trying to find enough cash so we can live to fight another day. We are turning to donors, patrons, foundations and corporations. Perhaps the federal government will include the arts in another stimulus package, or maybe the City can find just a little bit more. We are checking under every couch cushion to see what we can find.”

Here’s a list of all the survey participants:

Academy of Bangla Arts and Culture 

African American Repertory Theater 

Allegro Guitar Society

American Baroque Opera Company

Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico


Art House Dallas

AT&T Performing Arts Center

Avant Chamber Ballet


Beckles Dancing Company

Big Thought

Bishop Arts Theatre Center

Blue Candlelight Music Series

Bombshell Dance Project

Bruce Wood Dance

Cara Mía Theatre Company

Chamber Music International

Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas

Creative Arts Center of Dallas

Credo Community Choir

Crow Museum of Asian Art at the University of Texas at Dallas

Cry Havoc Theater Company

Dallas Arts District Foundation

Dallas Bach Society

Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Dallas Center for Photography

Dallas Chamber Symphony

Dallas Children’s Theater Dallas Contemporary

Dallas Heritage Village Dallas Historical Society

Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas SPARK!

Dallas Summer Musicals

Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Dallas Theater Center

Dark Circles Contemporary Dance

Deep Vellum Publishing

Echo Theatre

Fine Arts Chamber Players

Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra

Indian Cultural Heritage Foundation

Indique Dance Company

Junior Players

Kitchen Dog Theater

Lone Star Circus Arts Center

Lone Star Wind Orchestra

Lumedia Musicworks

Lyric Stage

Make Art with Purpose

Nasher Sculpture Center

Ochre House Theater

Ollimpaxqui Ballet

Orchestra of New Spain

Orpheus Chamber Singers

Over the Bridge Arts

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Prism Movement Theater

Sammons Center for the Arts

Second Thought Theatre

Shakespeare Dallas

Soul Rep Theatre Company

South Dallas Concert Choir

TACA – The Arts Community Alliance

Teatro Dallas

Teatro Flor Candela

Texas Ballet Theater The Artist Outreach

The Black Academy of Arts and Letters

The Cedars Union

The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture

The Dallas Opera

The Dallas Winds

The Mexico Institute

The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art

The No Limit Arts Theatre, Inc.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

The Women’s Chorus of Dallas The Writer’s Garret

Theatre Three


Turtle Creek Chorale

Undermain Theatre

Uptown Players

USA Film Festival

Verdigris Ensemble

Video Association of Dallas

Women Texas Film Festival


Got a tip? Email Miguel Perez at You can follow him on Twitter @quillindie.

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