Cincinnati’s small and mid-sized arts groups, facing challenges during pandemic

Posted on: April 21, 2020

“In the COVID-19 pandemic, small and mid-sized organizations are especially vulnerable” in Cincinnati, writes Janelle Gelfand in Friday’s (4/17) Cincinnati Business Journal (OH). “Five years ago, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra changed its format to a month-long summer festival in August … featuring intimate and creative performances across the region…. For the first time since it was founded in 1974, the orchestra canceled its season. The 32-piece ensemble is currently led by Eckart Preu…. ‘It was heartbreaking. We live for August,’ said board president Terri Abare, who estimates CCO lost 85 percent of potential ticket revenue…. The orchestra has established a Music Relief Fund on its website for its musicians…. With a budget of about $500,000, it employs just four staff members, one of whom is furloughed. The board is applying for a forgivable loan to pay employees from the [federal] Paycheck Protection Program…. ‘We do not expect to wait to August of 2021 to be back out in front of an audience, so we’ll be looking for opportunities and pursuing programming, and continue doing what we love to do,’ Abare said.” Other groups in the article include the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, theater groups, and a museum.