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Pinellas Arts Industry Projected To Lose Millions During Pandemic

A mural in Palm Harbor painted by Stephen Palladino.
A mural in Palm Harbor painted by Stephen Palladino.

A recent survey shows that coronavirus restrictions have cost the Pinellas County arts community nearly $5 million in lost revenue. Now there's a new questionnaire aimed to help.

Live performances, exhibitions, art classes and more have all been put on hold due to social distancing. So a nonprofit called Creative Pinellas asked artists and art businesses what they’ve been going through.

Barbara St. Clair, with Creative Pinellas, said based on responses, the Pinellas arts community will have lost between $4 million and $5 million by June.

Her group estimates the community generates about $1.96 billion a year for the area.

Click here to view the full results of the financial survey

“Sometimes it's easy to lose track of how much of an economic engine the arts are in Pinellas County and how many thousands of people who have jobs in the arts,” she said.

This pie chart is an excerpt of a recent survey from Pinellas County's arts industry.
Credit Creative Pinellas
This pie chart is an excerpt of a recent survey from Pinellas County's arts industry.

Now members of the arts community can fill out a new form that looks toward the future.

“One of the things that we heard from a lot of the arts organizations and individual artists was they understood the need to move into a digital environment, but they didn't have the skill set,” said St. Clair. “That becomes a need.”

The goal with this second survey is to equip the creatives of Pinellas with what they need to adapt to this new pandemic way of life.

Click here to participate in the latest Pinellas arts questionnaire

Creative Pinellas is also trying to help with grants for virus-safe projects, like painting murals.

"But it is really challenging and artists are struggling, they're struggling to pay their rent and do all the things that people who have lost their major sources of income have to struggle with," she said.

The Emerging Artist Exhibit at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas.
Credit Courtesy Creative Pinellas
The Emerging Artist Exhibit at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas.

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