State House News – Cultural nonprofits in Massachusetts have lost $425 million in revenue from COVID-19 cancellations and closures, and face another $117 million in costs associated with reopening, representatives of the Massachusetts Cultural Council told lawmakers.

“We know it’s staggering. We know it’s dire,” the council’s Bethann Steiner told senators during a listening session focused on the pandemic’s impacts on arts, tourism and small businesses. Steiner said cultural nonprofits are estimating it will take an average of two years and in some cases up to five years to bring their programs and finances back to pre-COVID levels.

David Slatery, the council’s acting director, said that in addition to his organization’s efforts to support artists and organizations, it is “clear that a more robust public investment will also be necessary.

“Without immediate action, organizations will shutter and artists who are at the heart of our sector will leave Massachusetts,” said MassCreative director Emily Ruddock.

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