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May 12, 2021
 
One Year Later, Mass. Cultural Nonprofits’ Financial Pain Grows

March 8, 2021 — Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the Bay State a year ago, cultural organizations across Massachusetts lost $588.3 million in revenue, with 65% of the organizations with employees having laid off, furloughed, or reduced the hours and/or wages of their employees, or planning to do so, according to the results of a survey released today.

“Our once booming, innovative, and vibrant cultural sector is in economic crisis,” said Michael J. Bobbitt, executive director of the Mass Cultural Council (MCC), which conducted the survey of 981 organizations. “One year of closure and cancellations adds up to millions of dollars in lost revenue and income, and thousands of displaced and impacted workers statewide.”

On average, Massachusetts cultural organizations are dealing with the loss of $599,728, according to MCC.

Cumulatively, the 981 organizations have seen 30,009 jobs impacted by lay offs, furloughs, or reduced hours and/or wages, with Greater Boston area entities reporting the most—13,348 jobs impacted— followed by nonprofits in western Massachusetts reporting 5,019 jobs impacted.

The unfolding pandemic has had a continuing impact on Massachusetts nonprofits. As of last June, MCC reported, cultural nonprofits across the state had lost $425 million in revenue due to cancellations and closures and would take an average of two years to recover.

Massachusetts cultural nonprofits could see their financial woes worsen further, if, according to MCC, the legislature approves the governor’s recommendation to cut its budget, the single largest source of state funds for those nonprofits, by 10.4% for fiscal 2022, which starts July 1.

MCC called the proposed cut “untenable in this moment of crisis.”

Following is MCC’s regional breakdown of lost revenue and income Massachusetts nonprofits have sustained since the COVID-19 crisis began last March:

Region

# of Organizations Reporting

Total Lost Revenue

Greater Boston

314

$423,496,199

Central

97

$28,272,317

MetroWest

69

$10,042,000

Northeast

120

$25,921,761

Southeast

189

$51,628,955

Western

192

$48,972,847

Total

981

$588,334,079

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