The past year has brought hardship for many people and for many reasons. The pandemic’s impact has been particularly hard on our arts and culture organizations and creative workers, including economic losses from cancellations of their performance seasons and events, and even full closures of their nonprofit and for-profit local businesses. Layoffs, furloughs and job eliminations have devastated these cultural institutions and individual artists’ livelihoods, as well as many others who work in the creative and cultural sectors.
Recent surveys and research from the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), Colorado Creative Industries and Denver Arts & Venues, spell out just how catastrophic the losses are to the sector and our region and state’s creative economy. For example, with stages dark and December holiday performances shuttered at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, which is typically the busiest time of year, more than 3,500 actors, singers, musicians, artists, back-stage crew, box office staff and more who bring more than 2,700 performances annually have been deeply impacted by the closures.
These arts traditions we hold so dear throughout each season weren’t able to happen in 2020 and are in question for 2021 as our public health demands greater loyalty to one another to keep us safe and end this pandemic. Rather than watch as beloved organizations that serve our communities and our entire region struggle to survive, businesses, government leaders and arts advocacy organizations from across the Denver metro area have come together to amplify the cultural and creative sectors’ urgent need.
During this recent holiday season and moving forward, our collaborative public awareness campaign encouraged local giving to the arts as a way to celebrate our beloved arts traditions, as well as preserve our arts legacies and opportunities for wonder in the future.
The Arts through it All advocacy campaign was developed early in the pandemic and originally launched on April 15, 2020. The campaign focused on three core messages of Forgo Ticket Refunds, Donate Today and Support Colorado Artists, and the campaign branding and assets were used widely by arts and cultural organizations throughout the state to communicate with their stakeholders, patrons and donors. These messages are still just as relevant almost a year into the pandemic, however, the need is even more dire.
The Arts through it All holidays campaign launched on Dec. 1, 2020, in the Denver metro region building on the original messaging and evolving for the holidays with the tagline of Gifts of Art from the Heart and a call to action to Give – Gift – Shop to support local cultural organizations and artists and ensure arts and culture endure. The campaign encouraged the general arts-loving public to remember arts and cultural organizations in their holiday gift-giving or charitable giving. It ran through the holiday season, urging all who can to give back and support our local arts and culture organizations during their holiday giving.
Now moving beyond the holiday season, the Arts through it All public awareness campaign remains relevant as artists and organizations cautiously move forward in this uncertain new year, planning to slowly build back in-person, socially-distanced opportunities and increase our opportunities for wonder and awe that we all miss from our arts and culture community. Relaunched in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, the campaign’s new tagline is to Share the Love with a call to action of Give – Engage – Shop.
The Arts through it All holidays campaign was generously funded in part by the City of Denver’s allocation of CARES Act coronavirus relief funds. This public awareness campaign, for the holidays and into 2021, is made possible through additional sponsors including PNC Bank, Adams County, Denver Arts & Venues, City of Boulder and the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. The campaign was managed and administered by Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) in partnership with Denver Arts & Venues and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).