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ArtsKC and Local Arts Community Members Launch Arts Awareness Campaign

·3 min read

The year-long campaign aims to elevate the importance of the arts and how it continues to play a role in our society, the economy, and in the lives of individuals

KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ArtsKC - Regional Arts Council has launched a year-long campaign with a mission to elevate the importance of the arts’ contributions on individuals, social, and economic levels. The campaign was created after witnessing the devastation the COVID-19 pandemic had on the Kansas City arts community.

The Kansas City metro arts industry – which was thriving prior to the pandemic – faced many challenges because of shutdowns and stay-at-home orders:

  • In total, it is estimated that the local arts and culture sector suffered a loss of $18,755,525 in admission and revenue in 2020.

  • Performing art groups such as musicians and actors faced more difficulty than those whose work easily transferred to a digital platform.

  • Unemployment rates for musicians, actors and dancers doubled between 2019 and 2020.

Working with local creative agency Design Ranch, ArtsKC is launching the #WhoNeedsArt campaign as artists and art organizations begin reopening their doors for the first time since 2020. In the past year, ArtsKC partnered with local artists, art organizations, and community members from various sectors to research and draft the main strategies of the campaign:

  • Help humanize the arts and remind our community that the arts are essential.

  • Highlight events happening within the region.

  • Encourage audiences to go back to the arts spaces, live performances, and support the art community in general.

To connect with the campaign and follow along with the vibrance of the arts community in Kansas City, visit https://campaign.artskc.org/.

Why the #WhoNeedsArt Campaign Matters

Throughout the pandemic, community members turned to the arts to find solace and comfort when isolation kept everyone apart. In fact, more than 76 percent of local artists reported their artistic practice has been used to help raise morale and create community cohesion throughout 2020.

“The arts touched the lives of many throughout the pandemic and continue to play a pivotal role in our society, the human experience, and the recovery plans in our region,” said Dana Knapp, president and CEO of ArtsKC. “Sadly, many artists reported a heavy income loss in 2020 and several local art organizations and communities were at risk of dissolving. To help reverse that trend and reengage the local community to support the arts, we are thrilled to launch the #WhoNeedsArt campaign.”

Kyla Pitts-Zevin, Northeast Community Center executive director, reiterated the importance of the arts saying, "We were faced with bridging the arts, access gap, and the digital divide in the city. We fundraised to provide tablets to families in need so they could continue to be a part of Harmony Project KC. The mental health and well-being of children is of critical importance, and so many of our children echoed sentiments that making music together lifted their spirits unlike anything else.”

About the ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council

ArtsKC is a nonprofit organization serving the five-county region; including Clay, Platte and Jackson in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte in Kansas. We provide programs and services to arts organizations, artists, and the business and civic communities. ArtsKC is the only arts service organization that has a dedicated strategic focus to promote, support and advocate for the arts in the metropolitan region. ArtsKC’s programs and services are designed to “advance lives through the arts.” This includes programs for the arts community and those engaged with the arts in the Kansas City region. Additionally, ArtsKC works with local government and civic leadership to advocate for the arts. Please visit www.ArtsKC.org for more information and visit www.artskcgo.com, a local arts and cultural events calendar brought to you by ArtsKC.


CONTACT: Leslie Escareno ArtsKC (816) 221-1777 LEscareno@ArtsKC.org