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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Ohio Arts Scene Could See a Small Piece of the Stimulus Pie

a photo of Arts Education

The $2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump will help boost many sectors of Ohio’s economy, but what about the arts?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act may be the largest stimulus package the country has ever seen, but when you get into the fine print, the National Endowment for the Arts is getting a pretty small piece of the pie: just $75 million.

"But that slice is really important," Ohio Arts Council Executive Director Donna Collins said. 

Some of that funding will trickle down to the arts council, and some will likely head to individual arts institutions across the state.

Collins said it's like sharing a pie with your hungry family.

"Sometimes there’s only a tiny slice left, but two bites are better than none," she said.

What could provide an even bigger relief, Collins said, will be the expansion of unemployment insurance.

"So it covers furloughed workers, freelancers, 10-99 self-employed contractors, gig economy workers and most importantly to me, artists and teaching artists," she said.

The Cleveland Museum of Art announced it was letting some staff go, furloughing part-time workers, cutting pay and suspending projects for independent contractors.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.