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Two years into the pandemic, nearly $800 million lost in Mass. cultural sector, new report finds

“This survey reports devastating losses — but there is hope.”

A line graph, based on data collected by the Mass Cultural Council, illustrating lost income reported by individuals in the cultural sector since the pandemic began.


Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic shook the Massachusetts’ arts and culture sector to its core, more than 1,000 cultural organizations surveyed throughout the state have lost $781 million in revenue, according to data collected and published by the Mass Cultural Council.

The latest economic impact report, released Monday, is the sixth such survey the state agency has conducted since the onset of the pandemic. Taken together, the surveys represent 1,084 cultural organizations and 3,048 artists and other individuals working in the cultural sector. When the MCC released a similar report last March — before many of the city’s entertainment venues and cultural spaces had fully reopened — the agency estimated losses amounted to $588 million for the first year of the pandemic.

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Now, most cultural organizations statewide — movie theaters, concert venues, museums — have been able to welcome back patrons in person, but “audiences have yet to return in large enough numbers for the hosts to rely upon earned revenue to support their work or achieve revenue goals,” said Mass Cultural Council executive director Michael J. Bobbitt in a statement.

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