Changing the Tune – COVID-19 Response Resources

Covid-19 Response Resources page

The pause of the pandemic has also posed an opportunity for us all to consider the kinds of events we produce, the community work we support, and the audiences we place at the center of our efforts. 


“Your planning isn’t planning the season. It’s how you make decisions, how you operate. That’s the core planning that’s going to make success or make a healthy organization.” JAN NEWCOMB, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL COALITION FOR ARTS PREPAREDNESS AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE (NCAPER)


As we continue into an uncertain 2021, we’ve compiled a few resources to help guide your decision-making depending on where you are in the planning process and what kinds of programming you are developing or support you need. Jump to a section that you are interested in using the sidebar. 


In our session “Pandemic Resilience and Organizational Recovery” at Folk Unlocked 2021, we spoke with panelists from both the music industry and arts resilience community about strategies for organizational resilience, in confronting the pandemic and beyond. Several of the below links and resources were originally provided as a companion download for this session. See more on our Folk Unlocked session page.

Organizational Planning

The toolkit “Navigating Uncertain Times: A Scenario Planning Toolkit for the Arts and Culture Sector” by the Wallace Foundation, comprising an overview, examples, hands-on worksheets, and a list of additional literature and resources for scenario planning over the next five years in response to the pandemic.

The whitepaper “Tough Times Call for Tough Action: A Decision Framework for Nonprofit Leaders and Boards” by SeaChange Capital Partners, providing advice and best practices for leaders to make decisions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

This Arts Organizations at a Crossroads resource list is for organizations considering significant structural shifts or which are in distress, with additional tools and guidance coming soon. 

Get a quick introduction to scenario planning from Mollie Quinlan-Hayes and Jan Newcomb of the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER) in this companion video from Folk Unlocked

Performing Arts Readiness, whose support makes the Changing the Tune project possible, regularly presents free webinars on a wide variety of topics related to safety and preparedness. Check out the PAR webinar schedule.

Inclusive Virtual Events

Come back to the Changing the Tune project portal in March 2021 for our toolkit to “Designing Inclusive Virtual Events.”

In the meantime, here are some articles and webinars that might help:


Browse all Folk Alliance webinars

Performing Live

The return to live events is going to look very different in different places, for different events, and for different members of your audiences. If you’re planning live events for this summer and fall, here are a few resources that provide some general guidelines and considerations to help guide your specific planning. We also have seen this year more than ever that we are stronger together. There is value to resource-sharing and connecting with other folk professionals and organizations, and there is also a lot of potential value in connecting with other kinds of public-facing organizations within your local community, who are more likely to be facing similar kinds of restrictions and perhaps similar levels of audience interest or comfort in planning programming.
View the World Health Organization guidance for mass gatherings for an overview of the elements to consider for responsible event design and related links and resources.
The Performing Arts Center Consortium’s Guide to Reopening Theatrical Venues provides a detailed list of common venue features and corresponding suggestions for management during the pandemic, with an informative bibliography of additional resources. While designed for theatres, the guidance is largely applicable to other kinds of events and venues and is among the most detailed guides of this kind we have seen to date.
The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide provides a summary of current medical knowledge and suggestions for event design to accommodate them.
Additional suggestions from performers in this network include making sure you and your staff stay updated with local and regional public health advice and protocols and paying attention to when you are eligible for a vaccine.

Financial Support Resources

Nina Ozlu Tunceli from Americans for the Arts Action Fund leads weekly Zoom Office Hours most Fridays from 11am – 12pm ET to help the arts community to navigate the complex web of federal funding opportunities, regulations, and deadlines related to current and upcoming COVID-19 economic federal aid programs. View more information and the schedule at

As of March 2021, the PPP program has increased access to loans for artists and other one-person businesses. CERF+ provides some guidance. Applications are open through March 31st.