COVID-19 Response Resources

Informational resources, articles, and guidance related to the coronavirus pandemic. On this page you’ll find:

  • General safety and planning guidance
  • Considerations and resources for those hosting in-person performances
  • Big-picture organizational planning resources
  • Financial resources

Safety planning

4 Steps to Communicating COVID-19 Risk

Good communications set expectations for and from event participants in a clear and implementable way. 

How Safe is Safe?

Ultimately, risk is subjective. This guide outlines how to make decisions about acceptable levels of risk, and then how to mitigate the likelihood of their occuring.

Should I require proof of vaccination to enter my venue/festival?

“Although life is more complicated with the Delta variant, the solutions are simpler than ever” explains one expert.

Performing Live

This section was originally published in March 2021 and was last updated in January 2022

The return to live events is going to look very different in different places, for different events, and for different members of your audiences. As you plan live events shaped by the realities of the coronavirus pandemic, here are a few resources that provide some general guidelines and considerations to help guide your specific planning.

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. You’ll need to conduct a COVID-19 risk assessment, develop a safety plan for disease mitigation and response, and prepare a robust communications plan for communicating the risks and your actions. You should consider hiring a COVID-19 compliance or disease mitigation officer, becoming one yourself, or deputizing one from within your organization. Both free and paid training courses are available online.

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.

Example safety plans and guides

  • The NIVA Venue Reopening Resources document (last updated 6/12/20) provides a useful overview and suggestions specific to music venues.
  • The UK’s Tour Production Group has compiled a Covid-19 Working Procedure Guidance resource specific to touring productions, comprising supplier, transport, venue, and other touring considerations.
  • The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Safety Best Practices Guide (last updated 10/8/20) provides a short high-level overview of the staff and structural changes to work into reopening planning, written for society members but broadly applicable to performing arts workers and organizations.
  • The Return to Stage and Performing Arts Playbook from the American Guild of Musical Artists and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (last updated 03/2/21) provides a detailed list of considerations and 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.

Make sure you and your staff stay updated with local and regional public health advice and protocols, ideally by communicating directly with the health department or office of emergency management.

Articles from our blog

An interview with Club Passim

Learn how beloved Cambridge venue Club Passim is thinking about communicating COVID-19 risks and precautions with their audiences in visual and performative ways.

Sign saying "COVID-19: Keep apart"

Communicating COVID-19 Safety

Take these 4 steps to communicate COVID-19 safety with your audiences.

Big Picture Pandemic Thinking

This section was last updated in March 2021

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, National Coalition for Arts Preparedness & 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. 

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. 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.

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.