March 24, 2020

Initiative launching today framed as rapid response support for American arts and culture non-profits in wake of pandemic

The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland will offer pro bono consultations to any U.S.-based non-profit arts or culture organization between March and June 2020, as a response to the mounting effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative recognizes that, due to a wave of closures and cancellations nationwide, arts and culture organizations are navigating unprecedented circumstances.

Not only have ticket sales and entry fees been lost, but many organizations have mounted entire productions that now must be cancelled. Others have cancelled spring fundraising galas – vital sources of contributed income. As 401Ks, endowments, and corporate profits falter, immediate and near-term fundraising efforts are all but certain to suffer.

Like many small and mid-sized businesses nationwide, the average arts organization in the United States has scant reserves to cover these losses. A 2018 report from SMU DataArts found that the average US-based museum or performing arts organization had less than two months of working capital; the average orchestra, only 15 days. This means that cash disruptions grow more likely, by the day, for all but the wealthiest cultural organizations.

This initiative recognizes and is positioned to help organizations respond to these difficult circumstances.

Interested organizations are asked to email:

In response, the Institute will provide one hour of consultation. There will be no fee for these services.

In particular, the Institute will help with:

  • Reviewing strategies for maintaining visibility and relevance during a temporary decrease or cessation of activity;
  • Communicating need to donors and funders;
  • Discussing approaches for short-term revenue development and fundraising; and
  • Developing strategies  for  maintaining  the  productivity  of  boards  and  staff members.

​Requests for consultations will be accepted until April 30, 2020. Once the Institute receives your request, we will contact you to schedule a consultation.


For questions regarding this rapid response initiative:

For general DeVos Institute inquiries: Katy George Cupples, Director of Finance and Administration, at

More information on the DeVos Institute response to the Coronavirus pandemic

See this letter from Chairman Michael M. Kaiser and President Brett Egan

See  this article in the Washington Post

About the DeVos Institute of Arts Management

The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, led by Michael M. Kaiser and Brett Egan, provides training, consultation, and implementation support for arts managers and their boards.

It operates on the premise that while much is spent to train artists, too little is spent to support the managers and boards who keep those artists at work.

The DeVos Institute has designed its services to assist a wide range of institutions, from traditional performing and presenting organizations, museums, galleries, art schools, and libraries, to botanical gardens, glass-making studios, public art trusts, and nonprofit cinemas, to name a few. 

The DeVos Institute has served more than 1,200 organizations from over 80 countries since its founding at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2001. In 2014, the DeVos Institute transferred its operations to the University of Maryland, maintaining offices in Washington D.C. and partnering with the University on research, teaching, and fellowship initiatives serving thousands of students and practitioners worldwide.

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