How You Can Support Local Arts During COVID-19

March 24, 2020 by admin

The Carolina Theatre facade

Folks, we hope all of you are staying safe and making it through this difficult time. Just by opening this post, you’ve shown an interest in supporting your neighbors in the arts and service industries, so we want to thank you — your love for this community is what makes the Triangle great.

Our nonprofit, Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc., manages our historic venue for the benefit of the community. Since the current situation prevents us from opening our doors and encouraging the region to gather in celebration of the arts, we thought we’d provide some ways you can support our arts and service communities.

Before you give or make a purchase, we encourage you to ensure that your help will reach those in need. Generally, rely on your common sense:

  • Do your research. Ensure that any crowdfunding source is legitimate, and that an online shop will give the artist or organization either all or a cut of the proceeds. If you’re supporting through a crowdfunding site, you can check the artist’s or organization’s website and social media to confirm that they are directly involved in the campaign. You can also reach out directly to the artist or organization.
  • If you feel pressured or rushed to donate — of course, beyond your own understanding of the impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — that’s a red flag.

For further advice, The New York Times compiled a great article on giving safely to arts workers.

How you can support local arts & arts organizations

Direct purchases and non-financial support:

  • Buy merch, music, books, gift certificates, et cetera directly from artists and organizations. Check their websites for online shops or search for them on sales platforms like Bandcamp.
  • Interact with the artists and organizations you love on social media and at their virtual events. Find a list of local virtual events here.
  • Reach out! Let them know you’re supporting them. Ask how you can best support them.
  • As the INDY suggested, if you have purchased tickets, consider not asking for refunds or making your ticket price a tax-deductible gift for a nonprofit venue or organization.
  • Currently, the Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc is using surplus resources, without the benefit of incoming revenue, to sustain our venue, retain our full-time staff and program our space for events to welcome guests back when this is all over. You can support our mission by donating to our nonprofit.


The Triangle

North Carolina


For more resources focused on supporting the arts in these uncertain times, look to the National Endowment for the Arts’ resource list and local coverage by media organizations like the INDY.

Durham, we’re proud to be part of a community that is committed to supporting each other. If you know of resources that aren’t included above, please share them with us on Facebook.

To learn more about our response to the novel coronavirus, read our full release here.

Read our resource list for supporting the local service industry here.