Like many of our community partners, Arts Services Initiative is monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its impact on arts and cultural activity in Western New York. With news of the outbreak evolving daily, we will continue to share resources geared toward impact and challenges for our region’s arts community. In addition to creating contingency plans, we recommend following information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York State Department of Health, and Erie County Health Department to prepare for how the situation might affect your organization’s business activities or upcoming events.

This post is not meant to alarm, but rather to inform our partners of what measures can be taken to help prevent the spread of this disease. We understand that limiting physical proximity or postponing eventsespecially in the artscan have extreme effects on our community, and we want you to know that we’re thinking of you. If you have any resources, ideas, or concerns that you’d like us to share with the sector, please contact us at

Western New York Events and Activities

On March 12, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued guidance banning all events that expect 500 or more guests (source: The Buffalo News). In response, many of our community partners have postponed or canceled upcoming arts and cultural events. We recommend following individual organizations’ social media pages or visiting their websites to find out their latest decisions.

ASI Events and Programs

The health and safety of our patrons and employees are our highest priority. Please visit this blog post for details about how our events and programs are affected by COVID-19.

Tips for Keeping Everyone Healthy

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with others, including handshakes and hugging
  • Avoid close contact—meaning within about six feet—with people who have a cough or other respiratory symptoms
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often for at least 20 seconds
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your bent elbow, and immediately dispose of tissues in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well should wear a face mask to protect themselves
  • If you think you may have been exposed to coronavirus, contact a health care provider promptly if you develop a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing; before you go to a clinic or hospital, call ahead so the staff can take appropriate precautions


Health organizations:

About COVID-19:

Resources for the arts sector:

Emergency grants and financial support:

Virtual alternatives: