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Follow the Data Podcast: How Cities Are Supporting Arts & Culture During COVID-19

COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of life around the world. To slow the spread of the virus, many countries closed their borders and restricted non-essential travel, greatly impacting the global tourism industry and funding for cultural organizations. In London, cultural tourism is worth about 8 billion pounds a year—largely from international visitors. Recent statistics in London indicate that the creative economy will lose 16 billion pounds, and 150,000 jobs, by the end of 2020 alone.

As the Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries of London, Justine Simons oversees City Hall’s work across music, theatre, film, fashion, design, games, and art. She’s also the founder and chair of the World Cities Culture Forum, which convenes cities to explore the vital role the arts have in shaping communities.

Justine sat down with Tracey Knuckles, who helps cities develop strategies for strengthening their creative sector in her role at Bloomberg Associates, to discuss how London and other cities around the world are responding to COVID-19’s impact on the cultural sector, what strategies cities are implementing as they navigate re-opening cultural institutions, and what the long-term outlook looks like after the pandemic.

You can listen to the podcast and past episodes in the following ways:

For more from our coronavirus series: 

  • On “Systemic Racism as a Public Health Issue,” Dr. Lisa Cooper, the Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity and the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, sat down with Dr. Jessica Leighton from our public health team to tell us more about what can be done to reduce the toll of COVID-19 on Black and Latino communities, how the public health community is tackling systemic racism, and how listeners considering joining Black Lives Matter protests in their communities can protest safely.
  • On “Training an Army of Contact Tracers,” Dr. Emily Gurley, the infectious disease epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who spearheaded the free online COVID-19 Contact Tracing course, sat down with Kelly Larson from our public health team to tell us more about the role technology plays in fighting COVID-19.
  • On “The Pandemic’s Effect on Gun Violence,” Sarah Burd-Sharps, the Director of Research at Everytown for Gun Safety, joined the podcast tell us more about how historic precedent suggests that economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could contribute to a 20 to 30 percent increase in firearm suicides in the US this year – and how we can prevent them from happening.
  • The Data Behind the Pandemic” features Tom Inglesby, the Director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in conversation with Dr. Kelly Henning, who leads our public health program, about how states are looking at data to inform school and office reopenings.
  • World Central Kitchen CEO Nate Mook joined Bloomberg Philanthropies Senior Advisor Brynne Craig to discuss how re-opening is shifting World Central Kitchen’s work on “Food First Responders.”
  •  On “How Helsinki, Finland is Responding to COVID-19,” Mayor Jan Vapaavuori joined Kelly Larson of our public health team to tell us about how The Partnership for Healthy Cities is encouraging global collaboration between cities.
  • Michelle King, co-creator of “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,” Brooke Kennedy, executive producer of “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,” actress Christine Baranski, actor Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Joseph Benincasa, President and CEO of The Actors Fund, joined the podcast to tell us about how we can keep casts and crews safe on “Lights, Camera…Action?
  • Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr sat down with Dr. Kelly Henning to tell us about “How Freetown, Sierra Leone is Responding to COVID-19.”
  • On “The Cost of Recovery for Our Cities Part 2,” Rose Gill, a Principal at Bloomberg Associates, Steven Kobre, a Partner at Kobre + Kim, and Jerry DeLoach, the Head of the Cost Recovery team for the City of Atlanta, share advice for city leaders managing COVID-19 federal aid on how to mitigate risks.
  • Dr. Arturo Casadevall, an infectious disease expert and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, joined Dr. Jessica Leighton of our public health team to tell us more about “A Promising Treatment for COVID-19.”
  • Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 in Africa” features Amanda McClelland, the Senior Vice President of Prevent Epidemics and Resolve to Save Lives at Vital Strategies, in conversation with Dr. Jennifer Ellis of our public health program about how response to the coronavirus has differed from other recent outbreaks.
  • On “The Cost of Recovery for Our Cities, Part 1,” Adam Freed, a Principal at Bloomberg Associates, Natasha Rogers, the Chief Operating Officer of the City of Newark, and Brad Gair, a Principal with Witt O’Brien’s, a national emergency management consultancy, sat down to discuss how cities can best navigate, access, and deploy federal aid.
  • On “The Intersection of COVID-19 and Transportation,” Janette Sadik-Khan, a Principal at Bloomberg Associates and Chair of NACTO, Corinne Kisner, Executive Director of NACTO, and Mark de la Vergne, the Chief of Mobility Innovation for the City of Detroit, join the podcast to tell us more about how cities are continuing to run transit systems while keeping their own staffs safe.
  • Behind the Scenes of the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking Map” was adapted for Follow the Data from “Public Health on Call,” a podcast by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Josh Sharfstein, Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Beth Blauer, executive director of Centers for Civic Impact at Johns Hopkins, discuss how data can help individuals and officials make informed decisions for COVID-19 response.
  • Dr. Sharfstein also spoke with Dr. Jessica Leighton of our public health program on “Responding to a Pandemic Crisis.”
  • How to Help Nonprofits Hit Hard By COVID-19” features Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, in conversation with Megan Sheekey, who leads our strategic partnerships work at Bloomberg Associates, about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting social service and cultural organizations across the city.
  • On “World War C – Us Against The Microbe,” Dr. Tom Frieden, the President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, and the former director of the CDC, joins Dr. Kelly Henning, who leads the public health program at Bloomberg Philanthropies and the former Director of Epidemiology for the City of New York, to discuss why focusing on low- and middle-income countries is critical to slowing the spread of the coronavirus.