To ensure beloved cultural institutions avoided permanent closures, direct operating grants were issued to seven organizations to assist with retrofit of facilities, to implement safety and sanitization measures and upgrades, and to provide economic relief due to business interruption. Organizations receiving the $71,428 grant include Chabot Space & Science Center, Children’s Fairyland, Oakland Feather River (Camps In Common), Oakland Museum of California, Oakland Zoo, Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, and Visit Oakland.
Grantees used CARES Act funding for a wide range of items from electronic ticketing systems to lessen the amount of hand-to-hand contact, pivoting to online educational programming and curriculum, partial replacement of lost revenue due to business interruptions mandated by County and State Health Orders, and PPE purchases and other safety upgrades to prepare for re-opening. Visit Oakland’s Spend Stay Love Campaign encouraged Oaklanders to choose safe dining and shopping options, including pickup and delivery for both food and consumer goods, to provide economic support to local businesses. Chabot’s digital STEM videos have been seen over 143,000 times with an online audience growth of 33 percent, and Peralta Hacienda Historical Park partnered with local schools to offer a Learning Hub for students who were unable to connect to the internet at home for their online classes.
CARES Act funding assisted grantee organizations that rely on program and entrance fees to fund operations. With the onset of COVID-19 and health orders prohibiting or severely limiting operations, attendance plummeted severely impacting revenues.