Volunteering … even during social distancing

For the past 25 years HERA Controller Cecilia Kadane has assisted local artists with financial and tax advice by volunteering with the St. Louis Volunteer Layers and Accountants for the Arts organization.

Q: You are active in the Volunteer Layers and Accountants for the Arts organization. Can you tell us more about what this organization does for the local arts community?

A:   VLAA is a non profit organization serving the greater St. Louis area by connecting artists and arts organizations with lawyers and accountants who donate their time and expertise in legal and financial matters.

Q: What inspired you to join VLAA, how long have you been involved and what is your role as a volunteer?

A: I felt working with artists of all types would be interesting and I would be giving back to the community in a small way. I have been a volunteer for over 25 years. My role is to answer accounting/tax questions the artist may have and make suggestions where I feel needed. Most are concerned about tax implications.

Q: What specific assignment did you receive this year?

A: Most recently I assisted a young musician who had begun performing on the weekends and wanted to know how best to track his income and expenses. He was very appreciative of my time.

Q: What kind of impacts have you seen on the arts community because of COVID?

 A: Due to quarantines and stay-at-home orders, they have not been able to perform. This has deprived them of their income like so many other Americans.

Q: What can our industry do to help?

A: I would suggest donating to these types of organizations. VLAA does not receive support by any large organizations, like the United Way. It is sustained mainly by private donations and does receive some funds from the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council. And of course through donated time. Every group or individual I have worked with has been so thankful and appreciative of the assistance they have received by VLAA. Every new client for me is always the next interesting one!