By GLENN GAMBOA and HALELUYA HADERO
AP Business Writers
The arts industry has been battered during the past 21 months, as organizations furloughed staff, canceled shows and slashed their budgets to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations to arts groups also dropped off last year. Many slowly resumed in-person events, though some are now suspending plans amid worries about what the Omicron variant could bring. Naia Kete, like so many musicians, saw her life turned upside down by the pandemic. Almost overnight, her primary source of income was eliminated. So when she was approached by Artists at Work, a new initiative that puts artists on a payroll to create and launch programs in their communities, Kete jumped at the chance.