Congress is back in session and two important bills are being discussed that directly impact the live performing arts.
“It’s important to recognize that in the business of live events and performances, where we often gather in large groups to share in these amazing moments, we were one of the first industries who felt the immediate economic impact of a complete shutdown. As we continue to develop a plan that can bring performers, staff and audiences together again, it’s also apparent we will be one of the last industries to return,” said Fox Cities P.A.C. President, Maria Van Laanen. “Several plans have been proposed in legislature to address the needs of our industry, we proudly stand in solidarity with venues around the country in asking for assistance as we endure this extended intermission.”
According to the Americans for the Arts most recent study in 2016, the nonprofit arts industry contributed $58.4 million in economic activity in the greater Fox Cities Region alone, including supporting 1,613 full-time equivalent jobs and $5.5 million in local and state government revenue. It is critical to continue to support these organizations to ensure they can continue to contribute to the economy for years to come.
Save Our Stages
S. 4258, the Save Our Stages Act, was introduced by Senators Cornyn and Klobuchar. It was designed to make grants eligible to live venue operators, producers, promotors and representatives to directly address the economic effects from COVID-19. These grants differ from many because they can offset operating costs like payroll, utilities and personal protective equipment.
S. 3814/H.R. 7481, the RESTART Act, was introduced by Senators Young and Bennet in the Senate and Representatives Golden and Kelly in the House, both of which would ensure the survival of independent venues, theatres, and event promoters across the nation. This bill extends the Paycheck Protection Program, established to support small businesses in response to COVID-19), for certain businesses, and it establishes a loan program whereby the Small Business Administration (SBA) shall guarantee loan amounts to certain businesses affected by COVID-19.
These initiatives would assist venues and community theatres, which are completely shuttered small businesses in need of long-term support that provides flexibility for the use of funds due to high overhead costs.
The live event industry is experiencing upwards of 90% revenue loss and will be closed well into 2021 due to safety concerns posed by large gatherings. Without support from Congress, 90% of National Independent Venue Association’s independent venues across America say they will be forced to close their doors forever.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ON A NATIONAL LEVEL?
If you love theater, music and having live performances come right here to your backyard we encourage you to contact your government representatives and tell them how important these bills are. You can find your representatives’ contact information here: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/MyElectedOfficials
More information can be found at saveourstages.com
WHAT CAN YOU DO LOCALLY?
Consider a gift to our Act 2 Fund, designed to help us sustain our mission during this extended intermission.
While we await the end of this extended intermission, your generosity can make an even bigger impact. It may not look the same, but we promise there will be an Act 2 and together we will make it better than ever!
When you support our Act 2 Fund, you:
- Bring educational experiences through the arts to students' desks, whether they are in a classroom or at home
- Ensure top talent continues to provide world-class experience
- Make it possible to bring transformative programs to our community ... and so much more!
to give to our Act 2 Fund today.