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Be An #ArtsHero is Fighting for the Arts & Culture Industry to Aid Economic Recovery

Stage Directions • Industry NewsTheatre Buzz • October 14, 2020

Be An #ArtsHero, an intersectional grassroots campaign is fighting to get emergency Arts relief passed to support workers. They have a range of asks including dedicated, proportionate relief. Be An #ArtsHero asks for $43.85 billion committed to direct relief to Artists, their Institutions, their Unions, and all others who comprise the Arts & Culture economic ecosystem. Germany appropriated 58 billion euros to bolster their Arts & Culture sector. The U.K. passed nearly $2 billion to do the same. The U.S. should immediately follow suit to ensure the survival of its own institutions, as the Arts bring value to our lives and empower our communities to prosper. Here’s a video summary of what Be An #ArtsHero is all about:

The have a full range of their Asks on their website.

When the Broadway League announced that the Broadway theaters and tours would be shut until May 30, 2021, Be An #ArtsHero quickly responded:

Nearly 97,000 workers rely on Broadway for their livelihood. Broadway brings in $14.8 billion to NYC.

We stand with the Broadway community today, as the shutdown has been extended through *at least* May 30, 2021.

We will never stop fighting FOR you and WITH you. #ArtsHero

Be An #ArtsHero created the DAWN Act: Defend Arts Workers Now. As the only comprehensive Arts Worker Relief policy, this bill authorizes $43.85 billion in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make grants to the operators, employees, and artists of live venues, recording venues, cultural spaces, and related businesses that remain shuttered for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19.

The Arts & Culture sector, a cornerstone of the American economy, adds $877 billion in value added to the economy annually, provides 4.5% of GDP, and employs 5.1 million Americans. The DAWN Act’s $43.85 billion package is 5% of the sector’s value added to the economy, which is proportionate to the $50 billion allocated to the top ten airlines in the CARES Act. By comparison, Arts & Culture adds $265 Billion more a year to GDP than the transportation sector.

Due to COVID-19, 62% of arts workers report that they are fully unemployed and 94% have reported an income loss. 41% of Arts & Culture Institutions report that they are not confident they will survive the pandemic, and 90% of music venues report that they will not reopen without relief. Permanent closures on this scale will cause systemic economic collapse in a vibrant ecosystem of mutually beneficial businesses that rely on Arts & Culture institutions. “The only way our economy will fully recover from this economic darkness is by the light of DAWN. There is NO ECONOMIC RECOVERY WITHOUT A ROBUST ARTS RECOVERY. Our fates are tied together,” says Matthew-Lee Erlbach, author of the bill.

With a growth rate of 4.16%, the Arts & Culture sector outperforms the growth of the entire nation’s economy by almost double. Because the Arts & Culture sector has a disproportionately high return on investment, “Be An #ArtsHero” advocates that this investment in the Arts economy will have a positive impact on the whole economy. The relief legislation in DAWN will immediately stabilize thousands of organizations, and prevent millions of arts workers from being personally, professionally, and financially devastated. The bill serves as a complement to the much-needed extension of FPUC and 100% COBRA subsidies.

The DAWN Act comes on the heels of an OPEN LETTER TO THE SENATORS OF THE 116TH U.S. CONGRESS, written by Matthew-Lee Erlbach, which to date has gained nearly 15,000 signatures from arts workers and the most preeminent arts institutions, demonstrating wide support for the legislation.

About Be An #ArtsHero
Be An #ArtsHero is an intersectional, grassroots movement that emphasizes Arts & Culture’s $877 Billion value added contribution to the economy, highlighting the human and financial toll of letting that contribution collapse. We are a united, sector-wide coalition calling for Congress to extend Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, subsidize COBRA, and allocate $43.85 Billion in proportionate relief to the Arts & Culture sector. We seek to keep all 5.1 million Americans who work in the Arts alive, in their homes, and with jobs to return to when the crisis subsides.

Further information from Be An #ArtsHero:



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