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TCG: Contact your Members of Congress Immediately on COVID-19 Stimulus Package

Michael Eddy • Industry NewsTheatre Buzz • March 20, 2020

Action by Congress on COVID-19 Stimulus Package Expected This Weekend!

Congress is working quickly to decide the contents of a massive COVID-19 relief bill. Theatres and theatre artists across the country need to speak up. And if you are among the very many advocates who have weighed in already, we thank you and ask you to contact Congress again.

The Coronavirus has already had a devastating economic impact on America’s nonprofit arts sector-some reports indicate that financial losses to date are estimated to be $3.2 billion. Theatres and other arts organizations have responded to calls from health and elected officials and have canceled performances across the country. Freelance artists have seen the overnight suspension of their livelihood.

In order to support the sector at this vital time, please contact your Members of Congress immediately to request that they include $4 billion-to be distributed though the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)-to help offset the losses of the nonprofit arts industry, and expand eligibility through additional federal programs to ensure artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in the creative economy can utilize business interruption relief.

We are urging theatres to ask their federal elected officials for the following:

  • Support $4 billion of dedicated COVID-19 relief funding, administered by the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Support enhanced incentives for charitable deductions, including an above the line tax deduction available to all taxpayers, whether they itemize returns or not.
  • Activate nationwide Disaster Unemployment Assistance for workers, including self-employed individuals and independent contractors who are sick, quarantined, furloughed, laid off, or whose individual or family circumstances have changed as a result of COVID-19 or government containment efforts. Many freelance theatre artists will not otherwise have access to state unemployment benefits.
  • Streamline the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance program and provide loan forgiveness options.

**Separate from sending a written message to your Member of Congress, please call your House Member to sign the Congressional Dear Colleague letter to Support Arts and Culture in Coronavirus Legislation.

Join us in calling on Congress TODAY to designate a minimum of $4 billion-to be distributed through the National Endowment for the Arts-to help offset losses in the nonprofit arts industry and expand eligibility through additional federal programs to ensure artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in the creative economy can utilize business interruption relief.

Thank you to all for your ongoing advocacy on behalf of the theatre field. TCG relies on its membership to raise your voices and tell your lawmakers about the important role of the arts in your community!

Further information from the Theatre Communications Group (TCG): https://www.tcg.org/

 

 

 

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