Dear Friends and Colleagues,
First and foremost, we send our sincerest hopes and wishes for your continued health and safety during this ever-changing time.
As COVID-19 continues to spread in the United States, public guidance advises vulnerable populations to stay home and many performance venues have been required to close. Those that have not closed are seeing large decreases in attendance and those asking for refunds. The resulting cancellation of public events has already had very real financial consequences for all those that work in the nonprofit sector, especially those independent professionals (artists of all kind/agents/managers, etc.), not only from the loss of income from ticket sales and reduced opportunities for artists to work, but also from lost contributed revenue as donors reassess their capacity to give due to stock market volatility.
The federal government is imminently considering new forms of economic relief, and eligibility for nonprofit companies, artists and those that work in the nonprofit sector, is essential. All of us need to enlist our elected officials to access any relief that may become available and we urge you to help build and strengthen those relationships now. Please ask your Representatives and Senators to advocate on your behalf and be as specific as possible about the impact to you, your organization, and your community in general. They need to understand the ripple effect of the losses to all those that work and make a living from the arts and nonprofit sector.
Please contact your Members of Congress today, as they are working on a stimulus package that is expected to be voted on this weekend, and urge them to provide for the arts sector in this package.
Additionally, on Tuesday, PAA Board Chair Michelle Ramos sent a note to NEA Chairman Mary Anne Carter on behalf of our member groups (and all of you). In the letter, we expressed our gratitude for the continued work and support of the arts during this time and always. The letter also asked the NEA to please ensure to include all arts groups, individual artists and personnel in any relief funding that may become available.
The NEA recently released this statement to the field, which includes links to resources for preparedness and the continuing operations at the NEA. Please click here to read the letter: Message from NEA Chairman Mary Anne Carter
The PAA will continue to work on your behalf and will have more information and updates for you in the next few days.