Contact Congress Regarding COVID-19 Relief for the Arts – Federal Relief for the Arts Sector
The Coronavirus has already had a devastating economic impact on America’s arts and culture sector—some reports indicate that financial losses to date are estimated to be $3.2 billion. Studio-based artists and arts organizations have responded to calls from health and elected officials and have canceled conferences, exhibitions, residency programs and more across the country. Freelance artists and independent workers who support the arts sector have seen the overnight suspension of their livelihood.
Congress is moving swiftly on a massive COVID-19 relief bill, as early as March 24. You should act now! Stakeholders in arts industry across the country need to speak up. And if you have weighed in already, we thank you and ask you to contact Congress again.
These are critical areas of federal assistance that need to be included in this third relief package. We urge everyone to ask their federal elected officials to do the following:
• 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 studio-based artists and arts workers may not otherwise have access to state unemployment benefits.
• Streamline the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance program and provide loan forgiveness options.
• Support dedicated COVID-19 relief funding for the arts sector, administered by the National Endowment for the Arts, and full access to other forms of direct COVID-19 relief provided to the nonprofit sector.
• Support multiple forms of enhanced incentives for charitable giving that supports the full breadth of the charitable sector, including an above-the-line tax deduction available to all taxpayers, whether they itemize returns or not.
Whether you’ve already communicated with Congress or not, this is another important time to speak up and be heard.