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Actors' Equity States That Broadway's Extended Suspension Demonstrates Need for Economic Arts Relief Package

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Actors' Equity States That Broadway's Extended Suspension Demonstrates Need for Economic Arts Relief Package

Actors' Equity Association released the following statement following the Broadway League's announcement extending Broadway's closure through at least January 3, 2021.

"Countless regional theaters have made the exact same decision as Broadway, and are voluntarily postponing their seasons and putting the safety and health of their audiences and workers first. These responsible decisions mean that the industry will need support so that when it is safe to reopen, the arts can go back to work and help the entire economy recover," said Brandon Lorenz, National Director of Communications and Public Policy for Actors' Equity Association. "While the HEROES Act has important provisions on unemployment and health insurance subsidies, what is sadly missing is arts funding and loans that will enable the live performing arts to quickly reopen and help the economy grow."

Among the provisions missing from the HEROES Act that would help the arts and entertainment sector: An emergency $4 billion in supplemental funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and Corporation for Public Broadcasting, low interest loans for theaters that do not qualify for NEA funding, restoring the business tax deduction for the purchase of live entertainment tickets and the passage of H.R. 3121, the bipartisan Performing Artist Tax Parity Act. Read more on the priorities of creative professionals for recovery.

The arts and entertainment sector drives economies in cities and towns across the country. In New York City, Broadway attendance tops those of the ten professional New York and New Jersey sports teams combined. Broadway surpassed the combined sports teams by over 4.6 million in attendance. During the 2018-2019 season, the Broadway industry contributed $14.7 billion to the economy of New York City and supported 96,900 jobs. According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), 7.5% of New York's gross state product lies in the arts and cultural sector.

The average nonprofit arts attendee spends another $31.41 per person, per show beyond the cost of admission, according to Americans for the Arts. That includes spending at restaurants, parking and even the babysitter. Nationally, this spending supports 2.3 million jobs, provides $46.6 billion in household income, and generates $15.7 billion in total government revenue.


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