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Kate Shindle Responds to Nikki Haley's Objection to CARES Act Funds Being Allocated to the Arts

Kate Shindle Responds to Nikki Haley's Objection to CARES Act Funds Being Allocated to the Arts

Kate Shindle has released the following statement in response to Nikki Haley's tweet, in which Haley wonders why the arts deserve aid during the COVID-19 pandemic:

"When Congress passed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included a half-trillion dollars in relief to big companies, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted an objection to a relatively tiny allocation for arts institutions. The bill included $250 million - less than one-thousandth of one percent of the total - for public television and radio, the Kennedy Center, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

"'How many more people,' she asked, 'could have been helped with this money?'

"Here's a news flash: living, breathing people make art, perform on the stage, and report stories on public broadcasting.

"As a former South Carolina governor, Ms. Haley is presumably aware of the annual Spoleto Festival USA that takes place each spring in Charleston. If she's never attended, I can assure her that the opera, music, theatre and dance at this world-class event are performed by real people with real lives, real families, and real bills to pay.

"The shuttering of the American theater has essentially created a 100% unemployment rate for the nearly 52,000 actors and stage managers who are members of the Actors' Equity Association. And if we don't support the arts during this economic emergency, small and medium-sized cultural organizations that are crucial to revitalizing downtown areas and local communities will probably not survive.

"It is our imagination that makes us human. We must do what is necessary to keep it alive in these perilous times."


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