Panelists Announced for SMALL VENUE RENT FORGIVENESS TOWN HALL
The League of Independent Theater and sister organization IndieSpace have announced panelists for their previously reported Small Venue Rent Forgiveness Town Hall, taking place online on Thursday, May 28, at 1:00pm. The organizations are asking elected officials to act to protect small businesses and performance venues throughout the city, calling upon the New York State legislature and New York City Council to suspend commercial rent payments (currently introduced in the State Legislature as S8125A / A10224A) and provide long-term rent stabilization to give arts venues a fighting chance to survive this pause. The emergency town hall will be the launching point for independent theater to fight alongside the #cancelrent movement and advocate for protections for the community. Registration is open to anyone thru EventCombo: VenueRentForgiveness.eventcombo.com.
Independent theaters, defined as venues with 99 seats or less, as well as non-traditional venues produce the majority of live performance in NYC per year, including all productions outside of Lower Manhattan, according to a 2019 study by the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment. The study found that small theaters employ thousands of workers across the city and act as economic tent poles for surrounding small businesses.
The League of Independent Theater was founded in 2008 out of an emergency town hall in response to the sudden closures prompted by the start of the Great Recession.