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More Than 100 Arts Groups Sign Letter Supporting Save Our Stages Bill

ArtandSeek.net 2

One hundred and eleven Dallas arts organizations – from the Dallas Summer Musicals to the Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble – signed a letter thanking Senator John Cornyn for introducing the Save Our Stages Act. It would provide Small Business Administration grants for independent live music and performance venue operators affected by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Cornyn sponsored it along with Amy Klobuchar, the Democratic senator from Minnesota. These grants would provide six months of financial support to keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve live music across America.

On the same day, Performing Arts Fort Worth released a statement thanking the two senators. Dione Kennedy, CEO of the non-profit that runs Bass Performance Hall, declared “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on entertainment venues and theaters and this legislation will provide much-needed relief.”

The Dallas letter said, in part:

“Live music and performing arts venues were among the first to be closed during the COVID-19 crisis and will be some of the last to return to full operations. Here in Dallas, our stages have been closed since mid-March, with no earned revenue from ticket sales, ancillaries, fees, parking, sponsorships, and more. . . .  While Governor Abbott’s guidelines allow some venues to reopen, doing so with significantly reduced capacity and socially distanced seating does not make economic sense. Also, most artists and shows will not resume touring until next year.

The Save Our Stages Act will help us survive. . . .  These grants will help us stay afloat until we can reopen, covering critical operating expenses like rent, utilities, PPE, maintenance, and keep critical employees on the job and off the unemployment rolls. . . .

We also want to take a moment to encourage your support for additional financial support for state and local governments in the upcoming COVID-19 relief bill to help them grapple with this economic public health emergency. Cities and states provide core services essential to individual residents and our business community as well. We rely on our state and city to provide public utilities, infrastructure, and public safety, among other core services that are vital to a modern economy, and for keeping Texas open for business.”

The Fort Worth release also provided these bullet points.  The Save Our Stages Act would:

  • Narrowly define independent live venue operators, promoters, and talent representatives to prevent large, international corporations from receiving federal grant funding
  • Direct the SBA to make grants to eligible venues equal to the lesser of either 45 percent of operation costs from calendar year 2019 or $12 million
  • Allow the Small Business Administrator to issue supplemental grants in the future if funding remains available and applicants can demonstrate need
  • Permit recipients to use grants for costs incurred during the COVID pandemic
  • Require recipients to return remaining funding after one year from the date of disbursement
  • Permit recipients to use grants for rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, PPE procurement, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines
  • Authorize the appropriation of $10 billion for the grant program

The Save Our Stages Act is endorsed by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO).

These are the Dallas signatories:

African American Museum of Dallas
African American Repertory Theater
American Baroque Opera Company
Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico
Arga Nova Dance
Art House Dallas*
Arts Mission Oak Cliff
Ash Studios
AT&T Performing Arts Center*
Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble
Bath House Cultural Center*
Beckles Dancing Company
Blue Candlelight Music Series
Bishop Arts Theatre Center*
Bombshell Dance Project
The Bomb Factory*
Bruce Wood Dance
Bryant Hall*
Cara Mía Theatre Company
Canton Hall*
Chamber Music International
The Cedars Union
City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture
Cora Cardona – Independent Theatre Artist
Creative Arts Center of Dallas
Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas
Cry Havoc Theater
Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition
Dallas Arts District*
Dallas Black Dance Theatre*
Dallas Chamber Symphony
Dallas Children’s Theater*
Dallas Film Society/Dallas International Film Festival
Dallas Heritage Village
Dallas Historical Society
Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture
The Dallas Opera
Dallas Metroplex Musicians’ Association
Dallas Museum of Art*
Dallas Summer Musicals
Dallas Symphony Association
Dallas Theater Center
Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District
Dallas Videofest
Dallas Winds
Dance Council of North Texas
Danielle Georgiou Dance Group
Donna Wilhelm Friendship Fund
The Deep Ellum Foundation
Deep Vellum Publishing
Embrey Family Foundation
Fair Park*
Fair Park First
5 Rhythms BodySpiritDance
Friends of Bath House Cultural Center
Gossypion Investments
Hall of State at Fair Park*
Hamon Hall*
Indian Cultural Heritage Foundation
Junior Players
Kalita Humphreys Theater*
Kitchen Dog Theater*
Klyde Warren Park*
Latino Cultural Center*
Laughter League
Lone Star Wind Orchestra
Majestic Theatre*
Meyerson Symphony Center *
Moody Fund for the Arts
Moody Performance Hall*
Music Hall at Fair Park*
Nasher Sculpture Center*
New Texas Symphony Orchestra
No Limits Arts Theatre, Inc.
North Texas Business Council for the Arts
Oak Cliff Cultural Center*
Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts*
Ochre House Theater*
Orchestra of New Spain
Over the Bridge Arts
Pegasus Theatre*
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
RBC Deep Ellum*
Sammons Center for the Arts*
Sammons Park*
Second Thought Theatre
Shakespeare Dallas
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
6th Floor Studio Theatre*
South Dallas Cultural Center*
Soul Rep Theatre Company
Strauss Square*
TACA – The Arts Community Alliance
Teatro Dallas
Texans for the Arts
Texas Ballet Theater
Theatre Three, Inc.*
Trees*
TITAS/Dance Unbound
Turtle Creek Chorale
24 Hour Dallas
Undermain Theatre*
Uptown Players
USA Dance Dallas
Verdigris Ensemble
VisitDallas
Winspear Opera House*
The Writer’s Garret
Wyly Theatre*
The Women’s Chorus of Dallas
*Dallas performance venue