New York – Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, released the following statement following the new jobs report, which reported that 2.5 million Americans have gone back to work.
“Today’s news is encouraging for those who have gone back to work, but also a sobering reminder of the long road to recovery for all of us for in the arts and entertainment industry. While millions of Americans have gone back to work, our members and countless others in the service and hospitality sector are still facing record unemployment,” said Mary McColl, Executive Director of Actors’ Equity Association. “The arts and entertainment sector drives local economies in cities and towns across the country. Today’s jobs report does not mean we should put the brakes on bold ideas for recovery. Without action to support the arts and entertainment sector, our entire economy will be slower to recover.”
While the HEROES Act introduced in Congress has important health care provisions, including a COBRA subsidy, it still lacks critical provisions to support the arts and entertainment sector.
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.
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.
Disney’s Frozen – which opened on March 22, 2018, became in May the third Broadway show to announce it is permanently closing during the Coronavirus pandemic, following Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Hangmen, which were in previews. While the HEROES Act introduced this week has important health care provisions, including a COBRA subsidy, it still lacks critical provisions to support the arts and entertainment sector.
ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. www.actorsequity.org #EquityWorks
June 5, 2020