March 20, 2020
From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
Community by community, the COVID-19 crisis is rapidly affecting the creative sector, its workforce and the communities it serves. At this very moment, Congress and the administration are considering new forms of federal economic assistance that may be targeted or widespread. Accordingly, we urge support for business continuity relief and support for the arts workforce that will sustain the arts sector’s unique capacity to support the U.S. economy, uplift the human spirit and provide lifelong learning.
We are writing to ask that you contact your members of Congress today. Urge that they support letters currently being circulated in both chambers asking for $4 billion in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Just this week, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the arts and culture workforce contributed $877.8 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017. The unexpected loss of event-dependent revenue and income for the full range of people who make up the workforce of the arts, along with declines in charitable contributions, are immediately impacting arts organizations and individual livelihoods, and will worsen over time.
Therefore, NASAA and other national arts organizations are calling on Congress to appropriate $4 billion to the National Endowment for the Arts to provide support for cultural organizations across the nation. In addition, we are requesting that the arts industry be allowed access to multiple forms of stimulus funding aimed at community development, nonprofit and small-business continuity, and relief for self-employed individuals. In conveying this request to your federal legislators, please be candid in sharing how your agency, and the organizations and people it serves, are being impacted by the crisis at hand.
NASAA understands that this is a delicate time. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions.