Ask Congress to Support More Relief for Dance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2020

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull

Congress is debating the next federal relief package and they need to hear from you! Keep your elected officials informed about your concerns and losses that are not being addressed and tell them about dance's unique capacity to support the U.S. economy and uplift the human spirit. 

Contact Congress Today! 

The next COVID-19 federal relief efforts should: 

  • Expand the duration of pandemic unemployment benefits, and improve guidelines for implementation so that independent dance workers with a mix of W-2 and 1099 income receive full support.
  • Directly address barriers to broadband connectivity, and allocate increased funding for rural and non-urban areas who still lack access related to the digital divide, to enable more equitable participation in artistic, educational, and cultural activity taking place online.
  • Support a complete education for all students through federal education funding and distance learning resources that will ensure equitable access to arts education for all learners amidst the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
  • Expand the Paycheck Protection Program resources, eliminate the 500-employee cap for nonprofit organizations, and provide dedicated funding available to nonprofit organizations. Extended duration, expanded eligibility, and clear loan forgiveness guidance is urgently needed.
  • Provide loan forgiveness for nonprofits through the Main Street Lending Program and the Economic Stabilization Fund, and ensure eligibility for nonprofit employers with more than 500 employees that have been left out of current relief provisions.
  • Fully fund the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and eliminate the $1,000 per employee cap imposed by SBA so businesses with one or very few employees can access funds.
  • Provide additional forgivable emergency assistance loans, tax credits, and other forms of support to nonprofit organizations of all sizes and to self-employed workers, sole proprietors, and small LLCs to offset fixed overhead costs such as rent, utilities, insurance, and debt service.
  • Increase charitable giving by removing the $300 cap on the above-the-line tax incentive for non-itemizers and allowing all taxpayers to claim the deduction on both 2019 and 2020 tax returns. Renew the CARES Act removal of the Adjusted Gross Income limitation on deductibility of charitable gifts for 2021 and beyond.
  • Approve substantial funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute of Museum and Library Services, as they administer dedicated COVID-19 relief that uniquely address the operational needs of cultural organizations. Expand waivers for public/private matching requirements to apply to all active FY19 and FY20 NEA grant awards, and allow current grantees to re-allocate funding for general operating support that helps to address COVID-19 economic losses.
  • Treat nonprofits that self-fund unemployment insurance fairly by increasing the federal unemployment insurance reimbursement for self-funded nonprofits to 100% of costs.
  • Provide assistance for single- and multi-employer pension funds in the next COVID-19 relief package.
  • Enact policies that will ensure rapid processing of the artist visas that are essential to supporting international cultural activity as performances are rescheduled.
  • Include the arts sector in infrastructure investments needed to renovate, refurbish, and adapt to post-COVID-19 public health and workplace safety protocols.

Contact Congress Today! 

Dance/USA is working in coalition with the Performing Arts Alliance, the Cultural Advocacy Group, the Charitable Giving Coalition, and others to conduct federal advocacy during this crisis. We are grateful for the League of American Orchestras and our many coalition peers for their leadership.

Please stay in touch with us as you communicate with Congress. Dance/USA advocates on behalf of the dance field and relies on its member community to continue to represent artists, dance makers, and dance groups. Thank you for your ongoing advocacy!

About Dance/USA
Propelled by our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, Dance/USA will amplify the power of dance to inform and inspire a nation where creativity and the field thrive.

Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations.  Dance/USA’s core programs are focused in the areas of engagement, advocacy, research, and preservation. Learn more about Dance/USA at danceusa.org.