Contact Congress Regarding COVID-19 Relief for the Arts

March 20, 2020

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull

The Coronavirus has already had a devastating economic impact on America’s arts and culture sector—some reports indicate that financial losses to date are estimated to be $3.2 billion. Dance companies and other arts organizations have responded to calls from health and elected officials and have canceled performances across the country. Freelance artists and independent workers who support the arts sector have seen the overnight suspension of their livelihood. 

Congress is moving swiftly on a massive COVID-19 relief bill. Stakeholders in the dance community across the country need to speak up. And if you are among the very many advocates who have weighed in already, we thank you and ask you to contact Congress again.

In unison with national arts and culture organizations, Dance/USA has identified critical areas of federal assistance that need to be included in this third relief package. We urge everyone the dance field to ask their federal elected officials for the following:

  • Support multiple forms of enhanced incentives for charitable giving that supports the full breadth of the charitable sector, including an above-the-line tax deduction available to all taxpayers, whether they itemize returns or not.
  • Support dedicated COVID-19 relief funding for the arts sector, administered by the National Endowment for the Arts, and full access to other forms of direct COVID-19 relief provided to the nonprofit sector.
  • Activate nationwide Disaster Unemployment Assistance for workers, including self-employed individuals and independent contractors who are sick, quarantined, furloughed, laid off, or whose individual or family circumstances have changed as a result of COVID-19 or government containment efforts. Very many dance artists and arts workers may not otherwise have access to state unemployment benefits. 
  • Streamline the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance program and provide loan forgiveness options.

Whether you’ve already communicated with Congress or not, this is another important time to speak up and be heard.


Dance/USA has endorsed the following letters to Congress:

Dance/USA has provided a page of coronavirus resources with information and tools to help navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will add ongoing updates to this page, so please check back.

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. Support dance advocacy by renewing your membership or becoming a new member today!

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

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