Resources Related to the Coronavirus

Dance/USA continues to work across the dance ecosystem, broader performing arts sector, business community and nonprofit sector to ensure ALL small-to-mid-size businesses and non-profit organizations as well as individual artists are supported beyond the recent pandemic. Dance/USA will continue to advocate on behalf of the dance ecosystem, gather and compile important data from the ground to be used in various advocacy efforts, and to provide various resources regarding the impact of the recent pandemic on the dance ecosystem. Further questions can be directed to Dance/USA government affaits staff.


Federal Assistance  

Community by community, the impact of the recent pandemic is variable and rapidly changing. U.S. Congress passed 6 major pieces of legislation (totaling $4 trillion) between March 2020 – March 2021 to support states, local communities, local school districts, families, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individual workers during the recent pandemic. Below are federal assistance programs established by Congress during the recent pandemic. 

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance for Performing Arts Organizations: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is offering financial support to qualifying organizations, including performing arts organizations, to support costs associated with the safe opening and operations of facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources, outlined in the policy document Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Safe Opening and Operation Work Eligible for Public Assistance, are administered by state and regional FEMA offices and are available to entities that meet the general requirements to qualify for FEMA public assistance. This pandemic relief may help support the costs of masks, testing, and other costs incurred through December 31, 2021, for those organizations that own their facilities, or are legally responsible for their facilities. OPERA America encourages its members and the overall opera community to direct the owners of their live venues and other facilities to this pandemic relief opportunity.

    • In 2008, the performing arts community successfully secured FEMA eligibility for “performing arts organizations” under the agency’s definition of a “public nonprofit (PNP),” which has enabled certain nonprofit organizations to receive FEMA support following a natural disaster. The general eligibility requirements for FEMA support also apply to this COVID-19 relief opportunity and general PNP eligibility is outlined in FEMA’s Fact Sheet and in the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide Version 3.1.
    • FEMA COVID-19 Safe Opening support is administered through state disaster relief offices, so the experience of applicants may vary. Organizations seeking to learn more about eligibility and registering to apply can start by contacting your state’s emergency management agency.
  • COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): Small business loan program implemented and executed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to support small businesses’ recovery during the current pandemic by providing accesible and borrower-friendly capital. Small businesses must qualify for a certain loan amount by completing the economic injury formula which takes into account two years’ worht of revenue and costs of goods sold to produce an eligible loan amount.
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) required covered employers to provide eligible employees with paid sick and expanded family and medical leave for certain COVID-19 related reasons. The requirement that employers provide paid sick or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA employer mandate provisions applies to leave taken or requested during the effective period of April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.  Please see Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers for questions specific to the application of the FFCRA mandate. Employers who choose to provide such leave between January 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021 may be eligible for employer tax credits. Information about claiming the tax credits for paid sick leave or paid family leave wages can be found on the IRS website
  • New Charitable Giving Incentives: Building on years of advocacy by Dance/USA through our broader coalition efforts, a universal charitable deduction was available until December 31, 2021, allowing the growing number of taxpayers who do not itemize their returns to receive a tax deduction of up to $300 (for individuals) and $600 for joint filers for cash charitable donations to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations during calendar year 2021. For taxpayers that itemize returns, the limit on the total percentage of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) eligible for the charitable deduction has been lifted. The limit on corporate contributions has been lifted to 25%.
  • International Artist Visas: Dance/USA, as a member of the Performing Arts Visa Working group, signed on in support of a letter requesting USCIS and Department of State to address the multiple issues COVID-19 is causing for foreign guest artists working in the U.S. The coalition request outlines five simple, short-term provisions that will dramatically aid the U.S. performing arts sector beyond the recent pandemic.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources 

Contact Dance/USA government affairs staff if you have any questions. Dance/USA is working with many national arts-related coalitions and other field leadership organizations to advocate for the performing arts sector, gather information, and provide a number of resources regarding the impact of the recent pandemic on the dance ecosystem.

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