SCHUMER: CAPITAL REGION’S INDEPENDENT MUSIC VENUES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF LOCAL CULTURE & ECONOMY BUT NEED ACCESS TO CRITICAL FED RELIEF ASAP TO WEATHER IMPACT OF COVID-19; STANDING AT ALBANY’S HISTORIC PALACE THEATRE WITH GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING CONDUCTOR DAVID ALAN MILLER, SENATOR PUSHES BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION, THE SAVE OUR STAGES ACT, TO PROVIDE VITAL SUPPORT FOR INDEPENDENT LIVE MUSIC VENUES ACROSS THE CAPITAL REGION
Senator Says Independent Music Venues Have Lost Nearly All Revenue Since The Start Of The Pandemic And Need Federal Assistance To Weather The Economic Impact Of COVID-19
Independent Venues Are In Dire Need Of Dedicated Assistance That Can Provide Long-Term, Flexible Relief
Schumer: Indy Music Venues Are A Driving Force Of The Capital Region’s Economy & Culture, But Fed $$ Is Vital To Stay Afloat, Recover & Rebuild From Health–And Economic—Pandemic
Warning that independent music venues throughout the Capital Region and the rest of the state face an uncertain future without dedicated federal assistance, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, standing with Grammy Award-winning Music Director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, local independent venue operators, and the International Alliance for Theatrical Stage Employees union, today pushed to provide vital support for independent live music venues through the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258). Schumer, a cosponsor of the legislation, said that 90% of independent venues report that they will have to close permanently without federal funding, according to a survey of National Independent Venue Association members. Schumer said that the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act is crucial to saving independent venues, like concert halls, theaters, and other places of entertainment, including Palace Theatre, Proctors Theater, The Egg, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, which generate economic activity within communities and are the lifeblood of New York. Schumer said the Senate needs to act in an immediate way if independent venues are going to stay afloat and reopen when it is safe to do so and he will fight to include federal assistance for independent venues in any upcoming coronavirus relief legislation.
“Independent venues, like theaters and concert halls, are the beating heart of New York’s cultural life and a driving force in the Capital Region’s economy. These local businesses were among the first to shut down at the start of the pandemic, are struggling to stay afloat, and will be among the last to reopen,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why it’s so important to provide dedicated federal assistance to independent venues so when it is safe, we can gather again for music, comedy, theater and other live performances in venues that have been around for generations. I’m proud to cosponsor the Save Our Stages Act, and I’ll fight to include federal funding for independent venues in coronavirus relief legislation.”
Schumer explained that live venues are part of one of the hardest hit industries and need dedicated assistance for long-term, flexible relief that would be available through the Save our Stages Act. If venues remain closed through 2020, it is estimated that live venues across the country will lose $9 billion in ticket sales alone. Independent venues not only drive economic activity within communities in restaurants, hotels, taxis and other transportation and retail establishments, but live events provide 75% of all artists’ income. Schumer warned that without federal aid, the economic impact of COVID-19 on live venues is insurmountable.
The bipartisan Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258) would create a new $10 billion Small Business Administration (SBA) program to provide grants of up to $12 million to eligible live venue operators, producers, promoters, or talent representatives to help cover six months of operating expenses and offset the economic impact of COVID-19. These grants can be used for payroll costs, rent, mortgage, utilities, and personal protective equipment, among other needs. The legislation has 28 bipartisan cosponsors, including Senator Schumer and is supported by countless artists, performers, and industry advocates, including the Foo Fighters, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Jimmy Buffett, Coldplay, Vampire Weekend, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, National Independent Venue Association, Recording Academy, Spotify, Association of Performing Arts Professionals, and many others.
The senator was joined by Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Grammy Award-winning Music Director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller Palace Theatre Executive Director, Billy Piskutz, Palace Theatre Board Chairman, Steve Baboulis, Proctors Theater & Proctors Collaborative CEO, Philip Morris, Saratoga Performing Arts Center President & CEO, Elizabeth Sobol, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Executive Director, Jon Elbaum, Albany Symphony Orchestra Executive Director, Anna Kuwabara, I.A.T.S.E. President, Bobby Igoe, and I.A.T.S.E. Business Represetative, Jimmy Anziano.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the entire Arts & Entertainment industry displacing more than 12 million jobs and over $49 billion dollars for our economy. Our businesses were the first to shut down and will be the last to re-open,” Billy Piskutz, Executive Director of the Palace Theatre said in a statement. “We are profoundly grateful for the support of Senator Schumer as he champions the #SaveOurStages effort. Our Arts & Entertainment venues and their employees are in critical need and are counting on as much support as possible so that one day soon we can all safely raise our curtains once again. The show must go on and without the help many venues will not make it!”
Previous Article Next Article