The Save Our Stages Act Has passed as part of the COVID-19 Relief Bill
Congress has recently passed the Save Our Stages Act (also called the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant) as part of the Covid-19 Relief Bill putting funds in the hands of many independent venues that have been unable to operate since March, 2020. The package includes $15 billion for theaters, independent venues, talent agencies, museums, and movie theaters.
The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) says over 2.1 million emails were sent by arts supporters to their elected officials expressing their support for the Save Our Stages Act. All 535 Congresspeople heard from their constituents through SaveOurStages.com.
Local Response to Save Our Stages Act
Ann Cady Scott, local philanthropist and board member of various arts organizations, spoke to Senator Roy Blunt about language used in the Relief Bill before it passed ensuring that the funds benefitted nonprofit theaters as it did for for-profit theaters. Scott said independent theaters were at a disadvantage because the original language of the bill made relief fund amounts dependent on revenue. Nonprofit theaters depend heavily on donations, not pure revenue.
“I thought it was important that Senator Blunt understand that revenue should be counted as donations as well,” said Scott. “He totally embraced it and it was included. Very few people understand the difference between the commercial theater and the nonprofit theater.”