Theater professionals in New York City and across the country breathed a collective sigh of relief in December 2020 when Congress struck a deal on a coronavirus relief plan that included the $ 15 billion Save Our Stages Act. That moment was in large part thanks to the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who fought for the final back-up plan to include significant funds for the entertainment industry.
The bill, which allows a range of arts and performance-oriented entities affected by the coronavirus pandemic to apply for grants, went into effect this spring. As a result, billions of dollars are now donated to more than 1,300 New York cultural institutions.
The gratitude of New York theater workers for the Senator’s successful efforts is reflected below in quotes from many leaders in the theater industry.
Producer Jordan Roth: “The senator’s heroic efforts to not only get the Save Our Stages legislation passed, but to see it until every show has what it needed to get back on its feet are the reason so many could return to their jobs. and so many others could return to the theater. seats. Schumer saved our scenes.
Playbill President and CEO Philip Birsh: âSenator Schumer demonstrates once again that he is a champion of the arts. We needed it badly and, as always, he proved to be a truly great friend!
Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin: âSenator Chuck Schumer is the man whose leadership led a bipartisan effort in Congress to make theater and live entertainment a reality with the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant. Certainly, the community of 97,000 workers on Broadway are returning to work because of this leadership. And even after the $ 16 billion bill was passed, he remained involved in our community to make sure the Small Business Administration was working with us to enable us to secure these grants for our community.
Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola: âWithout Senator Schumer’s leadership and the support of his colleagues, theaters would have closed and arts workers would have had an even greater financial burden as they still struggle to recover from this ongoing pandemic. Their work has enabled theaters across the country to relaunch their efforts to contribute not only to the country’s economy, but also to our cultural health.
John Gore President Lauren Reid: âBy leading the bipartisan push to pass Save Our Stages, Senator Schumer has literally saved the live theater industry. Through his efforts, we were able to put thousands of skilled workers and artists back to work while bringing our art back to the public. Most importantly, we are once again fostering a real human connection, as only live theater can, and this is something that has never been more precious.
The Actors Fund CEO Joe Benincasa: âSenator Schumer is a champion of the arts who understands the profound impact of Broadway on the overall health of New York and the world. What the artists do on stage and behind the scenes matters to him. And, he really shows himself, always answering the call for help.
A year and a half after Broadway and theaters across the country were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, the theater industry is back on its feet thanks to the tireless efforts of Senator Schumer.