Association of Performing Arts Professionals logo

Add your testimony! Arts Workers testify at historic Congressional hearing

Advocacy Alert
On Wednesday, January 19, artists and arts workers came together to testify in a critical Congressional hearing of the House Committee on Small Business on "The Power, Peril, and Promise of the Creative Economy". Watch the replay here.

The hearing featured testimony from Carson Elrod of Be An Arts Hero, Nataki Garrett of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Sandra Karas of Actors Equity, and Raeanne Presley of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).

"We are big business because we are local business. Every state is home to 10s and 1000s of arts workers who contribute $1B to each state's economy." - Carson Elrod, Be An Arts Hero

"How do we look millions of arts and cultural workers in this country in the eye and not take simple common-sense steps to simultaneously make their lives in our economy more secure and robust?" - Nataki Garrett, Oregon Shakespeare Festival

"The pandemic has indeed created a crisis. While many businesses have recovered, the new variant has brought tremendous uncertainty and job losses in the live arts again." - Sandra Karas, Actors Equity

"The pandemic continues. We are confronted with high no-show rates, increased costs due to inflation, and the difficult challenge of finding workers in a competitive environment... We're looking for the break we need to survive." - Raeanne Presley, NIVA

As this vital movement for Arts Workers to Unite continues, APAP asks members and colleagues to join with other arts workers by submitting written testimony to Congress by Thursday, February 3 on the importance of their work in the performing arts, the impacts of COVID on their arts organizations and businesses, and on legislative changes the collective field supports.

These letters will be submitted as a package and send a powerful message to Congress! To make it easier, below is a template and talking points to get you started.

How to Submit Testimony

To submit your testimony, please use this testimony template and instructions created by the team at Be An Arts Hero and the talking points below from the League of American Orchestras. Please follow the instructions and submit testimony by 5 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, February 3, 2022.

Congress is considering action on a number of policy packages that would address ongoing support for COVID-19 relief, as well as longer-term recovery. Following are key requests, that can be tailored to reflect the needs of your community.


  • Ensure that any new provisions related to COVID-19 relief, refundable tax credits, and forgivable loans will remain available to nonprofit arts organizations of all sizes and to self-employed workers, sole proprietors, and small LLCs, to support the arts workforce and communities until the arts can resume full operations.
  • Provide new direct federal relief funding to support the increased and ongoing costs of COVID–19 testing, security to check IDs/vaccination records, ventilation upgrades, and other related expenses.
  • Reinstate the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) for the fourth quarter of 2021 (H.R. 6161) and extend its duration, and modify nonprofit eligibility beyond the current “gross receipts” test.
  • Support the "Shuttered Venue Operators Grant” program (Save our Stages) by authorizing the Small Business Administration to grant remaining funds and expand the time allowed for using these grants, as supported in S. 2889, the SVOG Extension Act, to meet the ongoing need for relief.
  • Expand waivers for public/private matching requirements at the National Endowment for the Arts to apply to all active and to-be-awarded NEA grant awards and provide flexibility for sub-granting.
  • Make permanent federal add-ons to Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) eligibility for musicians and other gig economy workers with mixed W-2 and 1099 income sources.
  • Increase charitable giving by reinstating and expanding the above-the-line, universal charitable deduction tax incentive through significantly increasing the cap and extending the provision at least through 2023.
  • Enact the new provisions of the PLACE Act and the CREATE Act (H.R. 6381) to promote the local arts and creative economy nationally and support economic development.
  • Enact the bipartisan Creative Economy Revitalization Act (H.R. 5019, introduced by Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM) and Jay Obernolte (R-CA)), which would help revamp the creative economy through the creation of a workforce grants program to employ artists and writers to create publicly available art.
  • Enact the Qualified Performing Artist Tax Deduction (H.R. 4750) and the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act of 2021 (S. 2872), and reinstate deductions for unreimbursed employee business expenses.
  • Support a complete education for all students through federal education funding and distance learning resources that will ensure equitable access to arts education for all learners amidst the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
  • Provide state and local COVID-19 relief funds to support immediate needs of the creative sector and community partners.
  • Ensure effective implementation of new broadband benefits so that all people, no matter their income or location, continue to have access to high speed broadband.  Ensuring connectivity enables more equitable participation in artistic, educational, and cultural activity taking place online.
  • Support dedicated relief resources for nonprofit organizations and their workforce, as proposed in the WORK Now Act (S. 740 / H.R. 1987).
  • Enact policies that will ensure rapid processing of the artist visas that are essential to supporting international cultural activity as performances are rescheduled.

How to Participate in #ArtsWorkersUnite

From January 10 through 19, 2022, APAP members are also encouraged to join the social media effort led by Be An Arts Hero and happening now through the day of the hearing. View the social media toolkit.

Thank you to our colleagues at Be An Arts Hero, the League of American Orchestras, and the many others leading and contributing to this effort.
Copyright © Soflyy
Copyright 2021
Privacy Statement
Terms Of Use
Copyright © 2024 - APAP - All Rights Reserved
© Copyright - APAP - 2024 | Website built by Argent Innovations LLC All Rights Reserved
envelopephone-handsetmap-markerchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram