COVID-19 Advocacy Efforts

As a field focused on bringing people together, here's how we are responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Advoacy Update

Updated 11:20 a.m. (EDT), September 17, 2021

APAP continues to meet regularly with the SBA on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program to get your questions answered and to advocate on your behalf. You can read our latest email update here.

At the beginning of each week, the SBA releases weekly program reports as well as the most recent awardee data. You can find both here.

The SBA continues to issue invitations to the Supplemental Awards process. Eligible applicants are defined as "recipients of first, second, and third priority round awards who suffered a 70% or greater earned revenue loss for when comparing 2021 Q1 to 2019 Q1."

The SBA has stated that the disbursement of Supplemental Awards will begin Wednesday, September 22.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are stronger together.

Advocacy Action

APAP has joined the broader arts and nonprofit sectors in advocating for the performing arts booking, touring and presenting field in the wake of COVID-19 closures, event cancellations, and the diverse needs of APAP members during this time.

Looking for information on U.S. federal Coronavirus relief? Visit APAP's dedicated relief page.
  • Ongoing: As APAP has done for months, we continue to monitor daily and meet with national field leaders weekly on the implementation of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.
  • On May 26, 2021, we sent a letter to The White House urging them to assist in delivering the $16.25 billion of urgently needed funding to our field, to improve communications and transparency to applicants, and to clarify the supplemental grant process.
  • On May 19, 2021, we submitted public comments on President Biden's Executive Order "Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans" where we advocated for immediate action to expedite and improve visa processing and other requests that would support international artist exchange.
  • On May 18, 2021, APAP joined the Vax4Live campaign, an initiative focused on raising awareness on the available vaccines as increased adoption is the quickest way to return to live events as safely as possible. Stay tuned for how you can join this movement in next week's Spotlights newsletter.
  • On May 17, 2021, in collaboration with our advocacy colleagues, we issued a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking for an opportunity to engage on issues and policies on international cultural exchange, including increasing access of artists and arts entities to the National Interest Exception.
  • On May 11, 2021, with the National Independent Venue Association, Event Safety Alliance, Coalition of Performing Arts Centers, and National Independent Talent Organization and many others, we launched the "Safe In Sound" reopening guidance checklist for the live entertainment industry as an early step toward a national recovery of our field. You can endorse this checklist here.
  • Throughout February, March and April, APAP remained in close contact with its partners and the Small Business Administration as the SBA began to roll out its guidance on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. APAP continues to guide, inform and shape the delivery of this vital program.
  • On April 16, 2021, APAP met with White House representatives in a SVOG Stakeholder briefing session, to aggressively advocate for technical fixes, as well as substantive corrections, following the initial launch, and them temporary closing of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal.
  • On February 2, 2021, APAP along with its advocacy partners advanced a letter on The Arts and Cultural Sector: Federal Policy Actions
    to the Biden-Harris Administration with policy recommendations to help accelerate the process of mending America’s social fabric, ending systemic racism, and creating equitable economic growth by promoting and investing in the arts and its intersecting public policies such as health, education, pay equity, parental leave, and gig worker protections.
  • On January 28, 2021, APAP joined field leaders in sending a coalition letter urging President Biden, Vice President Harris and Senate leaders to seat a 5th FCC commissioner in order to advance policy favorable to arts and culture, as well as democratic values, including ensuring net neutrality and expanding broadband access.
  • On January 27, 2021, APAP endorsed the Nonprofit Coalition Letter
    to the President and Congressional Leaders organized by the National Council on Nonprofits.
  • On August 3, 2020, APAP endorsed the bipartisan "Save Our Stages" Act that would make available $10 billion in dedicated relief to the live arts and entertainment industry that will benefit many of our commercial and non-profit members, including venues, producers, promoters and agents. Read more.
  • On July 13, 2020, APAP endorsed the National Council for Nonprofits letter , joining 400+ organizations asking that Congress address specific needs of non-profits in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.
  • On July 6, 2020, APAP joined in endorsing the U.S. Events and Entertainment Coalition letter, joining with a diverse group of companies and organizations from the interconnected mass participation events industry.
  • On July 3, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act, which extends the deadline to apply for the currently remaining funds in the Paycheck Protection Program to August 8, 2020, was signed into law.
  • On May 22, 2020, APAP, along with the field leadership of the Cultural Advocacy Group (CAG), issued to Congress the following statement
    , which includes key talking points.
  • On April 24, 2020, a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill to recapitalize SBA loan programs, as well as provide funding for expanded COVID-19 testing and support for hospitals, was signed into law.
  • On April 16, 2020, APAP, along with the field leadership of the Cultural Advocacy Group (CAG), issued to Congress the following statement , which includes key talking points.
  • On March 20, 2020, APAP, along with the field leadership of the Cultural Advocacy Group (CAG), issued to Congress the following statement , which includes key talking points.
It's very important that we continue to make the case for performing arts organizations, arts workers, and artists. Our collective advocacy efforts as a field are working. Your stories are being heard. We thank you for your efforts and urge you to continue to engage your local Congressional staff directly and use the talking points from the above statements.
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