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COVID-19 Government Relief

APAP continues to work alongside our national partners to advocate for legislation that supports performing arts organizations, artists and arts workers. The information on this page has been collected from a number of resources and is updated regularly. Also, please check the APAP COVID-related Advocacy page for updates.

If you would like to share other government information resources with APAP, please email We especially welcome resources that aggregate information.

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 reach out to your Congressional representatives.

Advocacy at the state level is also important. You can get involved with local efforts through Americans for the Arts State Arts Action Network.
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U.S. Federal Coronavirus Relief

Note: This page is being archived for historical purposes. Information may not be up-to-date.

Below is the latest information on federal relief.

    • Please be advised that regulations and guidelines are being implemented as laws are being passed and that applying for one program may make you ineligible for another.


    • We include a number of links to the agencies themselves that are administering the relief programs and encourage you to refer to their websites for more information.


    • APAP has been advised that due to the large quantities of requests coming to federal agencies that you begin your application processes as soon as possible.


  • We also encourage you to research additional relief resources in your state and region.

We also want to thank our colleagues at the League of American Orchestras for their contribution to assembling much of this information on behalf of the performing arts field.

2021 Relief

The American Rescue Plan of March 2021

On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law a massive $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief. Here is an overview of key elements of the relief package, many of which build on programs established in 2020:

  • Shuttered Venue Operators Grants: An additional $1.25 billion in funding will be made available to support the Small Business Administration’s emerging COVID-19 relief program, also known as Save our Stages, bringing total funding for the program to $16.25 billion. A policy change will allow 2021 Paycheck Protection Program recipients to apply for a Shuttered Venues grant, and then deduct the value of their PPP loan from the applicant’s maximum grant amount. An additional $840 million in funding will build the capacity of SBA to administer relief programs, including Shuttered Venue grants.
  • Paycheck Protection Program: An additional $7.25 billion will be added to the PPP resources, and eligibility changes will allow nonprofits with no more than 500 employees at each location to be eligible for forgivable loans.
  • National Endowment for the Arts COVID-19 Relief: The NEA will receive an additional $135 million in dedicated funding, with 40% allocated to states and regions and the remainder supporting direct grants to organizations “that support organizations’ programming and general operating expenses to cover up to 100 percent of the costs of the programs which the grants support, to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the coronavirus.” New dedicated COVID-19 relief funding has also been included for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit: The refundable payroll tax credits that are currently available in the first two quarters of 2021 will be extended through the remainder of the calendar year.
  • Families First Paid Leave and Credits: Paid sick and family leave provisions are expanded and refundable payroll tax credits extended through September 30, 2021.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: Pandemic Unemployment benefits, including the $100 supplement for those with a mix of 1099 and W-2 earnings, are extended through September 6, 2021. Pandemic Unemployment Compensation will be available at $300 per week, through September 6, 2021. The first $10,200 of unemployment insurance benefits will be non-taxable in 2021 for households with an adjusted gross income under $150,000.

  • Relief for Nonprofits Self-Insuring Unemployment Benefits: Some nonprofits self-insure unemployment benefits rather than pay state unemployment taxes. The federal government covers 50% of nonprofit liability under the CARES Act, and this relief was extended through March 14, 2021 in the December relief package. This bill continues the 50% coverage through March 31, and then starting April 1 federal relief will cover 75% of nonprofit liability, available through September 6, 2021.

New York City-Specific Relief

Our NYC based members may find these resources helpful:

Additional Resources

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