Make Performing Artists Voices Heard In Congress
Nearly four months ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, a comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill that would provide extended unemployment insurance benefits, hazard pay, an emergency infectious disease standard, and safety measures for schools to open safely. But the Senate has failed to pass the HEROES Act, and working musicians continue to suffer.
This public health crisis is far from over. When the pandemic subsides, performances for live audiences will be the last thing to return. While musicians, stage crew, and countless others face a long road without our key source of income, congress is debating our survival.
Creative professionals and musicians continue to experience extreme, sustained financial losses and need increased federal COVID-19 economic relief.
The nearly 12 million workers employed by the industry were the first to lose work, and will likely be the last to return. Since March 2020:
- 95% of live events have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
- 96% of organizations have cut staff and/or wages.
- 77% of people in the live events industry have lost 100% of their income, including 97% of 1099 workers.
The September 1st Red Alert Day of Action is all about making our voices heard in the halls of Congress and around this country. Will you join us and urge elected officials to pass a comprehensive set of provisions that help protect the people who make American culture happen?
What behind-the-scenes workers need:
- Extend the “CARES” Act’s unemployment insurance provisions for as long as the health crisis persists. #SaveThe600
- Preserve workers’ healthcare and ensure that no-one loses their benefits by passing a 100 percent COBRA premium subsidy to keep families insured on their job-based healthcare plan and extend eligibility to 36 months.
- Ensure the safety of entertainment workers as states allow workplaces to re-open by ordering OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard that establishes an employer’s responsibility to protect workers from infection. Under current standards no such obligation exists which leaves the door open and put workers and their families at risk.
- Protect the healthy pension plans and earned pension checks of entertainment workers by allowing multiemployer plans to implement policies that safeguarded pensions after the Great Recession, such as freezing zone status, smoothing investment losses, and doing no harm to healthy pension plans.
- Provide direct economic support for organizations in the arts, entertainment, and media industries with appropriate workforce restoration requirements to get people back to work when it is safe to do so.
- Update the Qualified Performing Artist tax deduction, allowing creative professionals to keep more of our hard-earned money by deducting necessary business expenses from their taxes, now due in July.
- Make sure workers in all states have access to COVID-19 relief by demanding that states ramp up and improve their unemployment claim processing.
Musicians and people who work in the live events industry need support from Federal and State governments as soon as possible, or we risk doing permanent damage to an industry that has an economic impact of over $1 Trillion annually on the US Economy.
Relief can’t wait! Send a Letter to Your Representatives in Congress Today.