July 13, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the U.S. Congress is entering into negotiations over the content of the next urgently-needed major relief package. Your orchestra’s advocacy is essential alongside the broader arts and nonprofit sectors. Among the many proposals are ones that may narrow or target eligibility for relief, which makes it all the more important to speak up before the broad direction of the bill is set and comes to a vote later this month or in early August. We must tell Congress how critical federal relief and charitable giving are for the arts workforce and nonprofit sector when it comes to supporting jobs and serving communities, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

This week please make time to join the arts and nonprofit sectors in a coordinated campaign to Congress to: 

  • Ensure that new provisions related to COVID-19 relief, refundable tax credits, and forgivable loans will be available to arts organizations of all sizes so they can support the arts workforce and serve communities.
  • Immediately expand the duration of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and improve guidelines for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance implementation so that musicians and other gig economy workers with mixed W-2 and 1099 income sources receive full, not partial, support.
  • Increase charitable giving by expanding the above-the-line, universal charitable deduction tax incentive for non-itemizers to one-third of the standard deduction, as supported in S. 4032/H.R. 7324.
  • Support a complete education for all students through federal education funding and distance learning resources and adopt an emergency broadband benefit to support more equitable participation in artistic, educational, and cultural activity taking place online.
  • Support nonprofits that self-fund unemployment insurance by increasing the federal unemployment insurance reimbursement for self-funded nonprofits to 100% of costs

These are just some of many requests we are advancing, such as expanded NEA emergency grant support, pension relief, and policies that will support public and workplace health and safety measures.  

Please consider the following actions this week:

  1. Visit the League’s COVID-19 advocacy campaign for further details, talking points, and a sample letter to Congress. Don’t worry if you’ve already participated before: weighing in regularly is a good thing!
  2. Personalize your communications, using the points above and others in our campaign to specifically identify your orchestra and your community’s needs.
  3. Share this message with your stakeholders and consider partnering with others in your community to make your voice heard.
  4. Keep the League informed of responses you hear so we can support your advocacy efforts and coordinate our efforts.

Leveraging Strength in Numbers

The League is a partnering with national nonprofit organizations from across the sector (PDF), engaging in a week of action, and is also partnered with more than 60 national arts and cultural organizations advancing policy priorities to support the arts (PDF). By taking action this week, you will be joining your voice with others speaking up to influence COVID-19 relief opportunities.

Thank you for joining us in advocacy!

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