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Thousands of Theaters Join Call to “Save Our Stages”

  • Live music venues call on fans to join call to “Support Our Stages” with bipartisan $10 billion relief bill
  • Theaters have been hard-hit due to show cancellations and a lack of viable revenue alternatives during COVID-19 pandemic
  • National Independent Venue Association estimates nine out of 10 theaters may close in the next couple of months if situation continues

Thousands of live music venues across the nation are urging people to voice their support for bipartisan legislation to assist theaters and performing arts spaces through the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Independent Venue Association, which includes more than 2,000 members including 42 in Connecticut, warns that 90 percent of independent performing arts venues may not survive unless they receive relief in the next month or two.

NIVA says that theaters were among the first businesses to close during the pandemic and will be among the last to reopen. The businesses also face a massive loss of revenue due to scrapped ticket sales, few options for alternate revenue streams, and considerable overhead; many venues were ineligible for funding under the Paycheck Protection Program. NVIA also holds that theaters are a major economic driver for other businesses, generating $12 in spending at local businesses for every $1 spent on a ticket.

NIVA has voiced their support for the Save Our Stages Act, a $10 billion bipartisan bill that would provide grants to assist with payroll, rent, utilities, and other expenses. They have also encouraged the passage of the Restart Act, which would create a new loan program to cover the payrolls, benefits, and fixed expenses of small businesses, including arts and entertainment venues, that have seen a significant loss in revenue during the pandemic.

In Connecticut, a request has been sent to Governor Ned Lamont’s advocating that $10 million in state funds be allocated to six major performing arts centers across the state to help them stay in business.


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