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$2 Trillion Stimulus Package Includes Support for the Arts

Congress's emergency relief bill includes provisions for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kennedy Center.

Congress has passed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package, including support for the arts community.
(© Tricia Baron)

The $2 trillion emergency stimulus package, passed by Congress and expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump, includes several important provisions supporting the nation's arts and culture industry.

The legislation includes support for nonprofit cultural organizations, state and local arts and humanities agencies, and economic relief provisions for independent contractors, "gig economy" workers and artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses working in the creative economy.

Federal arts funding provisions include $25 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. A draft of the legislation has stipulated that 40% of the money for the NEA is directed to go to state and regional art organizations, and 60% for direct grants.

There will also be Expanded Unemployment Insurance (UI) that includes coverage for furloughed workers, freelancers, and "gig economy" workers. The bill increases UI payments by $600 a week for four months, in addition to what one claims under a state unemployment program.