Theater News

Save Our Stages Funded as Congress Reaches Covid-19 Relief Plan

The deal was reached on Sunday night.

Times Square
Times Square
(© Tricia Baron)

Congressional leaders have reached a long-awaited agreement to pass a much-needed $900 billion stimulus deal, sending aid and funding to the American people and businesses affected by the pandemic. Part of that deal includes the funding of the Save Our Stages Act, which will provide relief to live performances venues that were closed in March.

Save Our Stages was introduced in July by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and into the House by Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Roger Williams (R-TX). The relief plan includes approximately $15 billion in SBA grants for "theater operators and small venue operators," according to Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who spoke on the Congress floor Sunday night after the deal was reached.

Senator Klobuchar said on Twitter, "We did it! The relief package includes my bill with @JohnCornyn w/all the funding we requested to #SaveOurStages. Thanks to musicians, fans & friends for the grassroots work to convince people in D.C. that music & theaters & venues are key to our American economy & culture." Also via Twitter, Schumer added, "We secured the #SaveOurStages Act for indie music venues, Broadway, comedy clubs, indie movie theaters, and more. These are people's jobs and livelihoods, and they need this help now. I won't stop fighting for them."

"We're thrilled that Congress has heard the call of shuttered independent venues across the country and provided us a crucial lifeline by including the Save Our Stages Act in the COVID-19 Relief Bill," said Dayna Frank, owner and CEO of First Avenue Productions and board president of the National Independent Venue Association. "We're also incredibly grateful that this bill provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which will help the millions of people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during this economic crisis. We urge swift passage of this legislation, which will assist those in the greatest need and ensure the music lives on for generations to come."

Final votes on the deal are expected today.