New York Senator Chuck Schumer partnered with the Broadway League on September 18 to renew the call for the Save Our Stages Act, a $10B bipartisan bill that would provide federal aid to the Broadway industry, which is shutdown for the remainder of 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Act would provide grants of up to $12 million to eligible live venue operators, producers, promoters, or talent representatives to help cover six months of operating expenses and offset the economic impact of COVID-19. The grants could be used for payroll costs, rent, mortgage, utilities, and personal protective equipment, among other needs.
“Today we are fighting hard to keep stages alive, stories told and shows going on,” Schumer said at the outdoor press conference in Times Square. “The Big Apple’s live venues are the lifeblood of New York… our pulse and energy. Every one of them, from the large stages of Broadway to the small venues in Brooklyn could go under if they don’t get help. Why? Very simple: these venues were the first to close under COVID and will be the last to open.”
Disney Theatrical Group president and Broadway League Chairman of the Board Thomas Schumacher, Tony winner Laura Benanti and more were also present to voice their support of the bill.
Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin took the podium after Schumer saying, “The Broadway League is working to restart the industry, but we simply can’t do it by flipping on a lightswitch.” St. Martin went on explain that with the help of the Save Our Stages Act, funding could be provided for rehearsals, the refurbishment of venues and more.