May 28, 2020

Kaine & Blackburn Call On Senate Leadership To Support Live Entertainment Industry Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) led a letter signed by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Doug Jones (D-AL), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) urging Senate leadership to include targeted relief to support workers in the live entertainment industry in future coronavirus response legislation. Coming into the crisis, more than 60,000 Virginians worked in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry, many of them in jobs at or dependent on the more than 300 music venues, performing arts facilities, and convention and conference centers across the Commonwealth.

“The workforce behind live entertainment was among the quickest hit, with thousands of events across the country canceled in the early days of the pandemic. These cancelations have been critical in slowing the spread of the virus, but have also come at significant cost to workers at concert venues, stadiums, arenas, theaters and more.  We expect this industry will continue to be disproportionately impacted. Even as the current stay-at-home orders are phased down, there will continue to be restrictions and limitations imposed upon large gatherings for an extended period,” the Senators wrote.

“The resulting postponements and cancelations are causing economic hardship to the millions of Americans employed by the live entertainment industry.  These include the workers who set-up, produce, manage and coordinate live events all across the country.  These are concert technicians, grounds crew, ushers, food concession workers, security personnel, call center employees, ticket handlers and so many more.  These workers were among the first to have their jobs disrupted, and will be among the last to return to work,” the Senators continued.

The full text of the Senators’ letter sent today is available here and below:

 

May 28, 2020

 

The Honorable Mitch McConnell                                     The Honorable Chuck Schumer

Majority Leader                                                                   Minority Leader

U.S. Senate                                                                            U.S. Senate

S-230, The Capitol                                                                 S-221, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515                                                         Washington, DC 20515

 

 

Dear Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer,

We commend your bipartisan leadership and cooperation in responding to the health and economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.  In that spirit, we write to urge the inclusion of targeted relief for the live entertainment industry in future legislation.

The workforce behind live entertainment was among the quickest hit, with thousands of events across the country canceled in the early days of the pandemic.  These cancelations have been critical in slowing the spread of the virus, but have also come at significant cost to workers at concert venues, stadiums, arenas, theaters and more.  We expect this industry will continue to be disproportionately impacted. Even as the current stay-at-home orders are phased down, there will continue to be restrictions and limitations imposed upon large gatherings for an extended period.

The resulting postponements and cancelations are causing economic hardship to the millions of Americans employed by the live entertainment industry.  These include the workers who set-up, produce, manage and coordinate live events all across the country.  These are concert technicians, grounds crew, ushers, food concession workers, security personnel, call center employees, ticket handlers and so many more.  These workers were among the first to have their jobs disrupted, and will be among the last to return to work.

While many live event workers and employers will benefit from the provisions established by the CARES Act, this relief will not be adequate for many others.  Moreover, these employers and workers will not be able to return to pre-crisis business immediately, or even for months to come.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.  We look forward to working with you to ensure the survival of this critically important sector of the economy. 

Sincerely,

 

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