COVID-19 Advocacy Efforts

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As a field focused on bringing people together, here's how we are responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Advocacy Update

Updated 5:45 p.m. (EDT), July 7, 2021

Today we met with the White House to convey the urgency of delivering and disbursing Shuttered Venue Operators Grant awards as soon as possible to live performance venues, organizations, promoters, and talent representatives. We continue to meet daily with the SBA on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program. You can read our latest update here.

On Tuesday, the SBA released its latest program report. While many numbers have since been updated, it does provide more detail that may be of interest. The SBA also released the most recent awardee data.

APAP wants to know the status of your application and what your experience has been like. Take this short survey.

Have a question to which you cannot find an answer? Contact the SBA at SVOGrant@sba.gov.

APAP continues to advocate for you. We are stronger together.

Advocacy Action

APAP has joined the broader arts and nonprofit sectors in advocating for the performing arts booking, touring and presenting field in the wake of COVID-19 closures, event cancellations, and the diverse needs of APAP members during this time.

Looking for information on U.S. federal Coronavirus relief? Visit APAP's dedicated relief page.

  • Ongoing: As APAP has done for months, we continue to monitor daily and meet with national field leaders weekly on the implementation of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.

  • On June 10, 2021, APAP called on the SBA to immediately distribute SVOG funds in this nationwide press release.

  • On May 26, 2021, we sent a letter to The White House urging them to assist in delivering the $16.25 billion of urgently needed funding to our field, to improve communications and transparency to applicants, and to clarify the supplemental grant process.

  • On May 19, 2021, we submitted public comments on President Biden's Executive Order "Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans" where we advocated for immediate action to expedite and improve visa processing and other requests that would support international artist exchange.

  • On May 18, 2021, APAP joined the Vax4Live campaign, an initiative focused on raising awareness on the available vaccines as increased adoption is the quickest way to return to live events as safely as possible. Stay tuned for how you can join this movement in next week's Spotlights newsletter.

  • On May 17, 2021, in collaboration with our advocacy colleagues, we issued a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking for an opportunity to engage on issues and policies on international cultural exchange, including increasing access of artists and arts entities to the National Interest Exception.

  • On May 11, 2021, with the National Independent Venue Association, Event Safety Alliance, Coalition of Performing Arts Centers, and National Independent Talent Organization and many others, we launched the "Safe In Sound" reopening guidance checklist for the live entertainment industry as an early step toward a national recovery of our field. You can endorse this checklist here.

  • On April 16, 2021, APAP met with White House representatives in a SVOG Stakeholder briefing session, to aggressively advocate for technical fixes, as well as substantive corrections, following the initial launch, and them temporary closing of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal.

  • Throughout February, March and April, APAP remained in close contact with its partners and the Small Business Administration as the SBA began to roll out its guidance on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. APAP continues to guide, inform and shape the delivery of this vital program.

  • On February 23, 2021, APAP and the Coalition of Save Our Stages Stakeholders sent a letter urging the White House to provide whatever approvals necessary to the Small Business Administration so that the program can begin delivering urgently needed assistance to our members.

  • On February 2, 2021, APAP along with its advocacy partners advanced a letter on The Arts and Cultural Sector: Federal Policy Actions to the Biden-Harris Administration with policy recommendations to help accelerate the process of mending America’s social fabric, ending systemic racism, and creating equitable economic growth by promoting and investing in the arts and its intersecting public policies such as health, education, pay equity, parental leave, and gig worker protections.

  • On January 28, 2021, APAP joined field leaders in sending a coalition letter urging President Biden, Vice President Harris and Senate leaders to seat a 5th FCC commissioner in order to advance policy favorable to arts and culture, as well as democratic values, including ensuring net neutrality and expanding broadband access.

  • On January 27, 2021, APAP endorsed the Nonprofit Coalition Letter to the President and Congressional Leaders organized by the National Council on Nonprofits.

  • The week of January 11, 2021, APAP endorsed To Rebuild and Reimagine The United States Post-Pandemic, We Must Put Creative Workers to Work, a combined summary relief/recovery proposal led by Americans for the Arts and Be An #ArtsHero. 

  • On August 3, 2020, APAP endorsed the bipartisan "Save Our Stages" Act that would make available $10 billion in dedicated relief to the live arts and entertainment industry that will benefit many of our commercial and non-profit members, including venues, producers, promoters and agents. Read more.

  • On July 20, 2020APAP joined many industry organizations in support of the Mixed Earner Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Act, ensuring many arts workers who receive both traditional (W-2) and independent (e.g, 1099) income can fully access Unemployment Assistance provided by the CARES Act.

  • On July 13, 2020, APAP endorsed the National Council for Nonprofits letter, joining 400+ organizations asking that Congress address specific needs of non-profits in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.

  • On July 6, 2020, APAP joined in endorsing the U.S. Events and Entertainment Coalition letter, joining with a diverse group of companies and organizations from the interconnected mass participation events industry.

  • On July 3, 2020the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act, which extends the deadline to apply for the currently remaining funds in the Paycheck Protection Program to August 8, 2020, was signed into law.

  • On June 5, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act was signed into law to provide much-needed flexibility for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers to get their loans fully forgiven. 

  • On May 22, 2020, APAP, along with the field leadership of the Cultural Advocacy Group (CAG), issued to Congress the following statement, which includes key talking points.

  • On April 24, 2020a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill to recapitalize SBA loan programs, as well as provide funding for expanded COVID-19 testing and support for hospitals, was signed into law.

  • On April 16, 2020, APAP, along with the field leadership of the Cultural Advocacy Group (CAG), issued to Congress the following statement, which includes key talking points.

  • On March 27, 2020a bipartisan $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. Learn more about relief that directly impacts arts organizations, artists and arts workers.

  • On March 20, 2020, APAP, along with the field leadership of the Cultural Advocacy Group (CAG), issued to Congress the following statement, which includes key talking points.

It's very important that we continue to make the case for performing arts organizations, arts workers, and artists. Our collective advocacy efforts as a field are working. Your stories are being heard. We thank you for your efforts and urge you to continue to engage your local Congressional staff directly and use the talking points from the above statements.