An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (NY only)

Reopen Live Arts Events & Provide Venues with Support

12 so far! Let’s get to 25 signers!

Currently New Yorkers can go to the gym, bowl, gamble at casinos and eat inside restaurants. Gatherings of up to 50 people can interact without any oversight or contact tracing. New Yorkers can head to Bryant Park, for example, for ping pong tournaments, thai chi classes and bingo. Yet these same people cannot buy tickets to sit 6 feet apart at an outdoor live performance, run by a licensed venue that provides contact tracing and controlled ingress and egress. I write today to ask that you reconcile this absurdity by allowing arts venues to resume outdoor ticketed shows, as well as indoor events that conform to guidelines applied to indoor dining. This small lifeline could help stanch the bleeding, as the live event industry is experiencing upwards of 90% revenue loss. Additionally, rent relief and grants would help ensure the survival of independent venues. Without immediate intervention live comedy, arts and music is at risk of extinction. The loss would also take a toll on our local economy. Independent venues are economic multipliers, community builders, and beloved institutions. A Chicago study estimated that for every ticket sold, $12 is spent in neighboring restaurants, hotels, and retail shops. Venues drive revenue to other businesses, but also what would our communities look like without them? They wouldn’t look like New York, that’s for sure. Please reopen arts venues today. Provide them with needed rent relief and grant funding. Doing so would ensure that independent venues – arguably the industry hardest hit by the pandemic – and the independent artists, staff and communities they support can survive this pandemic and rebuild. Thank you.

First sent on September 17, 2020 by NY Comedy Club Coalition

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