GBCA and Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA), are keeping a close eye on the details surrounding the latest rounds of relief funding from the State of Maryland and the Federal government.
On December 27, 2020, the $900 billion “Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act” (Economic Aid Act) was signed into law along with a $1.4 trillion federal omnibus FY 21 appropriations bill. In addition to the advocacy efforts of Americans for the Arts, other groups have been working tirelessly to secure support. For example, the National Independent Venue Association created the Save our Stages campaign, the substance of which has happily been included in the latest COVID-19 Relief Bill. This bill authorizes the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make grants to eligible live venue operators, producers, promoters, or talent representatives to address the economic effects of the pandemic on certain live venues.
Advocacy for state funding of the Maryland State Arts Council will be in full swing at the opening of the General Assembly tomorrow. Although we are operating under pandemic conditions, MCA’s Maryland Arts Day will proceed virtually, so make plans to participate and attend. The event will take place on February 11, 2021, from 9:00 to 11:00 am. On the upside, you won’t have to battle traffic, parking, or the weather! But seriously, our community has the opportunity to make this the most well-attended Arts Day ever! Register NOW and join the hundreds of advocates fighting for the arts.
Why is protecting the arts and humanities so important? This sector, often the heart and soul of a community, represents 4% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In Maryland, the sector suffered $135 million in losses since mid-April including $25 million in earned revenue (primarily ticket sales). Over 21,000 jobs have been lost including full-time, part-time, and contract positions. (Sources: MCA, Maryland State Arts Council, MD Department of Commerce) Public support is critical to stemming the tide of losses and helping the arts survive when we move into recovery.
Americans for the Arts is offering a workshop: Learn How to Tap the Latest COVID-19 Relief Funding for the Arts that includes information about the new round of Payroll Protection Loans. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is presenting its own free webinar this Thursday, January 14th at 3:00 pm to provide a preliminary overview of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants to help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Register as soon as possible through their Eventbrite link. Coronavirus relief information is also available on the SBA website.
In other news, artists have just 9 days left to enter and still be eligible for the 2021 Baker Artists Awards. GBCA is committed to making the process equitable and accessible to artists of all kinds. If you need help honing your vision for a portfolio, or navigating technical aspects of the site, you can sign-up for an individualized 30 minute Working Session including dedicated assistance and feedback. Click here to reserve your spot! Please help spread the word. Artists with an active Baker Artist Portfolio on January 21st at 5:00 pm will automatically be considered for an award.
All my best,