Weekly Advocacy Alert, November 18th: #OpenCultureNYC

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Weekly Advocacy Alert, November 18th: #OpenCultureNYC


Weekly Advocacy Alert, November 18th:

An image of the NYC skyline. The East River along with Brooklyn and Queens can be seen in in the background as the sun orange sun sets in the background, adorned with partly cloudy skies, creating a blue and orange melange of color.

Photo by Quintin Gellar

Use #OpenCultureNYC on social media to share stories of how the Coronavirus Pandemic is impacting individual artists, organizations and the dance sector. Engage your representatives in the conversation to make them aware of the challenges and hardships the dance community is facing. Use this social media toolkit to help guide your posts.

**NOTE: The November 25 issue of the Advocacy Alert will be cancelled.**


1. The incoming Biden Administration has announced their Transition Advisory Board and Federal Agency Review Teams, including an Arts and Humanities team. While litigation is ongoing, major news outlets have unanimously projected Vice President Joe Biden as the presidential President-Elect and Senator Kamala Harris as Vice President-Elect with more than 270 Electoral College votes.

2. Dance/USA is working with its partners across the arts and nonprofit sectors to engage the Biden-Harris transition on various issues of interest for the dance community. Dance/USA is a signatory on a couple of support letters: 1) Charitable Giving Coalition to support preservation and an increase in federal incentives for charitable contributions and 2) #Relief4Charities Coalition to support several issues, including increased federal incentives for charitable contributions, extending and expanding the Paycheck Protection Program, and extending and expanding federal enhanced unemployment relief.

3. Use Performing Arts Alliance Advocacy Center to contact Congress to request relief funding by end of the year. Please, keep your elected officials informed about concerns and losses that are not being addressed and tell them about the arts' unique capacity to support the U.S. economy, uplift the human spirit, and provide lifelong learning.

4. Join Be An #ArtsHero for a Dance Workers Town Hall! Co-organizers, dance industry professionals, and dance workers from across the nation in a forum where we share resources for the dance community and ways to save our Arts & Culture sector.

5. In an effort to gather supporting information behind Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in excess of $2 million, the Small Business Administration (SBA) recently released these questionnaires: Form 3509: Paycheck Protection Program Loan Necessity Questionnaire (For-Profit Borrowers) and Form 3510: Paycheck Protection Program Loan Necessity Questionnaire (Non-Profit Borrowers). These are intended to support the borrowers’ good-faith certification surrounding the economic need for funding pursuant to Sec. 1102 of the CARES Act. The SBA is asking the public to respond by November 25.

6. The Nonprofit Coalition sent a letter signed by 41 national nonprofits, to President-Elect Biden on November 9. The letter encourages Biden to “address both the vital services provided by nonprofits and the need for targeted relief as soon as possible.” It attaches an updated version of the Nonprofit Community Letter calling for continued emergency funding programs, extending the PPP program, providing low-cost loans to mid-side and larger nonprofits, strengthening charitable giving incentives, and providing full (100%) unemployment benefit reinsurance for nonprofits.

7. A victory for DACA recipients. A federal district court is requiring the government to process first-time DACA applications, two-year renewals, and advance parole requests. More information is available here


1. New tax filings requirement to the Department of State. Starting January 2021, most nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations registered with the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau will have to file their full federal tax filing with the NY Department of State, including the names and addresses of major donors reported on the 990 Schedule B. This is a rew reporting obligation that was passed in the FY21 state budget legislation (Part UU of Ch. 55 of 2020, amending Exec. Law 172-b). The Department of State has not issued guidance on this new requirement. Nonprofit New York and Lawyers Alliance for New York will hold a policy forum on the new reporting requirements Wednesday, December 16.

2. Tell the NY State Senate about the dance sector! Following the NY State Senate's Roundtable on COVID's Impact on Arts and Culture. NY cultural organizations are invited to submit written testimony on the challenges arts and culture are facing. Last day to submit statements!

3. New York State launched a new web application to help New Yorkers find state services and benefits. The "Find Services" web application was developed to assist New Yorkers in locating appropriate services with one streamlined web application. 

4. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) issued draft revisions to state lobbying regulations, which propose a new requirement to report lobbying by a coalition even when no funding exchanges between members. The reporting requirements extend to “unstructured” coalitions, triggered by the $5,000 threshold by coalition members. JCOPE is requesting comments on the regulations via email by Dec. 25, 2020.


1. For the ongoing Coronavirus Dance Impact Study, Dance/NYC is tracking studio & company closures to gain a better understanding of the financial impact the pandemic is taking on the dance sector. This data will be used to better document this historic time and to be able to advocate for aid to policy makers. Please email any closures that you know of in the dance community to research@dance.nyc. You do not need to be in charge of the organization to send a notification as Dance/NYC works to compile a list of closures.

2. The 2021-22 nonprofit property tax exemption renewal period has begun. All nonprofits organizations must now renew the benefit annually. Applicants can follow the instructions to log-in to the renewal application. The renewal tool is new this year and requires the user to have an NYC.ID to start the process. Users who do not have the NYC.ID can click here for a quick guide on how to get one. More information is available here.

3. COVID-19 Updates 
     a. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new 10 pm curfew for bars, restaurants and gyms. 
     b. The positivity rate in the "micro-cluster" focus areas was 4.58%. The statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 2.29%. Total hospitalizations were at 1,737. To find out where the “micro-cluster” zones are, and to see what restrictions apply to each zone, please visit www.nyc.gov/covidzone.
     c. Download the COVID Alert NY app today! 
     d. Remember to follow the “core four”—wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, stay home if you’re sick—and get tested! For information on free testing, personal protective equipment and more, visit the NYC Mayor's Office Coronavirus page

4. Engaging in a community action in support of dance workers? Submit to be listed on the #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Campaign Activations page. Visit the page for events, actions, and platforms that are independently led by the NYC dance community.

5. Dance/NYC hosts weekly dance field-wide calls to address our questions, needs, and plans for the future as a field. Calls occur every Thursday, 4:00 pm. – 5:00 p.m. Register

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Ad for Movement Research's Festival event entitled GPS Chats featuring artists from Croatia, Iran, and the USA.

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