Weekly Advocacy Alert, December 16: Commissioner Gonzalo Casals Attends Field-Wide Call This Week!

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Weekly Advocacy Alert, December 16: Commissioner Gonzalo Casals Attends Field-Wide Call This Week!


Weekly Advocacy Alert, December 16:
Commissioner Gonzalo Casals Attends
Field-Wide Call This Week! 

Gonzalo Casals wears a suit and tie and blue rimmed glasses and stands proudly facing the camera. He stands before what looks to be a painting or photograph of a sailor

Photo of Gonzalo Casals by AMP News

Dance/NYC hosts weekly dance field-wide calls to address our questions, needs, and plans for the future as a field. This week’s call will be from 4:00 pm. – 6:00 p.m. Register here. This week we encourage you to show up to make your voice heard to the Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Gonzalo Casals. Share what you are doing, your needs, and present ideas for how the DCLA can support you!


1. Sign on to this open letter to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris asking for a Cabinet-level agency and Secretary of Arts and Culture. 



2. Biden receives more than 270 electoral college votes affirming his win. Read The New York Times article for more information

3. FDA and CDC approve Pfizer COVID vaccine and can now be administered in the US. Vaccine roll out has begun

4. Use Dance/USA’s l*me-duck session action alert for you to urge Congress to act immediately to provide more relief. It only takes 2-3 minutes and your messages will automatically go to your appropriate Congressional delegation. The deadline for Congress to act on relief framework is this Friday December 18th. This contains PPP and Save Our Stages (SOS) Act proposed legislation and relief for state/local governments and broad liability protections. 
     a. Dance/NYC is using “l*me-duck” to acknowledge that although this is the currently used vocabulary, the word “l*me” is ableist in its meaning and tone. 

5. Congress passed and the president signed a bipartisan continuing resolution (CR) (H.R.8900) to fund the federal government through December 18th. A funding bill needs to be passed by Congress and signed by President Trump by December 18th, or else the federal government will shut down. Congress is trying to pass a bill that will fund the government until September 30th, 2021.

6. The U.S. Secretary of Education has extended federal student loan relief established under the CARES Act (passed in March) until January 31, 2021. 


1. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and others issued a letter urging Congress to provide stimulus funding. Read the open letter here

2. New York is launching the New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership. This program will provide small businesses and their landlords with informational resources and pro bono assistance to help both parties reach mutually-beneficial lease workout agreements. This service is available to all New York State small businesses and landlords, and participation is voluntary. Learn more here

3. Sign on to #FundExcludedWorkers. This legislation is to tax billionaires to create emergency income, including retroactive payments for all excluded New Yorkers. Organizations can sign on here. Individuals can sign on here


1. The Open Culture bill 2068-A passed the vote in the City Council allowing for outdoor dance performances to begin in March 2021. For more information on  Open Culture, read this Daily News article. Check out notes from last week’s Field-wide call where we learned details on the Open Culture Bill from Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. 

2. Dance/NYC has been working with Nonprofit New York and coalition partners advocating to raise the threshold as a part of the A Place at the Table campaign. The campaign seeks to reduce barriers for nonprofits to engage in legislative advocacy.  We need your support! Nonprofits can sign on as a supporter of Int. 2148-2020 to let New York City know you support nonprofit advocacy! 




3. COVID-19 Updates 
     a. Cuomo bans indoor dining in NYC, AM New York reports
     b. New York City created COVID-19 ‘vaccine command center’ to guide distribution, AM New York reports
     c. The statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 4.98%.
     d. State COVID zone restrictions remain in effect in certain parts of the city. To find out where the zones are and to see what restrictions apply to each zone, please visit www.nyc.gov/covidzone
     e. Download the COVID Alert NY app today! 
     f. 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. 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.


• Dance/NYC Coronavirus Preparedness Resources.
• Dance/NYC Racial Justice Resources. 

Visit dance.nyc/news for more information.

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