Weekly Advocacy Alert, December 23: Sign on to Demand Secretary of Arts and Culture in Biden-Harris Administration!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Weekly Advocacy Alert, December 23: Sign on to Demand Secretary of Arts and Culture in Biden-Harris Administration!



An image of Kamala Harris speaking into a microphone and Joe Biden
Photo: Kamala Harris by Getty Images, Joe Biden by Reuters

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.



*There will be no advocacy alert next week. Advocacy alerts will resume on January 6th, 2021. Field-wide calls resume on January 7th.


1. Congress passed a relief deal on an approximately $900 billion relief bill. To learn more, read this NY Times article. Full text of legislation is here, all 5,593 pages. This detailed overview by the League of American Orchestras, provides information on key provisions including information on Save our Stages and the Paycheck Protection Program. President Trump has not yet signed this bill and is calling for an increase in stimulus checks, Washington Post reports.

2. Sign On Open Letter to voice support for calls on AFTA to increase transparency, accountability, and progress toward racial equity. For more context read Activists call for resignation of arts CEO tied to Biden transition team

3. Read Dance/USA Legislative Update and 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.


1. Sign on in support of A11154 (Paulin), a bill to ensure the constitutionally protected personal and private data such as names, addresses and telephone numbers of those who contribute to 501(c)(3) nonprofits are protected from unnecessary disclosure, and remove the double-reporting obligation the the Department of State of organizations registered with the Charities Bureau. 



2. In Executive Order 202.70 Governor Cuomo extended the state’s moratorium on commercial evictions through Jan. 1, 2021. 

3. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration is moving ahead with a planned increase in the minimum wage, the New York Post reports.

4. Last week Governor Cuomo launched the NY Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership for 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 nonprofits, and participation is voluntary.

5. The deadline to sign up for a health plan through NY State of Health has been extended. New Yorkers have two more weeks (until December 31) to enroll in a health plan that begins on January 1. Visit their website or call 1-855-355-5777 to enroll.


1. Use Dance Rising’s advocacy template to introduce yourself to your elected officials and advocate for the Dance sector. 

2. The NYC LMI Storefront Loan from SBS is an interest-free loan up to $100,000 to help storefront businesses located in low-to-moderate income (LMI) areas of New York City restart or continue operations after experiencing challenges from COVID-19. Nonprofits are eligible and do not have to have a storefront.

3. Participate in the UMass Amherst Study on “COVID-19 Response Policies and NYC Arts: Access and Impacts” research project. The primary investigator is Dr. Brenda K. Bushouse. It seeks to gather the collective experiences of how COVID-19 mandated closures are affecting NYC nonprofit arts organizations, whether the federal grant and loan programs provided the relief your organization needed, and what your organization needs to survive this pandemic. The survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes.

4. 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! 



5. COVID-19 Updates 
     a. New York launched a new website about the COVID-19 vaccine with everything you need to know.     
     b. The statewide positivity rate was 5.38%.
     c. 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
     d. Download the COVID Alert NY app today! 
     e. 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

6. 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.

7. Dance/NYC hosts weekly dance field-wide calls to address our questions, needs, and plans for the future as a field. Calls are Thursdays from 4:00 pm. – 5:00 p.m. Register here. The next call will be January 7th 2021. Last week DCLA Commissioner Gonzalo Casals joined our call. Read the notes from the call here.

8. 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.


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