Weekly Advocacy Alert, March 10: The National Endowment for the Arts is calling for your input in their strategic planning!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Weekly Advocacy Alert, March 10: The National Endowment for the Arts is calling for your input in their strategic planning!


Weekly Advocacy Alert, March 10:
 The National Endowment for the Arts is
calling for your input in their strategic planning!

Logo for the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is developing a strategic plan for FY 2022-2026, and needs your input! In particular, the NEA is welcoming thoughts on the drafting of its strategic framework, which must include the following elements. (For reference, see the Arts Endowment’s FY 2018-2022 strategic plan. The agency’s current strategic framework is on page 4.)

• Mission
• Vision
• Strategic goals and objectives

Please visit this page on the Arts Endowment website for specific guidance on providing comments, which will be accepted through March 26, 2021. Comments or questions should be directed to Sunil Iyengar at [email protected].



1. The Senate passed the Biden $1.9 trillion stimulus bill - The American Rescue Plan Act 2021 (H.R. 13-19). This advances a sweeping pandemic aid package that would provide billions of dollars for unemployed Americans, struggling families and businesses, schools and the distribution of coronavirus vaccines, The New York Times reports. The bill returns to the House for approval. 

2. Dance/USA urges its members and interested stakeholders to lean in with their voices through its current action alert. This is to urge passage of the pandemic relief through the The American Rescue Plan Act 2021(H.R. 13-19) which would immediately provide further support to the performing arts community.

3. Dance/USA announced Coronavirus Impact Survey part II. This survey is designed to analyze the issues the dance sector has faced and are still facing as a result of the pandemic. It has been tailored for individuals working in dance (e.g., dancer, choreographer, independent arts professional, etc.) and organizational dancemakers (e.g., companies, collectives). The deadline to participate is April 9. 



4. Small Business Administration (SBA) posted the most recently updated FAQs and a new video for the Shuttered Venues Operating Grant (SVOG), formerly known as Save our Stages (SOS). The SVOG offers emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by the COVID pandemic. Also find a PDF version here. It is likely this program will begin in April, after the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application deadline of March 31. A reminder for eligible entities to secure their DUNS number and SAM registration (in order to eventually receive their grant awards) as soon as possible to avoid any processional delays. Further information can be found on the SVOG webpage

5. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application deadline is March 31. The U.S. Small Business Administration released data, as of February 28, indicating $128 billion left in the program. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319) provides an additional $7.25 billion for PPP.

Smallest businesses including arts nonprofits can get extra PPP help
• Applying for PPP as self-employed for independent contractor 

6. The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) program has been expanded and extended until July 1, 2021. Eligible entities can secure support from PPP and ERTC OR eligible entities can secure support from SVOG and ERTC programs. Eligible entities may be also able to secure a 2020 credit. The Internal Revenue Service issues recent guidance considering the ERTC program:

Guidance on the Employee Retention Credit under Section 2301 of the Coronavirus Air, Relief, and Economic Security Act, IRS Notice 2021-20, 3/1/21.
• IRS provides guidance for employers claiming the Employee Retention Credit for 2020, including eligibility rules for PPP borrowers, IRS, 3/1/21.
• Coronavirus Tax Relief for Businesses and Tax-Exempt Entities, IRS website, updated 3/1/21.



1. The New York State arts and culture sector is asking for relief and support commensurate with the creative sector’s impact on the state economy, and more importantly, with the role that it will play in leading the state’s economic recovery. Sign on using the link below to let legislators in Albany know you and/or your organization are in support of the Revive & Rebuild Proposal.




2. On March 3, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that beginning April 2, event, arts, and entertainment venues can reopen at 33% capacity, up to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors. If all attendees present proof of a negative test prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 people indoors and up to 500 people outdoors. Social distancing and face coverings will be required by all attendees, as well as strict adherence to all applicable Department of Health guidance. For more information read this New York Times article. All reopening guidelines and related news is available on the New York Forward website

3. Nonprofit New York and Community Votes released the 2021 Voter Engagement Toolkit for Nonprofits! The toolkit is a guide for nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organizations to do voter engagement work and includes updated information about New York State laws, ranked choice voting, important timelines, checklists, and more. 

4. New York State LGBTQI Virtual Advocacy Day is on Tuesday, April 6. Advocacy Day is a chance to virtually meet 300+ LGBTQI individuals and allies from around the state. Collectively advocating for policies that will lead to a more equitable state for all LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and Intersex) New Yorkers.

5. Applications for the 2021 Spring LGBTQI Advocacy Institute cohort are now open. The LGBTQI Advocacy Institute is a joint program run by Equality New York and NYC Pride & Power. 



1. Arts and Cultural Workers for the New York Health Act Town Hall Dance/NYC on Friday, April 9 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Dance/NYC is collaborating with Dance Artists’ National Collective, League of Independent Theater and Abrons Arts Center on this upcoming digital town hall. Learn more about the NY Health Act from Campaign for NY Health. Read the full text of the bill here. Arts and cultural workers are asked to share your healthcare story here.




2. Dance Artists’ National Collective is calling on dancers to support the Work Progress Administration Act. With collaborators they have put together this template/script to contact your New York representatives

3. The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has launched Fair Share NYC, offering free webinars, 1-on-1 support, technical assistance and access to lenders to help businesses interested in applying for PPP loans. Need help finding a PPP lender? Check out this list of Community Development Financial Institutions accepting applications. For more information, visit nyc.gov/PPP or call 888-SBS-4NYC to learn about Fair Share NYC. 

4. On March 1 the applications for Open Culture became available. Open Culture is a new permit type available from the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office allowing for ticketed performances. Open Culture Guidelines, List of Open Culture Spaces and new FAQs

5. On March 11 Deputy Mayor Vicki Been, Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals, and Dr. Jay Varma, Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Public Health will be guests on the [email protected] call. Dr. Varma will give an update on the City’s vaccination efforts to date and how the Biden plan affects that, herd immunity, what life could look like when, and the role the cultural community can possibly play in assisting the City with messaging. Email [email protected] to attend the call which is from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

6. Curtains Up NYC continues to offer free webinars three times per week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) to review the guidelines and application process for the federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), also known as Save Our Stages. Trained counselors are available for virtual, 1-on-1 sessions. Curtains Up NYC provides free technical assistance to live-performance venues, businesses, and non-profit organizations applying for federal assistance to help them put forward the strongest application. Information is available on the Curtains Up NYC webpage or 888-SBS-4NYC. In addition, the federal government posted a training video on SAM registration. SAM registration is necessary to apply for the federal grant, and processing can take two weeks—so don’t wait.

7. The fund for the City of New York is currently accepting applications for its Cultural Arts Capital Loan Fund through March 31. This loan initiative provides bridge financing to assist small to mid-sized nonprofit cultural arts organizations with their capital project expenses, with a priority to groups that have capital grants from the Borough President, City of New York and the Department of Cultural Affairs. 

8. Join the Asian American Arts Alliance for their Performing Arts and Advocacy Town Hall. The event is on March 23 at 6:30 p.m.

9. COVID-19 Updates 

• Eligible New Yorkers can find vaccination locations and make appointments online at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or by calling 877-VAX4NYC for assistance in multiple languages. For the latest information, please consult the City’s Vaccine Command Center and continue to check the State's website for the full list of eligible groups. 
• Beginning March 17, public-facing nonprofit workers will be eligible for shots.
• The New York Vaccine Taskforce for Vaccine Equity and Education released a new toolkit to help Black communities with outreach and educational material related to COVID-19.
• New York City started administering Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine
• NYC health officials are now recommending you wear two masks
• The statewide positivity rate was 3.02%. 
• State COVID zone restrictions remain in effect in certain parts of the city. To find out where the zones are and what restrictions apply to each zone, please visit www.nyc.gov/covidzone
• Download the COVID Alert NY app today! 
• 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
• Read the stories of some of the New Yorkers lost to the coronavirus and submit stories to help remember others in this searchable MISSING THEM memorial

10. Engaging in 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.

11. Dance/NYC hosts weekly dance field-wide calls to address questions, needs, and plans for the future of the field. Calls are Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Register here

12. For the ongoing Coronavirus Dance Impact Study, Dance/NYC is tracking studio & company temporary and permanent 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 policymakers. Please email any closures that you know of in the dance community to [email protected]. 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 and Gibney Reopening Dance in NYC Digital Toolkit
• Dance/NYC Coronavirus Preparedness Resources.
• Dance/NYC Racial Justice Resources. 


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