Dance Worker Digest | February 2023

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Dance Worker Digest | February 2023


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Dance Worker Digest
February 2023

This month's topics cover developments in pandemic-era legislation, proposed visa petition changes, funding opportunities from the National Endowment for the Arts, and career support for immigrant artists. 

End of Federal Public Health Emergency

Photo of a worker wearing a protective garment, white medical gloves, hair net, face shield, glasses, and a blue mask.On May 11, 2023, the U.S. will end the national emergency and Public Health Emergency (PHE) declarations that have been in place since early 2020. The repercussions will be widespread—especially for people who use public support programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP—impacting access to testing and treatment as well as legislation tied to these declarations. The end of the emergency will also stop Title 42, the order that quickly expelled people trying to enter the U.S. This will also divert resources away from efforts to address issues like long COVID, unequal access to ventilation, and fraud in public emergency programs.

• Review The Kaiser Family Foundation’s brief on the implications on healthcare coverage
• Review Justice in Aging’s guide for advocates on protections for Medicaid users
• Contact your elected official and tell them we need to create a robust public health infrastructure

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Proposed Rule to Increase Visa Filing Fees

Image of visa and passport covers.The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently issued a proposed rule to increase O and P artist visa filing fees as well as additional policy changes to limit the number of beneficiaries per petition and potentially extend visa processing times. The fee increases for U.S. petitioners are upwards of 250% and include a $600 surcharge intended to fund the asylum program. The proposed rule would place an added financial and logistical burden on both international artists and U.S. arts organizations, and would negatively impact communities supported by the performing arts sector. Members of the public are invited to respond and submit comments until the March 6, 2023 deadline, after which DHS and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) anticipate taking several months to review public feedback and consider adjustments.

• Review the full text of the proposed rule and submit your comments on the artistic and economic impact of these fee increases
• Check out Dance/USA’s Action Alert on the proposed rule


Reinstating the Employee Retention Tax Credit Program

A desk with a calculator, pen, folder, notebook, and card that says 'Tax Credit'The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) program, enacted in March 2020,  provided millions of dollars to the business community, nonprofit sector, and arts and cultural sector to bring back and retain employees amid hardships caused by the pandemic. However, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, enacted in November 2021, eliminated this funding for the 4th quarter of 2021—funding that many organizations were counting on. There was bi-partisan legislation during the last Congress to retroactively reinstate the ERTC, which will now need to be reintroduced for consideration so that the arts and cultural sector can continue to serve communities across the nation.

• Use Dance/USA’s current action alert to urge your federal elected officials to support reintroduction and passage of this bi-partisan legislation.

Funding Opportunities from the National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts logoThe National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is currently accepting applications for funding through two programs applicable to eligible dance projects and organizations.

The Grants for Arts Projects program for organizations provides project-based funding to support opportunities for public engagement with the arts and arts education, for the integration of the arts with strategies promoting the health and well-being of people and communities, and for the improvement of overall capacity and capabilities within the arts sector. The next deadline for 2024 dance projects is July 6, 2023.

Challenge America offers support primarily to small organizations for projects in all artistic disciplines that extend the reach of the arts to underserved groups/communities with rich and dynamic artistic and cultural contributions to share. With an abbreviated application and a robust structure for technical assistance, this program is considered a good entry point for organizations that are new to applying for federal funding. The deadline for 2024 projects is April 27, 2023. 

• Learn more about the Grants for Arts Projects and how to apply. 
• Learn more about Challenge America and how to apply
• Register for the Challenge America Guidelines Webinar on March 1, 2023

NYFA Immigrant Artist Survey

Dancers in purple and white yukata (kimono), dancing with green and orange fans on a beach. Photo courtesy of The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY.New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is designing one-on-one arts career support for immigrant artists, which would include 30-40 minute online Zoom sessions for immigrant artists of all disciplines/types in languages other than English. NYFA is conducting a survey to ascertain what these sessions should cover and to better understand priorities for immigrant artists’ creative practice and well-being. If you are an immigrant artist interested in these sessions, complete the survey to share your feedback so that the program is guaranteed to serve you effectively.

Survey respondents can enter a lottery to receive a free 40-minute individual consultation session with NYFA staff.

• Complete the survey.

Photo: “Dancing Joy” by MINBUZA/The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY

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