With the new stimulus relief package signed, $908 billion in COVID relief money will be distributed throughout the country. The legislation also includes $15 billion in relief for struggling live entertainment and performing arts venues.
NORTHLAND – With the new stimulus relief package signed, $908 billion in COVID relief money will be distributed throughout the country. The legislation also includes $15 billion in relief for struggling live entertainment and performing arts venues.
Leaders from places like the DECC are anticipating financial relief, specifically through the Save Our Stages Act and the Payroll Protection Program.
“We’re unsure exactly what assistance we’re going to get from the legislation that was signed on Sunday,” said Roger Reinert, the interim executive director at the DECC. “We know we have some help in there, exactly what that looks like is unclear at this point but anything will be helpful.”
The DECC has been hit hard by the impacts of the pandemic. In 2019, there were 513 events at the DECC, including performing arts, shows, concerts, conventions, meetings, and sporting events. But there have only been 96 events there in 2020 and most of them happened from January to March.
Revenue in 2020 dropped by more than half and DECC management says the only outside aid received so far is a nearly $50,000 grant from St. Louis County.
“We’re gonna make it,” said Reinert. “We can see the end of the tunnel. We know it’s not another train coming at us. But how well we recover and how quickly we recover really is gonna matter really is gonna come to what external help can we get through the recovery process.”
Smaller arts groups are also anticipating potential aid. At Rubber Chicken Theater, which does not have a permanent location, the executive producer says any kind of funding from the bill would be beneficial. The theater group has been doing zoom productions during COVID.
“If there’s funding available to help salvage seasons and plans that were made, that sort of funding we could tap into but as far as for the permanent space, I wouldn’t be able to,” said Brian Matuszak, the executive producer of Rubber Chicken Theater.
He says he’s encouraged by how people have continued to show support during this difficult time.
“Heartening in one respect to see how people have been rallying around each other and helping each other out, trying to figure out ways to continue to offer art to the community because it’s really important that that still happens,” said Matuszak.
The stimulus relief package also includes a second $600 stimulus check for qualified adults and their dependents.