Dear APAP Members and Colleagues,

First of all, I hope this finds you and yours well and safe.

The daily news is sobering. For those of us in the U.S., it is clear that the government relief that has been issued thus far just scratches the surface of our needs. I thank each one of you who has to date kept us updated on your experiences seeking relief. Not only do we care how you are doing, but your stories help inform our Congressional asks.

APAP, along with the field leadership of the Cultural Advocacy Group (CAG), has just today issued to Congress a follow-up statement in anticipation of the next Congressional relief package , which includes revised talking points for you to use.

Our ask to Congress, includes the following:

  • Recapitalize and expand the programs in the CARES Act. Arts organizations, related arts businesses, and self-employed workers are attempting to access SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advances, the Paycheck Protection Program, and expanded unemployment benefits. Given demand and limitations, expanded eligibility and improved guidance is urgently needed.

  • Increase funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and eliminate the 500-employee cap for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Provide dedicated funding available to nonprofit organizations.

  • Fully fund the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and eliminate the $1,000 per employee cap imposed by SBA so businesses with one or very few employees can access funds.

  • Provide forgivable emergency assistance loans to nonprofit organizations of all sizes. Provide forgivable loan assistance to self-employed workers, sole proprietors, small LLCs and small 501(c)(3) organizations to offset fixed overhead costs such as rent, utilities, insurance, and debt service without per employee limits.

  • Allow the option of income averaging for sole proprietors, contractors, and other small businesses for assistance that is based on net business income. 

  • Extend the duration of assistance to artists, arts professionals, and self-employed workers whose income has been negatively impacted by loss of sales or performance venues—especially those that are seasonal in nature—and for 501(c)(3) organizations that depend on income from seasonal events (festivals, conferences, etc.) that were cancelled due to social distancing measures.

  • Approve substantial additional dedicated COVID-19 relief funding administered by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute of Museum and Library Services, as they uniquely address the operational needs of the cultural sector. 

Thank you for continuing to make the case for performing arts organizations and independent artists, as Congress prepares for follow-up legislation. We encourage you to share your story with your local Congressional staff and use the talking points from the CAG statement

As always, we encourage you to visit the many resources on APAP's COVID-19 resource page and our dedicated   government relief page . We will continue to update these pages as we learn more.

We are with you every step of the way. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
Mario Garcia Durham
President and CEO, APAP