The incentive package includes aid for locations, new museums

Senator Chuck Schumer at a “Save Our Stages” rally in front of the Brooklyn club, Baby’s All Right.
Photo: Chuck Schumer / Twitter

The entertainment industry spent most of the COVID-19 pandemic pushing for increased funding and protection, as places closed in response to an almost completely closed business. Now, the second package of pandemic-related incentives, agreed by Congress on December 20 and to be adopted in the coming days, includes several provisions that will have an impact on the entertainment industry. Most prominently, the package includes the Save Our Stages bill, introduced by a bipartisan group of congressmen, to provide funding for independent music venues, cinemas, comedy clubs, theaters, museums and other cultural venues. The $ 900 billion incentive package will include $ 15 billion for cultural institutions, which will allow places open at the end of February 2020 to claim 47 percent of the previous year’s revenue, up to $ 12 million. Many cultural institutions could not apply for loans under the Wage Protection Program in the previous months of the pandemic, as many locations could not even open.

A group of more than 3,000 independent locations, the National Association of Independent Places, has been lobbying for pandemic aid since it was formed in April. “We are pleased that Congress has heard the call for closed independent venues across the country and provided us with a crucial lifeline by including the ‘Save Our Steps’ bill in COVID-19,” said President Dayna Frank, the owner. and CEO of Minneapolis’s First Avenue Productions, in a statement. “We urge the swift adoption of this legislation, which will help those most in need and ensure that music continues for generations to come.” Senator Amy Klobuchar, one of the original sponsors of the bill, said variety that more aid is expected for cultural institutions. “Every passing month, find out who has been most affected – both people and companies – and we will have the benefit of this retrospective by February,” she said.

The stimulus package will be part of an omnibus bill of more than $ 2.3 trillion, which will affect the cultural sector in several other ways. Conformable Hollywood Reporter, will include a proposal to make streaming unlicensed movies and music a crime punishable by up to ten years in prison. Now that doesn’t mean you’re going to jail for hacking a movie – the bill targets operators, and Senator Thom Tillis, a sponsor, has clarified on Twitter that “it will not apply to internet users”.

The larger spending bill also establishes two new Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC: the National Museum of Women and the National Museum of Latin America, according to New York Times. This proposal previously caused a pause in discussions on the spending bill, when Republican Sen. Mike Lee objected after the Senate tried to pass the bill with unanimous agreement. He cited “cultural inclusion.” Both museums have been in development for years; The Latino Museum was first launched in 1993, and the Women’s Museum was first proposed in 2003. The former is estimated to cost $ 600 million, while the latter would cost $ 375 million.