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September 18, 2020 – The Broadway League today joined Senate Minority Leader, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) in Times Square in support of the Save Our Stages Act. The Broadway industry is urging Congress to pass this bill to provide vital support for Broadway as theatres continue to be shuttered due to COVID 19. This bipartisan legislation will benefit Broadway by providing much-needed financial assistance for theatrical productions, as well as for organizers, promoters, producers, managers and host of concerts, comedy shows, and other live events nationwide.
“The Great White Way has, for generations, led the way in what has made this city the envy of the world in the arts, and that’s why it’s so important to provide dedicated federal assistance to Broadway—because it really is a part of what defines New York, and we have to fight for it,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “The Save Our Stages Act will help Broadway and other live venues keep the lights on and the curtains calling when this is all over, and so I’ll fight to include this funding in upcoming legislation.”
"Broadway is labor. That's why we must support the tens of thousands of costumers, musicians, stagehands, performers and theatre staffs who make up Broadway's 14 unions," said Thomas Schumacher, Chairman of the Board of The Broadway League. "We are indebted to Senator Schumer, our most valuable partner in Washington, for his leadership on the Save our Stages Act (SOS). He knows that Broadway is essential to the heartbeat of New York, bringing in nearly $15B annually and supporting 97,000 jobs. New York needs Broadway and Broadway needs SOS."
"Broadway in NYC and our presenters and venues in every state are facing the worst crisis in our history. Our vibrant national industry provides hundreds of thousands of jobs, supports small local businesses and generates $20 billion of economic impact in NYC and in over 200 cities nationally each year. We are urging Congress to pass the Save Our Stages Act and support live theatre across the country," said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League.
The Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258), introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), provides vital support for performing arts venues that have lost nearly 100% of their revenue since the pandemic began in March. The companion bill in the House (H.R. 7806) is led by Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Roger Williams (R-TX).
In the 2018-2019 season, Broadway attendance reached a record high of 14.8 million admissions, topping the attendance of the ten professional New York and New Jersey sports teams combined. The 2018-2019 season saw record breaking attendance on the road with 18.5 million admissions for touring Broadway shows. Every year, Broadway contributes over $12 billion to the New York City economy and supports nearly 97,000 full-time equivalent jobs. Touring Broadway has contributed $3.8 billion to local markets across the United States.
Broadway performances were suspended due to due to COVID-19 on March 12, 2020. At that time, 31 productions were running, including 8 new shows in previews. Additionally, 8 productions were in rehearsals preparing to open in the spring.