Supporting Relief for Arts and Cultural Institutions

Adopted at the 90th Annual Meeting in 2022

  • WHEREAS, our arts and cultural communities have long led the way in addressing social isolation and public health, providing direct, holistic benefits to all—from elders to youth, and for members of our society who our economy has undervalued; and

    WHEREAS, the arts and culture sector contributed more than $876.7 billion to the nation's economy in 2020 and directly employs more than 5 million workers nationwide; and

    WHEREAS, the pandemic has laid bare the dire economic conditions facing artists, arts workers, and our arts and cultural organizations, whose creative efforts allow our communities to survive and thrive economically, culturally, and emotionally; and

    WHEREAS, without swift action, we may permanently lose essential arts and cultural organizational partners that are critical to our national identity and essential to accelerate our regional recovery efforts; and

    WHEREAS, urgent and coordinated action is needed to fully integrate arts, culture, and the creative economy into our national recovery and revitalization efforts; ensuring much-needed relief for artists, who are drivers of wellbeing in their communities and essential arts and culture organizational partners; and

    WHEREAS, keeping critical federal support open through 2022 ensures the arts have resources to aid in the recovery and rebuilding of our communities; and

    WHEREAS, artists and arts organizations should be supported by federal programs for infrastructure, education, job creation, and health; and

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges Congress and the Administration to provide additional support to the arts and culture sector. Specifically, mayors urge for federal action that:
    • Reinstates the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) for quarter four of 2021 (S. 3625 / H.R. 6161), extends the duration of the credit, speed IRS processing of credits, and modifies nonprofit eligibility beyond the current "gross receipts" test.
    • Expands the time allowed to use Shuttered Venue Operators Grants to include costs incurred through March 11, 2023;
    • Ensures thatany new provisions related to COVID-19 relief will be available to the full breadth of the creative sector, including self-employed workers, sole proprietors, small LLCs, non-employer businesses, and to nonprofit arts organizations of all sizes;
    • Supports the nonprofit arts infrastructure and increases charitable giving by reinstating the above-the-line, universal charitable tax deduction (S. 618 / HR.1704 /H.R. 1081), which was available at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic;
    • Enacts policies that will ensure rapid processing of the artist visas and consular appointments that are essential to supporting the revival of international cultural activity.
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that mayors understand the importance of the arts and culture sector and believe that artists must have reliable partners in all levels of government.

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