Senator Schumer calls for federal aid to theatre industry
The senator was joined by leading Broadway figures to urge the federal government to assist the industry.
Last week, Senator Chuck Schumer spoke at a press conference in Times Square to convince the federal government to aid the recovery of the theatre industry. Schumer was joined at the event by the Tony Award-winning actress Laura Benanti, as well as Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin, Disney Theatrical Group president Thomas Schumacher and Aida director Schele Williams.
At the press conference, Schumer said in a pun-filled speech: “The Phantom of COVID has hit Broadway maybe the hardest of all the live event venues in America… revenues have been and still are totally Frozen. Thousands of hardworking Guys and Dolls from across this city have been out of work. Today we’re here to fight hard to keep the stages alive, the stories told and the show going on.”
The proposed bipartisan bill would provide up to $12 million in grants to assist live venue operators, producers, promoters and talent representatives. Support would be given as part of the Heroes Act, dedicated to expanding unemployment benefits nationwide.
Speakers noted that this would be a small part in helping Broadway’s recovery; an industry that generates $15 billion to the city.
At the end of the press conference, Schumer stated his confidence and desire to get the Great White Way back open again. He said: “Once [medical professionals] say we can, I’m not hesitating… I’m buying tickets and showing up on Broadway.”