NEW YORK -- In response to The Broadway League’s announcement that Broadway productions will remain suspended until May 30, 2021, Senator Brad Hoylman, who represents Times Square and the Theater District in the New York State Senate, issued the following statement urging immediate federal relief, and in its absence, state funding. Nearly 100,000 New Yorkers rely on Broadway for their incomes, and the industry contributes $14.7 billion to the economy of New York City on top of ticket sales. Without massive relief measures, independent Broadway producers, theatres and their employees will be forced to close before a vaccine is developed and a safe reopening is possible.
Senator Hoylman said: “That old saying about fire in a crowded theater? The theaters are empty now, but the fire is for real. As the New York State Senator representing Broadway, I’m ringing every alarm bell. Broadway is facing its greatest crisis in modern history. We have to confront the question of the entire industry’s survival, especially for independent and small theaters, and the livelihoods of all the people who make a living through the arts.
There’s only one solution: government relief, from the federal government and from New York State if Washington won’t act. We need Congress to extend every program they can to help the nearly 100,000 New Yorkers who have lost income since Broadway shut down, including long-term UI, PUA, and PUC. We need specific programs passed for rent relief. And we need creative approaches at every single level of government, be it bond issues or direct government investment like what we saw Vice President Biden use to save Detroit auto manufacturers a decade ago. The U.K. has extended a $2 billion bailout to support their theaters, Germany has spent billions to protect cultural institutions, and France is guaranteeing stipends for out-of-work actors and filmmakers. Americans deserve the same commitment from our leaders. Theater cannot survive without help from our federal government, and our nation and New York cannot survive without the arts.”