Senator Serrano and Senate Majority Hold Virtual Roundtable On The Impact Of COVID-19 On New York’s Cultural Community

José M. Serrano

October 21, 2020

(Albany, NY)- Senator José M. Serrano and his colleagues in the Senate Majority held a Virtual Roundtable about the impact of COVID-19 on the arts and cultural communities in New York.

Senator Serrano, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, led the public meeting to gather input about the contributions of arts and cultural organizations to New York’s economy and how those contributions have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He was joined by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

“New York's myriad of artistic and cultural offerings are major contributors to our economy and are one of the foundations for our identity as the Empire State,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea-Stewart-Cousins said. “I thank Senator Serrano for organizing this roundtable and for his leadership on this critical issue. These important discussions and insights from experts and stakeholders will help state government better understand the effect the pandemic is having on our arts and cultural events, and will help us support these vital parts of New York’s identity and economy.”

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been painfully felt across every industry in New York State, but the arts and cultural sector has been especially hard hit,” said Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation José Serrano. “Not only does this industry serve as a major economic engine and job producer, but the arts are transformative, uplifting and educating, while building cultural bridges for all New Yorkers. My sincere thanks to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for lending her voice to this important discussion on the effect of COVID-19 on our artistic and cultural communities.”

Several other members of the Senate Committee were present at the virtual event including Senators Pamela Helming, Brad Hoylman, Rachel May, and James Sanders, as well as Senate Finance Committee Chair, Senator Liz Krueger.

Present at the roundtable were representatives from the Center for an Urban Future, NYC & Company, the Broadway League, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Bronx Zoo, the Museum Association of New York, the American Museum of Natural History, El Museo del Barrio, the Harlem Chamber Players, the Carribean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, the Black Spectrum Theater, the American Art Therapy Association, Fountain House Art Gallery and Studio, New Yorkers for Culture and Art, Preservation League of New York, Hispanic Heritage Cultural Institute, the Palace Theater, and the National Independent Venue Association. 

Anyone wishing to submit written statements or comments on the subject should send them to, the submission deadline for written statements is November 11, 2020.

A webcast of the roundtable is available on the New York State Senate website here