Monday, January 18, 2021
While nonprofits of many hues have suffered greatly during the COVID epidemic, perhaps among those most terribly affected are 501(c)(3) organizations operating theaters and other performance-based venues. In a recent poll done by Nonprofit Quarterly, representatives of organizations from a variety of corners in the nonprofit industry were polled on how badly the ongoing global crisis has impacted their revenue: a majority of arts-oriented organizations reported above 16% reductions in their revenue.
The data tells an unsurprising tale: when your business relies upon drawing large crowds of people into confined spaces so that they can be entertained by your staff, a worldwide virus running rampant and corresponding countermeasures by harried governments adds up to hard times ahead. However the United States legislature seems to be cognizant of this at-risk industry: included in December’s coronavirus bill was $15 billion set aside especially for theaters, concert halls, museums and others which have more than a 25% loss in gross revenues in 2020. Naturally a number of restrictions apply on which organizations (strip clubs are for, example, disqualified) can apply for a grant under the Save Our Stages section of the relief bill, this legislation indicates that the country’s lawmakers are considering particular industries which have been especially injured by the epidemic and aiming to lend financial support when it is most needed.
For a more thorough explanation of the Save Our Stages section as well as testimony from a number of nonprofit leaders in the aforementioned affected industry, see the Nonprofit Quarterly publication on the subject at https://nonprofitquarterly.org/save-our-stages-provides-a-lifeline-for-nonprofit-museums-and-theaters/
David Brennen, University of Kentucky College of Law