Pennsylvania, Save Our Stages!

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Independent music venues are the backbone of the music industry.  They are where up and coming artists get their start, where local music scenes thrive, and where working musicians, technical and production crew, security personnel, bartenders, janitorial staff, and many more make a living.  They are cultural hubs, fixtures of the community, and economic force multipliers.  A Chicago study found that for every $1 spent at a local venue, $12 of economic activity was generated in the surrounding community, at hotels, restaurants, shops, and more.
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Venues were among the first businesses to close, and will be some of the last to reopen.  According to the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), independent venues are currently experiencing upwards of 90% revenue loss, and since they are shuttered and unable to operate, they aren't eligible for aid under the Paycheck Protection Program.  Without support, 90% of NIVA's members say they will have to close their doors forever.  In Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, we could see iconic theaters and intimate performance spaces alike disappear, and across the rest of the state independent venues as unique as the cities and towns they call home would fail.  This would be an inestimable loss, to Pennsylvania's local communities, music and art scenes, and economies... but it's not too late.

Recently the Oregon state legislature allocated $50m of CARES Act relief funds to local venues and arts organizations.  We, the undersigned, ask Pennsylvania to also step up and support music and the arts in this crucial moment by immediately allocating CARES Act relief funds for emergency aid.  To Governor Wolf, and our distinguished Senators and Representatives, we ask that you please follow this example, and act now to Save Our Stages!