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Dear Arts Leaders, Administrators, Educators, Creators, Consumers, Supporters, Producers, Students, & Advocates,
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I write you today to invite you to add your name in support of meaningful financial relief through the American Rescue Plan for our creative sector.
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The American Rescue Plan (ARP), is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, to speed up the United States’ recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the ongoing recession. 
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ARP includes $362.05 billion in fiscal assistance for state, local, municipal, tribal, and territorial governments to address specific funding priorities including “Speeding the recovery of the tourism, travel, and hospitality sectors, supporting industries that were particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 emergency.” The arts are defined in the guidelines as one of the hardest hit sectors.
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As this funding is made available, our state and local lawmakers have tough decisions to make, and we MUST ensure our creative sector has a seat at this table. To do this, it is vital to communicate the ways in which the sector can contribute to recovery and how we can support their efforts and maximize the impact.
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Nassau and Suffolk counties are set to receive over $650 million combined in ARP Funding, and Long Island townships will receive an additional $170 million (ref). This funding must be allocated by 2024, and spent by 2026.
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Investment in the arts should be part of the long-term strategy to deal with aftermath of the pandemic. The arts sector offers resourcefulness and innovation — we are problem solvers with a unique ability to stretch a dollar. Getting the engine going again will require ingenuity. Our arts and cultural institutions must remain in order for us to revitalize our communities.
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We are a keystone in our region’s economy, identity, and social fabric. Arts make our communities more equitable. Public investment in arts workers & arts organizations is an urgent equity issue. Studies show that arts and culture make students 5 times more likely to graduate from high school, lower neighborhood crime rates by up to 18%, and increase civic participation by 2 times. The arts express a unique identity for a community, one that sets it apart from other places and makes it so memorable that people want to return. The arts can quickly become an economic game changer for economically stressed communities.
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Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78% deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication (ref).
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ARP funding is an opportunity to invest in the arts and stabilize a historically underfunded sector of our local economy. The return on investment is high with an economic impact study showing that for every dollar spent at an arts venue, $31.47 is generated in the local economy at restaurants, bars, lodging, retail shops and transportation.
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THE ARTS ARE AN INDUSTRY – NOT A CAUSE

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In order to ensure our local government is aware of the many ways the arts and culture industries can contribute to the financial and social recovery on Long Island, and to encourage an investment in our sector at this crucial time, we have created a petition to share with our local leaders as they begin to allocate funding from the ARP.
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If you are interested in joining our call for an investment in the arts, please consider signing our petition at the following link:
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Thank you for all you do.
Sincerely,
Lauren Wagner
Executive Director
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Long Island Arts Alliance | Website | Join | Donate

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