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TAKE ACTION NOW!

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Arts Supporters,
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I am writing to you today with two requests to advocate on behalf of the arts sector as a whole as well as arts education in our schools. As it continues to be an important and pivotal time in our country, it is imperative that we use our collective voices and stand for the arts in every way we can to help this sector prevail and rebuild. These requests should not take more than five minutes to complete, see details below.
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Thank you for your attention to these matters, if you have any questions please reach out.
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Sincerely,
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Lauren Wagner
Director, LIAA
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1:
URGE CONGRESS FOR ADDITIONAL RELIEF FUNDING
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This week, Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration are crafting major COVID-19 federal assistance legislation, including the extension of pandemic unemployment, new direct stimulus checks, additional PPP funds, SVO grants, and targeted EIDL advances. We must advocate for more economic relief for the arts. The various House committees of jurisdiction are marking up their allocations this week; included in these allocations is an additional $1.25 billion for the SVOG program in the budget resolution, plus more administrative funding for the SBA, which should allow the SBA to devote more resources to setting up and opening the program. Of course this is a live bill and subject to change, but at least there is consideration of these and other programs that directly benefit our sector. The timing of a vote in the Senate is uncertain, but now is the time to weigh in and ask members of congress for more economic relief for the arts.
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Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund have developed a thoughtful and unified statement of COVID-19 requests, urging legislators to fund specific economic relief programs for the arts, ranging from SBA and NEA funding to health care coverage and education.
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They have set up an easy way to make your voice heard with our members of Congress as they make these policy decisions starting this week.
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2:
REOPENING PERFORMING ARTS ACTIVITIES IN OUR SCHOOLS
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The Governor has announced that “high-risk” athletic programs, including football, basketball, wrestling, and competitive dancing may recommence at the discretion of local authorities. Through our Scholar Artist Program and other initiatives, we have always sought to take the necessary steps to ensure that arts activities in our schools and colleges are place on a level playing field with athletics… this is one of those steps.
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We encourage you to advocate on behalf of the Island’s young artists and request that they be permitted to perform with similar flexibility. Send an email to Governor Cuomo requesting the permission for students of the performing arts to resume activities and performances within existing guidelines and regulations!
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I have drafted a sample email that can be sent to Governor Cuomo below, but I encourage you to include a personal note and sentiments if you feel so inclined:
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Send To:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo: gov.cuomo@chamber.state.ny.us
Email Subject Line:
Re-opening Performing Arts Activities in our Schools
Body:
Dear Governor Cuomo,
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First off, thank you for your support of the arts and culture sector through your latest announcement of the Performing Arts Plan. We look forward to the day that our arts institutions are able to fully re-open and fill our lives with art in all of its forms. 
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As a member of the Long Island Arts Alliance and on behalf the talented young artists across Long Island, I write to you today in hopes that you will take the necessary steps to ensure that arts activities in our schools and colleges are placed on a level playing-field with athletics, specifically in enabling schools and colleges to hold rehearsals and performances within existing guidelines and regulations.
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As per your recommendation, “high-risk” athletic programs, like such as football, basketball, wrestling and competitive dancing are allowed to re-commence at the discretion of local authorities.
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All we ask is that students who participate in the performing arts – music, dance, theatre – be permitted to perform with similar flexibility.
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It is well-documented that engagement in the arts has countless beneficial outcomes for our youth, particularly low-income youth whose families cannot afford private instruction – these benefits include academic achievement, persistence, motivation and social-emotional advancement, not to mention the option to pursue creative careers (a major segment of New York’s workforce).
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It’s also worth noting that the arts are required New York curriculum subjects – surely such core elements of an equitable and uniform education should not operate under less flexible protocols than extra-curricular activities, no matter how worthy.
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I hope you will agree that any further procrastination on this topic will further imperil, alienate and distress students already devastated by the pandemic.
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Your prompt response to this request will be very much appreciated.
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Thank you,
YOUR NAME
YOUR AFFILIATION WITH THE ARTS
CONTACT INFORMATION
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If you prefer to mail a letter, send to:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
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