Coronavirus Our Response On Green Background

Briefly Stated 8.28.20

CODE RED #SaveOurStages
On September 1, from 9:00 PM to midnight, arts venues across the country, including The Fox, Kranzberg Arts Foundation’s buildings, The Muny, Opera Theatre, The Pageant and Delmar Hall, Powell Hall, The Rep, The Sheldon, The Factory, production company facilities, and union halls will be lit up in red. The goal is to raise public awareness about the economic plight of the live events industry and to urge Congress to pass emergency relief. While the national arts advocacy agenda is long, the red alert event organizers are focusing on the RESTART Act and the extension of the expired Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which covered self-employed, freelance, and gig economy workers. We’re adding the Mixed Earner Unemployment Assistance Act. It would fix a PUA flaw that excluded some creative workers, who reported both W2 and 1099 income. Tell your elected officials to take action now! Find your U.S. senators and your representative.

PREPARING YOUR RE-OPENING PLAN WEBINAR
One component of the Missouri ArtSafe program requires preparation and public dissemination of a written re-opening plan. This webinar, hosted by Missouri Arts Council Executive Director Michael Donovan, will help you jumpstart your drafting process. A panel of arts leaders — Mandy Stone, Nelson-Atkins Museum; Carly Love, Ragtag Cinema; and Joe Hanrahan, The Midnight Company — will offer planning tips. Then Attorney James Emanuel, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, will discuss liability waivers. Safety resources, sample plans, and checklists will be provided. The webinar is next week — September 2 at 4:00 PM — so register now. Missouri ArtSafe conversations will continue on September 16 (Staff Health and Wellness), September 30 (De-Escalation), and October 14 (Public Relations).

THOSE $300 FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
If you lost work because of the pandemic and currently collect unemployment benefits of at least $100 per week, the additional $300 Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) payments should be coming your way soon. So far, Missouri has only been approved for weeks ending Aug. 1, Aug. 8, and Aug. 15, and it will take awhile for the money to show up in your account. LWA is being funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Unfortunately, those funds aren’t expected to last more than five weeks.

ELECTION YEAR WARNING FROM THE IRS
As the presidential election approaches, don’t let your enthusiasm jeopardize your organization’s tax-exempt status. Be aware that 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to candidates for public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state, and local level. Violation of this prohibition could result in revocation of your organization’s tax-exempt status and/or the imposition of certain excise taxes. Read more.

CERF+ RELIEF GRANTS
CERF+ is accepting applications for its second round of $1,000 relief grants. Artists working in craft disciplines who have urgent food, medical or housing insecurities are eligible. Priority will be given to applicants who have traditionally been underserved by the grantmaking community, including people of color and folk and traditional artists. The deadline is September 9.

NEED RENT OR MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE?
Applicants who can demonstrate financial hardship should check out the St. Louis City rental and mortgage assistance fund. Illinois residents may be eligible for emergency rent of mortgage assistance.

ROME GROUP PHILANTHROPIC LANDSCAPE 2020
The Rome Group’s Philanthropic Landscape 2020 event will focus on cultivating a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Birgit Smith Burton, a national diversity expert and executive director of foundation relations at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the keynote speaker. She will address attracting, hiring, and retaining diverse fundraising talent. In addition, The Rome Group will present findings from its local surveys of grantmakers and nonprofits and compare those results to national trends. The September 10 virtual event is free; it begins at 11:00 AM. Please register by September 8.

SERVING OUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY
Please know that our two part-time staff members, board of directors and volunteers are here to assist you in any way we can. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please contact us.

ART IS US
What should a museum look like in 2020? Curators, administrators, and artists imagine templates for change in this Vanity Fair article.