Music Companies Petition Congress For Financial Assistance

Several music organizations and companies came together on Friday (March 20) to send a message to Washington, D.C. More than two dozen companies sent a letter to members of U.S. Congress, seeking financial relief for the greater music community as the coronavirus spread forces numerous venues of all capacities to close down for the foreseeable future, halting tours and concerts both in the U.S. and internationally.

The letter is addressed to Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy and Chuck Schumer, and signed by organizations including ASCAP, Americana Music Association, Country Music Association, Creative Artists Agency, Gospel Music Association, Global Music Rights, Live Nation, International Bluegrass Music Association, Recording Industry Association of America, WME, and more.

Read the letter in full below:

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and Leader Schumer:

As united representatives of the large and diverse American entertainment community, we offer our sincere gratitude for your immense efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide much needed aid.

We understand the sacrifices our country is making and appreciate our shared responsibility. We will make the necessary adjustments to our lives but, unfortunately, there is no option for many in the entertainment community to work from home. Our home is on the road, on the
studio lot or in the theater, in venues across the country that must close during the pandemic, in front of live audiences or with cast members who cannot gather. For now, those performances – and our jobs – have vanished, along with the costly and personally devastating
investments we can never recover. Without help, we know that many in our community will find themselves homeless, hungry, and unable to tend to their medical needs.
The economic pain cuts even deeper, touching not only performers and musicians, but also managers, producers, promoters, stagehands, drivers, and countless others who are feeling the immediate repercussions of this new reality. This unprecedented economic loss caused by canceled performances and production shutdowns is being played out in bars, nightclubs, theaters, stadiums, concert halls, studios, and festivals in every state, sidelining thousands of workers.

The entertainment community will do what it can to support its members, but this moment
calls for the unmatched capabilities of Congress. As you navigate the difficult path to providing necessary aid to distinct sectors of our economy, we ask that you specifically address the unique nature of our work. Payroll tax holidays, paid leave, and other typical assistance may never reach many in the entertainment community; in fact, direct financial aid remains one hopeful – and perhaps best – solution to replacing lost income and offering some semblance of
economic sustainability.

We propose a similar benefit to the Emergency Paid Leave in Division C of HR 6201, along with emergency unemployment insurance access, available to those who cannot work due to a canceled performance or a production shut down. This fund and expanded unemployment insurance access and benefits would ensure that hundreds of thousands of families across the country can continue to pay rent, put food on the table, and care for their children during this
public health emergency. In addition, we encourage you to be as inclusive as possible when crafting emergency paid leave, tax credits, and other programs – the unique nature of our industry means rules that require beneficiaries to have had a single, long-term employer will  simplyleave our entire workforce behind.

We all look forward to the end of this crisis. Certainly, entertainment will help us get through it. But we must take care of the many people in the American entertainment community who will help us heal, rebuild, and bring us back together, in public and in spirit. Thank you very much.

Actors’ Equity
Alliance for Recorded Music (ARM)
American Association of Independent Music (A2IM)
American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
Americana Music Association
Artist Rights Alliance (ARA)
The Azoff Company
The Broadway League
California IATSE Council
Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA)
Church Music Publishers Association (CMPA)
Country Music Association (CMA)
Gospel Music Association (GMA)
Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE)
Digital Media Association (DiMA)
Directors Guild of America (DGA)
Entertainment Union Coalition
Full Stop Management
Global Music Rights (GMR)
Gospel Music Association
Independent Music Professionals United (IMPU)
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)
International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)
Live Nation
Music Artists Coalition (MAC)
Music Business Association (MusicBiz)
Music Managers Forum – US
Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI)
National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA)
Paradigm Talent Agency
Recording Academy
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)
Songwriters of North America (SONA)
Southern Gospel Music Guild
United Talent Agency (UTA)
William Morris Endeavor (WME)
Writers’ Guild of America, East


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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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