Arts Action Week is Feb 16-19!

You are needed to help show our values, recognize this community’s resilience, and make our voice heard at the State Capitol!

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shuttered Park Square’s stages as well as arts institutions across the country, government funding for the arts has never been more critical.

As a member of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA), Park Square is asking you to reach out to your Minnesota state legislators between Feb 16-19. Usually, MCA gathers more than 1,000 energized arts advocates at the Minnesota Capitol for Arts Advocacy Day.  This year, advocacy will take place online from your own computer. (Hey, we won’t need to worry about the annual Advocacy Day snowstorm!).

Register by Feb 14 to get the links for the Opening rally to be kicked off by Maria Jette. You’ll also be able to participate in a first-time advocates training session, and learn key facts about the Minnesota arts economy. During the week, you can participate as your schedule allows in small group Zoom calls with legislators. We’ll even have a happy hour wrap-up hosted by T. Mychael Rambo and featuring themed make-at-home cocktails.

The arts have been included as never before in special funding legislation at every level of government, from federal CARES Act funding that flowed to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and to states, who have set aside CARES Act funds for counties and cities to disburse as well.

In addition to amazing support from its many fans, Park Square is fortunate to have received some key government support from different programs created in response to the pandemic crisis:

  • Payroll Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
  • Saint Paul Cultural STAR operating grant (enhanced with CARES Act funding)

Park Square has also applied for special CARES Act grants through the Minnesota State Arts Board and Ramsey County (fingers crossed!).

The largest source of federal funds being made available soon will be through the #Save Our Stages / Shuttered Venue grants championed by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Betty McCollum. In fact, our Minnesota congressional delegation has the led way on national emergency funding for the arts across the country. Thank you!

The other important work our legislators at both the state and federal level have been doing is to extend and enhance unemployment benefits for individuals – including thousands of Minnesota artists. A special shout out to the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, who together with the National Council of Nonprofits, continues to lobby for the federal government to cover the extraordinary unemployment needs of individuals, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses.

Finally, a cheer for Governor Walz and the leaders at the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). They have been in regular communication with nonprofit arts leaders (who gather every two weeks on Zoom to coordinate our reopening efforts).

We need you to add your voice to all these efforts during Arts Action Week this month! Register today!


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