In a letter to congressional leaders this week, Bay Area mayors called for measures supporting artists and cultural organizations to be included in the next federal relief package.
The letter dated May 11 is signed by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, along with big city mayors nationwide.
Steps taken to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus have left artists and nonprofit arts organizations in economic “free fall,” the letter reads, with industry losses exceeding $4.8 billion.
“It is the arts that will help our communities survive and thrive economically,” the letter continues. “Yet the arts will be among the last permitted to reopen their doors.”
The letter calls for extending the duration of unemployment insurance for freelancers, a category including many artists and arts professionals; additional funding for the national endowments for the arts and humanities; and eased limits on charitable-giving tax deductions.