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Pingree Leads 70+ House Members in Push for Nation’s Cultural Sector to Receive Direct Aid in Next COVID-19 Relief Package

May 8, 2020
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) today joined Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and David Price (D-N.C.), co-chairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Humanities Caucus respectively, and 70 members of Congress in urging House leadership to support the cultural sector in Congress’s next coronavirus response package. The letter, which asked for robust funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), can be viewed here.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause profound harm to people who work in the arts and humanities and the cultural institutions that support them. For professionals in the sector, including arts and humanities educators working to educate students in unprecedented circumstances, immediate livelihoods are at stake,” said the lawmakers in their letter. “Those without a traditional employer relationship – including those who are temporarily employed and on contract, freelance, or self-employed -- are especially vulnerable. For community-based organizations that are dedicated to bringing people together – from museums, to libraries, to the performing arts – it is clear that, without significant continued federal support, this crisis will have devastating economic consequences that will last well beyond the public health emergency.”

The letter to leadership asked for increased NEA and NEH funding to support payroll and operating costs, and flexibility in granting funds, including waiving the matching funds requirement from grants made with any new supplemental funding. Their letter also supported broader efforts to fund and improve forgivable loan support programs like PPP and EIDL.

A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

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