Greater New Haven can't recover without arts, culture, + creativity
Find Your Elected Officials
Here are the members of the state Senate and House of Representatives working for our region in Hartford. Have you reached out to introduce yourself?
Here are the key talking points we're reinforcing with our regional delegation:
The creative sector was quick to close and will likely be the last to fully re-open. We continue to maintain updated arts-based resources COVID-19 and Anti-Racism for our community.
The Arts Council and the City of New Haven partnered to create the Greater NHV Creative Sector Relief Fund, supporting over 400 creatives with nearly $200K. We plan to relaunch in 2021 focusing on low-income Black, Brown, and Indigenous creatives.
State funding for the arts is supported by lodging/occupancy tax revenue deposited into the Tourism Fund. A recent OPM report details the gap in this fund due to the pandemic:
The fund’s revenue source is the Hotel Occupancy Tax, which has underperformed as a result of the pandemic’s impact on the hospitality industry. As a result, expenditures from the fund are estimated to exceed available revenues by approximately $6.9 million. When added to the negative fund balance of $6.9 million at the end of FY 2020, we anticipate the Tourism Fund will end FY 2021 with a $13.8 million negative fund balance.
Here's an outline of our legislative proposal from the last biennium. This provides a clear overview of how the fund works to consider options for maintaining critical public support for our industry. For example, a portion of proceeds from other state taxes could be allocated to the Tourism Fund - new sin taxes from online gaming, sports betting, and marijuana sales or related revenue streams like admissions tax ($40M annually) and tourism tax ($0.5M annually)
This recent study about CT's digital divide explains this urgency and injustice in our region, making it challenging for arts and educational organizations to reach students and families in low-income or rural communities with their virtual programs.
All of the regional arts councils in CT are participating in the Cultural Equity Learning Community, an anti-racism learning program based out of MA with nearly 1,000 participants across the country. We're hopeful about organizing more artists, volunteers, and organization leaders into their next cohort in 2021.
Reducing the cost of health insurance for arts workers is another critical opportunity to support our sector, particularly as arts organizations rebuild and restaff their institutions in the coming months.
The vibrancy of our downtowns and main streets depends on more than just the arts. Our restaurant industry partners are particularly struggling as cold weather set in, so we're hopeful that they will receive the support they need to survive this phase of the pandemic.