The Indicator from Planet Money - A New DAWN On Broadway

As arts workers continue to struggle, they're trying their hand at something new. Not a new performance or show, but a piece of legislation which would keep their industry alive through the pandemic.

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Content Keywords: culture industry one car seat Jesse

is shut down, you know the coronavirus but the show must go on and recently there was a show just outside in the middle of Times Square. Is very much a rehearsal or a hustle on camera. It's 8 a.m. On a Saturday morning. The director is holding a bullhorn. He's trying to talk to everyone through his mask and his cast is made up of about 100 singers dancers musicians Usher's feeder workers there all socially distanced standing spread out on the pavement grounded by all the giant electronic lights and ads and signs other words. This is not your typical Broadway show. This is Halloween.

How this is going to walk this really isn't so it's more like a demonstration the performers here or going to sing if they're also going to talk economics Like Jesse hooker Bailey and her husband Gilbert. Who by the way are young and Spunky? I'm 32 on 32 as well. And then when you're thirty-five, it's your presidential you from getting close to Jesse and Gilbert are both actors. They've been performing big-name shows to Beetlejuice Book of Mormon waitress and during normal times the tickets to the shows can cost hundreds of dollars. And that's because the Broadway play has huge overhead. There's a cost of running a venue. There was Insurance administrative staff and then of course, you've got to pay the cast and crew plus of course, he shows are popular. A lot of people are willing to pay that much money is a leg for performers on Broadway to be honest pay for performers on Broadway is just enough when you have the job.

Covid ended my show. No so that Broadway at the paycheck-to-paycheck situation.

I'm parked car seat this is the indicator from Planet Money. And today we are featuring a story brought To Us by Sally herships after the break. We're going to hear what kind of help the arts and culture Community wants from the government and what their plans are for getting that help not performed by you and me, okay.

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The Department of Commerce says economic activity generated by the arts and culture industry, which is everything from Stan's troops to theaters to zoos and museums were sent in dormant number. It is 4.5% of GDP in the folks here today stay because of the hit from covid-19 industry. It needs more bailout money from the government. 68% of Tourism is cultural. I found an organizer of being Arch hero, which is the group that helped organize today's event. If we go down if the stars that are the Arts institutions in this country are allowed to implode they will turn into black holes that will take down restaurants that will take down hotels in and transportation. This is quite a metaphor, but actually it makes sense. If you think about all the jobs that are adjacent that are attached to the arts and culture industry. There are people who work at home.

Hell's Inn restaurant in transportation taxi drivers and it means that if the arts and culture industry goes down a lot of other jobs that are tailored to it might also disappear because when theaters are not shuttered and when galleries are not closed because of his Global viral pandemic the arts and culture industry generate a ton of money 877 billion dollars worth of economic activity. Those are numbers by the way from 2017 and the industry represents over 5 million jobs. That is one of the big points made by the performers here this morning and the one that they really want to emphasize.

And why you're crying very emotional. I live really close. I'm about seven blocks away, but I haven't been to Times Square in a long time.

my community

Selena Polanco is 44 she's an actress and an usher in theaters here in New York and she is really struggling but she wants people to know that a she wants the federal government to increase its financial help for the Arts industry and be this is not just about her where he was part of the economy and we're just asking for the same help that other Industries have gotten Selena might point to the airline industry, which got more than 50 billion dollars in various kinds of aid from the federal government and the arts and culture industry is itself asking for about 44 billion dollars and just proposing a piece of legislation to go along with that request that legislation is called the Dawn at dawn stands for defend Arts workers. Now the money would get divvied up between different organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts the National Endowment for the Humanities small business administration groups like that and they in turn would make grants directly to artist employee.

Recording venues cultural spaces and so on the PPP program which did help a ton of small businesses, but not everyone qualified and think about it for a second arts and culture organizations are especially vulnerable to the pandemic a lot of art stuff requires us to go sit packed inside a theater shoulder-to-shoulder with a whole bunch of people not in our pods, which is normally very nice to bring a pandemic. And in the meantime, what is the museum going to do with not going to move all of its artwork outside? So the organizers of today's events if we want historic sites in the ballet in the movie theaters all to still be around when we come back this money would help us hold on to the skilled workers and infrastructure that we already had it would help keep the industry of float and I'm not just saying this because I'm waiting for the new seasons of last Kingdom to show up on Netflix. Once the pandemic is over. This is also about the larger impact on the

Economy, but the arts and culture industry has institution closes a specific example Cardiff say you were going to take your nuts to see an opera in St. Louis right? There was a hotel you mentioned maybe a plane ticket if you had to fly and maybe would go out for lunch first at a restaurant the singers the members of the orchestra the lighting crew stage manager props people wig makers makeup artist costume dry cleaning and don't forget about arguably my favorite part Sally the people who make and sell the swag but getting a t-shirt or a mug of whatever show you want to see I have those mugs. I know you do the things that struck me was that all of the performer to wear at Times Square this morning, they are standing in the middle of this iconic New York City space and they're even Taurus here at 8 on a Saturday morning taking selfies and they're surrounded by all the lights inside.

And adds of Time Square which is famous because of the Arts the theater lights are dark on Broadway. Do we think the advertising lights on all these big signs are going to go dark too? I don't know but but sadly if they did I'd worry that the Arts industry if it keeps suffering the way it's suffering now, we're also end up sort of spreading that suffering around to all the other industries that are high chew it and also let's just not forget that it means there's going to be less Joy available in the world when the pandemic is over is one of the reasons that the Arts industry so big and powerful and profitable the way it is is because we all like to be entertained by it. It's a part of our Lives. It's something that we enjoy it something that we enjoy with other people and that we didn't discuss later with other people we can brag about it with other people and so we just kind of break that connection in all kinds of ways the folks promoting hedonic. This is one of the reasons they're pushing so hard and they say so far they have met with over 60 Senate Office.

Is in a dozen offices in the house and ask for Jessie and her husband Gilbert the married couple they're both actors. They say they have enough savings to make it through January. They both been doing a lot of teaching online, but everything is up in the air. I kind of want to feel better now, so I think it's time for a song. You're the one that Jesse and Gilbert help him perform outside in Time Square our editors Patty Hearst and the indicator is a production of NPR.
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