Comedic Series Exploring the U.S. Creative Economy Begins March 23
In response to the economic devastation of the U.S. Arts & Culture sector by the coronavirus pandemic, Ovation TV, America’s premier arts network, in partnership with the intersectional grassroots arts advocacy organization Be An #ArtsHero/Arts Workers United, has created a five-part original comedic journalism series celebrating and exploring the Creative Economy. Hosted by Broadway actor Nadia Brown (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), the series will premiere on Ovation TV on Wednesday, March 23 at 11 pm ET. The full season will also be available free to all in the “Art House” section of the Ovation NOW app. The announcement was made today by Scott Woodward, EVP Programming and Production, Ovation TV.
Tackling serious topics with humor, songs, animations, and tongue-in-cheek graphics, The Green Room with Nadia Brown is a new series about the issues surrounding the creative economy and the impact of Arts & Culture on every aspect of society. The Arts & Culture sector contributes $919 Billion to the U.S. economy, and is comprised of over 5.2 million workers, so why is the United States’ relationship to the Creative Sector and its workers so fraught? With exclusive interviews featuring powerful players (New Mexico Representative Leger Fernández, Hadestown director Rachel Chavkin, NIVA President Reverend Moose, and more) in the political, economic, and creative sectors, The Green Room with Nadia Brown explores complex issues surrounding the Creative Economy and reveals the creative and innovative solutions to the problems facing our nation today.
“A long-time supporter of the Arts, Ovation TV is thrilled to present this original production alongside Be An #ArtsHero/Arts Workers United,” says Woodward. “Having a vibrant and exciting host such as Nadia explain the issues facing Arts Workers and the Arts & Culture Sector and conduct fascinating conversations with guests from the Arts community, we aim to shine a light on how necessary and important the Arts industry is to the American economy. These last two years have shown just how vital Arts Workers truly are.”
“The Creative Sector contributes big money to the overall U.S. economy but has received far less federal pandemic relief than other areas like transportation and agriculture,” says Liz Janneman, EVP of Network Strategy, Ovation TV. “Ovation is proud to support Arts Workers and call attention to the need for more federal support to keep the industry alive and thriving. Nadia Brown is a wonderful host and brings a much-needed face to the Arts community.”
“Ironically, the Arts & Culture sector has a story problem,” adds Be An #ArtsHero/Arts Workers United co-founder and co-leader Jenny Grace Makholm, who is also executive producer of the series. “The Arts are considered a frivolous luxury instead of a robust economic driver, job creator, and a tentpole sector of the United States economy. This ‘story problem’ has real-world consequences, as we’ve watched Arts Workers and Arts & Culture businesses languish largely unsupported during the pandemic. It’s time to reframe the conversation around the Creative Economy and its workers, which is why Be An #ArtsHero/Arts Workers united is thrilled to partner with Ovation TV to create The Green Room with Nadia Brown. We are so lucky to have such a fierce, funny, and fresh talent such as Nadia hosting The Green Room. She lends not only her luminous, star-turning talents to this project but also her incredible commitment and dedication to Arts Advocacy.”
After Broadway’s closure in March 2020, series host Nadia Brown found herself among the 2.7 million Arts Workers suddenly unemployed and facing an uncertain future: “Leaving the theater that day, I felt gutted. And then, of course, Broadway’s reopening date kept being pushed back further and further and further to the point where I was unemployed for about two years.”
As Nadia watched colleagues and friends lose their jobs, homes, health insurance, and savings, she decided to join Be An #ArtsHero/Arts Workers United as their social media ambassador, using her platform to advocate for Arts Workers: “It all started when I made this teeny tiny video to my Senators, Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, urging them to give Arts Workers pandemic relief. I stood in front of my little blue screen that I use for auditions or for my TikTok dances and used my voice to advocate for all the Arts Workers like me who were facing so much financial devastation and an uncertain future. I had never done that before; I had never realized before how easy it is to reach out as a constituent. And that was the video that began my relationship with the Be An #ArtsHero campaign.”
Now that Broadway has reopened and Nadia has resumed her role as Rose Granger-Weasley in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Nadia is even more committed to her advocacy work with Be An #ArtsHero/Arts Workers United and now with Ovation TV: “The love and the support and the care that I’ve experienced from both Be An #ArtsHero and Ovation TV has been felt; it’s palpable. That inspires me to continue this work, to show up for my community and stay involved.”
Episode One: “Who Wants to Be A $919 Billionaire?” Airs Wednesday, March 23 at 11 pm ET
The Arts is BIG business. How big? $919 Billion a year big. In our inaugural episode, host Nadia Brown delves into the billion-dollar business of the Arts and the massive impact of the creative sector on the economy. Nadia explores the interconnected economic ecosystem that Arts & Culture supports and gets a little nerdy with Creative Economist Dr. Michael Seman (co-author of the Brookings Institute study: “Lost Art: Measuring Covid-19’s devastating impact on the Creative Economy”) about the importance of the Creative Economy and how the Arts can help the country heal post-pandemic.
Episode Two: “2020 Vision: The Covid Crisis” Airs Wednesday, March 30 at 11 pm ET
At the height of the pandemic, over 63% of Arts Workers were fully unemployed. Now, entering year three of the pandemic, host Nadia Brown reveals the devastating impact Covid-19 continues to have on the creative economy. Nadia connects with Arts Workers around the country (Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Nataki Garrett, Cirque Du Soleil clown Eric Davis, small business owner Brian Blythe, burlesque performer Maine Anders, and Disney resort performer Logan Benedict) as they share their lived experiences of unemployment, furloughs, and lack of government aid. This episode includes a sit-down with Rev. Moose to discuss NIVA and the Save Our Stages Act.
Episode Three: “How did the Arts Become Partisan?” Airs Wednesday, April 6 at 11 pm ET
How did the Arts become partisan? And why are certain types of art censored or politicized? From the Puritans to Robert Mapplethorpe, host Nadia Brown takes us on a historical deep dive, exploring our nation’s difficult relationship with Arts & Culture, censorship, and freedom of expression.
Episode Four: “A Secretary of Arts & Culture” Airs Wednesday, April 13 at 11 pm ET
How do we define and preserve our American Culture? This episode delves into the importance of a Secretary of Arts & Culture and ponders why the U.S. has never appointed one. Nadia Brown chats with Hadestown director Rachel Chavkin and theater director Jenny Koons, whose viral open letter to the president imploring for a cabinet level position in support of the Arts garnered tens of thousands of signatures nationwide.
Episode Five: “The Creative Solution to Everything” Airs Wednesday, April 20 at 11 pm ET
Make no mistake, there are a tremendous number of issues that concern our nation today. Host Nadia Brown reveals the surprising creative solutions to current hot-button issues, like Health Care and Criminal Justice, and explores Arts & Culture’s unique ability to heal our society. Recent government initiatives designed to assist the creative sector are also explored and Nadia speaks with Congressional Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez about current Arts legislation she has co-sponsored (The Creative Economy Revitalization Act, the 21st Century Federal Writers Project) and her commitment to supporting the Arts & Culture sector.
For more information, please visit http://www.ovationtv.com.
About Arts Workers United
Home of the Be An #ArtsHero campaign, Arts Workers United is a unique and visionary 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that exists to reposition the Arts & Culture sector and Arts Workers as legislative priorities at the city, state, and federal level.
Co-founded in June of 2020 by Brooke Ishibashi, Jenny Grace Makholm, Carson Elrod, and Matthew-Lee Erlbach, Arts Workers United and the Be An #ArtsHero campaign has become one of the most nationally recognized Arts Advocacy organizations in the United States.
After relentless advocacy work, in January 2022, Arts Workers United lobbied effectively for the first House Hearing on the whole of the Creative Economy in United States History, speaking before Congress on “The Power, Peril, and Promise of the Creative Economy.” AWU has partnered with organizations such as Dance/USA, the Dramatists Guild, and the American Circus alliance on dozens of successful social media campaigns that have achieved virality, spreading Arts Advocacy to a new generation, and bringing the term “Arts Worker” into the common vernacular. Arts Workers United’s powerful Arts advocacy message have been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, The Guardian, Forbes, New York Magazine, and dozens of other publications. The campaign has been represented on television by Billy Porter, B.D. Wong, Jane Krakowski, Phillipa Soo, and Jeremy O. Harris and amplified on social media by the likes of Alfre Woodward, Cher, Bette Midler, and Hillary Clinton.
About OVATION TV America’s Premier Arts Network
As an independent television, production, and digital media company, OVATION TV has an unparalleled commitment to the arts, culture, and captivating entertainment. Showcasing a lineup of critically acclaimed premium dramas, specials, documentaries, and iconic films, OVATION TV salutes innovative storytelling with popular programming that includes Inside the Actors Studio, Murdoch Mysteries, Riviera, Frankie Drake Mysteries, Arts Engines, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, The Fall, Midsomer Murders, The Art Of, Celebrity Conversations, and The Sound of New York. Ovation also powers JOURNY, the dedicated streaming service where art, culture, and travel intersect. The company has provided more than $15M in contributions and in-kind support to arts institutions and arts education. Its signature advocacy platform, STAND FOR THE ARTS, includes a coalition of over 130 arts organizations, cultural institutions, and arts leaders throughout the country raising awareness about art’s positive impact, protecting access for everyone, and encouraging action on behalf of the arts. OVATION TV is available on major providers via cable, satellite and telco systems including Comcast Cable/Xfinity, DIRECTV/AT&T U-verse, SPECTRUM, Verizon FiOS, as well as on demand. You can follow OVATION TV on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, OvationTV.com, and through our App, OVATION NOW. About Nadia Brown
Nadia Brown is a classically educated Arts Worker, having trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, UK, the British American Drama Academy at Oxford University, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Marymount Manhattan College. Nadia is currently starring as Rose Granger-Weasley in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway and is the social media ambassador for Arts Workers United and the Be An #ArtsHero campaign. You can view some of Nadia’s videos for BAAH/AWU here, here, here, and here. For more information on Nadia, please visit: www.nadiadenisebrown.com