Statement from Ovation TV CEO Charles Segars on the passage of the American Rescue Plan

March 22, 2021

Ovation TV and its signature advocacy platform Stand For The Arts applaud the passage of the American Rescue Plan for including $135 million in funding for both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). But while a good first step in providing relief for the distressed arts industry, this funding is a mere fraction of the value the arts sector drove to the national economy every year pre-pandemic. The arts were an $877 billion dollar industry in America, and need massive investment if the sector is to fully recover and thrive in the long-term.

Given arts and entertainment are such a massive economic driver, we need a cabinet-level position, a new Secretary of Arts and Culture, to establish a real national plan for plan for this sector’s relief and to guide the process of equitable recovery.

In the past year, Ovation’s Stand For The Arts coalition has grown to over 130 organizations, mainly comprised of local and regional arts organizations and nonprofits who are struggling to keep their doors open while continuing to deliver performances, education and bring the joy of art and expression to their communities during this difficult time. Ovation TV has put $1 million behind efforts to support these organizations, including public service announcements and lobbying our Congress to prioritize their financial hardship. While we are assisting in crucial fundraising efforts to save arts organizations from permanent closure and to bring arts workers back to work, we cannot do it alone. The need for more federal support for the arts is evident, and our entire economy will recover sooner if the arts and culture scenes, including performance venues and concert halls, receive additional federal aid.

— Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation TV