SACRAMENTO – Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) announced today that the 2021-22 state budget includes $50 million in immediate funding that she requested to help struggling small theaters as they emerge from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Small nonprofit performing arts companies have historically been undervalued and under funded despite their contributions to the economic growth, social well-being and cultural vitality of the local communities they serve,” Senator Rubio said. “As a public school teacher and young performer in local theater in East Los Angeles, I know how critical exposure to art is for our young people. These organizations are culturally rooted and are considered the onramp and incubator for new works and opportunities for emerging performers and people entering the creative performing arts industries. This funding will help preserve job opportunities for performers and people in the performing arts sector, particularly workers and artists in marginalized communities.”

“Senator Susan Rubio has emerged as one of our leading champions for the survival and sustainability of small nonprofit performing arts organizations and arts workers,” said Julie Baker, Executive Director of California Arts Advocates. “Her passion, creativity and tireless commitment to supporting our sector deserves recognition and applause. We are grateful to her and her outstanding staff for their persistence and look forward to continued partnership to secure resources and funding for this vital workforce and creative industry to California.”

“As a community nonprofit theater based in the predominantly Latino working class neighborhood of Boyle Heights, we would like to thank Senator Rubio,” said Emmanuel Deleage, Executive Director of Casa 0101 Theater. “This is an important first step that will help companies like Casa 0101 as we begin our re-opening efforts coming out of the pandemic. Community theaters do more than present plays. We provide access to the arts to underserved communities and partner with other non-profits to use the arts in educational settings. We also want to take this moment to highlight SB 805 by Senator Rubio, which is an innovative long term solution that will provide sustainability to this important sector of our creative economy.

Senator Susan Rubio represents Senate District 22 in Los Angeles County. It includes the cities of Alhambra, Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Covina, El Monte, Industry, Irwindale, La Puente, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Rosemead, South El Monte, Temple City and West Covina; and unincorporated communities of Avocado Heights, Charter Oak, Citrus, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel, Mayflower Village, North El Monte, South Monrovia Island, South San Gabriel, South San Jose Hills, Valinda, Vincent and West Puente Valley.

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For more information, visit https://sd22.senate.ca.gov/

Steve Moyer
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WHAT IS SB 805?

SB 805 will create a critical funding infrastructure to help assist our SMALL NONPROFIT PERFORMING ARTS COMPANIES (SNPACs), known as the PERFORMING ARTS EQUITABLE PAYROLL FUND, which will allocate matching funds to pay all workers minimum wage.

In addition, the bill also directs the California Arts Council to establish the CALIFORNIA NONPROFIT PERFORMING ARTS PAYMASTER, which will provide low-cost payroll and paymaster services to SNPACs.

READ THE BILL

 

CLICK HERE

 

Testimonials

“Over The last several years our organization, California Arts Advocates has worked with the legislature to investigate exemptions for small budget arts organizations that due to systemic undercapitalization of the arts and culture sector and the companion desire to keep arts affordable and accessible for all, simply cannot afford compliance with AB 5. Our deep concern now is that the one two punch of AB 5 and COVID may result in a loss of small budget arts organizations across California that are critical to offering community and educational based programs that employ emerging performers. That is why we support SB 805 and look forward to working with labor and the legislature to see its passage.”

Julie Baker
Executive Director of California for the Arts

“The world of intimate theatre provides the only access many artists, especially artists of color, have to hone their craft, network with others and ultimately achieve the kind of upward mobility that would otherwise be locked behind a paywall. This vital, grassroots pipeline will be the victim of collateral damage if we don’t find a way to make our voices heard to the powers that be.”

Marc Antonio Pritchett
Co-Artistic Director of Sacred Fools Theater Company

“Without SB 805, we will be leaving behind – and shutting out – countless local artists and stories, as well as a significant amount of representation on and off our stages.”

Oanh Nguyen
Executive Artistic Director of Chance Theater

“I’m surely not against paying actors. The Victory Theatre Center has always paid its actors. But the unintended consequences of AB 5 are that the majority of little theaters with budgets under $250,000 per year will be unable to function. The Victory will not be able to do its usual four productions per year. It’s even questionable we could do one. We could not continue our outreach to schools. The closure of the majority of small theaters would be a loss to our communities.”

Maria Gobetti
Co-Founding Artistic Director of The Victory Theatre Center

“Small professional arts organizations are immensely important because they are often the only arts incubators available for emerging talent. Without these organizations many writers, actors, directors, and designers simply would not have an opportunity to refine and show their work and be discovered. Each year, Rogue Machine offers 50 to 100 artists that opportunity to work and refine. Rogue Machine is proud that Kemp Powers, screenwriter of One Night in Miami… and Soul, and John Pollono, screenwriter of Stronger and Small Engine Repair, were able to start their careers through productions at Rogue Machine.”

John Perrin Flynn
Founding Artistic Director of Rogue Machine Theatre

“With the passage of SB 805, this bill will have a positive impact on BIPOC theaters that are doing work that benefits the public good, especially in low-income and underrepresented communities.”

Armando Molino
Artistic Director for Company of Angeles

“Small theaters don’t have development departments with a staff who focus exclusively on grant writing and donor development, nor marketing department or even a technical department. In small theaters, a very small number of people wear an inordinate number of hats to make the arts come alive. Comparing small non-profits arts organizations to other sectors of the economy is like comparing apples to oranges. There is very little money that is generated in the small performing arts world, yet we provide valuable services in terms access, representation and community building.”

Emmanuel Deleage
Executive Director of CASA 0101 Theater

“The 99-seat theater is a haven where new voices of writers and performers are nurtured in a safe environment. It allows the non-commercial stories to be developed and produced for low-income audiences who lack the financial means to experience live theater in larger houses. It is in the small 99-seat theater where we have achieved: Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility.”

Odalys Nanin
Producing Artistic Director/President of Macha Theatre Company/Films

“SB 805 will be the beacon light of hope to diverse voices and communities of color whose platforms have been and will continue to be the small non-profit theatres and visual arts organizations. It is the bridge of dreams and job opportunities to major profit theatres and arts organizations. It is the educational artistic platform for millions of young actors, artists, playwrights, designers, technicians, directors and producers whose dreams are to contribute to the artistic and social landscape. It is the foundation of the large profit theatres for their future artists and audiences. It is a step to the economic engine of this country.”

William Virchis
Producing Artistic Director of Teatro Máscara Mágica

“As an Independent Artist SB 805 which will allow me to nourish future generations with artistic tools and alternative ways to express, heal and tell their narratives of their families.”

Cristal Gonzalez
Freelance Artist