Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Held an Informational Hearing on Safely Reopening California’s Arts Venues

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Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Held an Informational Hearing on Safely Reopening California’s Arts Venues

SACRAMENTO, CAAssemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Fullerton) Chair of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media held an informational hearing to discuss the best practices for safely reopening California’s arts and entertainment venues as they continue to face the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we know, the arts, culture, and creative economy sectors have been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.  Today’s hearing provided a forum for museums, galleries and performance venues to share with the Legislature their experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, including the impact of stay at home orders on their businesses, staff and artists themselves.

“I am thankful to have the opportunity to bring our industry leaders and committee together to speak about California’s art and entertainment needs for increased funding and guidelines to return safely and responsibly,” said Committee Chair Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “We must ensure that our California Recovery will not be without our creative and artistic industries that bring vibrancy to our State’s economy.

The Committee hearing took place in the Assembly Chambers and through virtual testimonies to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols. With the arts and entertainment industry being a driving engine of $650 billion in financial output per year and roughly 16% of jobs in California, the State must consider how they will address the financial needs for our venues.  The role the arts, culture, and entertainment business has in the reopening and rebuilding of our California economy is crucial.  Our experts in all ranges of the Art Community, including economists and the California Arts Council provided us with how the efforts of government have helped so far, what you need, and what we can do to be of greater assistance.

“Today I heard from Arts and Entertainment industry leaders who are desperately seeking leadership, consistent guidelines, and a clear and concise path to reopening. From Arts, to Live Entertainment, Museum, Theatre, Sports Venues and Theme Park industries—all are an important part of California’s economy, particularly in my community in Southern California, and all made their voices heard today,” said Committee Vice Chair Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares. “We must now begin the work necessary to help the men and women in these industries get back to work doing what they love.”

The Committee continues to bring together the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media industries to exchange best practices for reopening as well the financial strain on the artist and the industry.  The informational hearings will very helpful to the Legislature as we move through the policy and budget session under this pandemic.