Senator Tim Kearney

HARRISBURG, PA April 21, 2022– Senator Tim Kearney (D – Delaware/Chester) recently announced his plans to introduce legislation to help organizations within the arts and culture sector gain financial stability. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Dollars for Arts and Culture legislation would provide these organizations with much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

The proposed legislation would allocate $25 million in ARP Act funding for arts programs and facilities throughout the Commonwealth—specifically targeting organizations that did not receive or qualify for financial assistance through other programs.

“The health of the arts and culture sector directly impacts our nation’s social and economic vitality,” said Senator Kearney. “I’ve had conversations with numerous arts institutions, that simply need more help. It’s imperative that we provide them with the assistance needed to gain sound financial footing as we make our way out of the pandemic.”

In a recent survey conducted by Americans for the Arts, nearly 20,000 arts organizations and agencies nationwide reported a combined total financial loss of $1.7 billion. Nationally, the sector is estimated to have lost $15.2 billion. For Pennsylvania and many other states, these losses include ticket revenue, performance opportunities, employment, and more. A 2020 study by The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings estimates that more than 97,000 jobs in Pennsylvania’s creative industry were lost during the first four months of the pandemic.

Senator Kearney’s legislation would look to provide some of the arts and culture organizations in Pennsylvania with the funding needed to address these losses and bring about financial stability.

Specifically, the legislation would allow the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts to administer funding through three programs:

  1. A $10 million allocation of funding to be administered regionally by the Pennsylvania Council on the Art’s (PCA) Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts regranting partners to be distributed on a per county per capita basis.
  2. A $10 million allocation of funding to PCA directly for non-matching grants up to $25,000.
  3. A $5 million allocation to PCA to administer a program to support community recovery and resiliency through the arts.

The need for this legislation to support arts and culture is undeniable. While some industries are recovering and have seen gains in recent months, the arts sector is among one of the slowest to do so. Senator Kearney hopes to aid these organizations during their recovery process.

The full co-sponsorship memo is available here.