Just 9.4 percent of the 4,500 state and local agencies that fund performing arts projects require that institutions carrying out funded performances must pay their actors a living wage, a report by the Actors' Equity Association found.
This finding, which was released on Tuesday, stood as part of the association's larger memo on how state and local agencies can serve as a "force of change" in promoting equity within an industry that has been economically ravaged by COVID-19. The AEA is a labor union representing theatrical performers.
From 2019 to 2020, the unemployment rate of actors jumped from nearly 25 percent to more than 52 percent, according to a January report by the National Endowment for the Arts. The revenue of performing arts centers between the months of July and September dropped by 54 percent from a 2019 high of $1.9 billion to a sum of roughly $860 million in 2020.