New York -- Actors' Equity Association, the national union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers working in live theatre, released the following statement after Congress passed an FY23 budget that funded the National Endowment for the Arts at $207 million – an increase of $27 million over FY22.
“The National Endowment for the Arts supports jobs in every Congressional district in the country. While we advocate primarily for the actors and stage managers we represent, we applaud that NEA funding also drives economic growth in restaurants, hospitality, tourism and beyond. This increase will mean more jobs and a stronger economy for everyone,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association. “I want to especially thank Reps. Pingree, Bonamici and Senator Merkley for getting this funding increase across the finish line.
“While we did not achieve all our priorities in this Congress, the additional $25 million for the NLRB will support unionizing workers and lessen the impact of union-busting employer stall tactics. Though the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act didn’t move in this Congress, we will be back, and we will be even louder. PATPA is a reasonable fix, as evidenced by our 100+ cosponsors in the House and Senate. Workers in the performing arts – an industry that makes massive contributions to our national economy – are paying close attention to this legislation, and I look forward to advancing this bipartisan tax fairness bill in the next Congress.”
Equity has long made public arts funding a cornerstone of the union's advocacy. This included fighting back against multiple attempts for the Trump administration to eliminate the NEA altogether and championing annual budget increases with a goal of funding the agency at $1 per capita.
ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. www.actorsequity.org #EquityWorks
December 23, 2022