Gov. Mario Cuomo delivers a 2021 State of the State address that includes a number of initiatives to support the arts.

Proctors Collaborative CEO: New York Arts Revival and other calls for action to recover from pandemic are promising 

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo launched New York Arts Revival — “a public-private partnership to bring back the arts” — during a 2021 State of the State address on Tuesday. 

The announcement comes on the heels of the passage of Congress’s $900 billion COVID-19 relief package in December, which included $15 billion to assist live music and theater venues, independent movie theaters and other cultural institutions. Eligibility requirements here. Now more voices are citing more ways in which the incoming Biden administration can assist.

Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks advocated for a cabinet secretary of arts and culture position to be created in an early December column; a “Dr. Anthony Fauci.… for the arts.” The sentiment reappeared in a USA Today op-ed and just Wednesday, in a New York Times essay which advocated for a new, federal cultural works project modeled after the Works Progress Administration under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“All of this state and federal attention is much needed and appreciated,” said Proctors Collaborative CEO Philip Morris following the broadcast of the State of the State address. “The cultural sector of America accounts for 5 percent of our total GNP. Being shutdown has impacted hundreds of thousands of workers, performers, designers, facilities and content creators. Now that recovery is becoming a growing expectation, the recovery of the cultural sector will be critical.”

In his State of the State this week, Gov. Cuomo tied the economic recovery in our cities to the viability of cultural institutions. “We must accelerate the return of the arts. Cities are by definition centers of energy, entertainment, theatre, and cuisine. Without that activity and attraction cities lose much of their appeal. What is a city without social, cultural, and creative synergies? New York City is not New York without Broadway.”

Morris said the state’s effort at last Saturday’s Buffalo Bills game, where 7,000 fans were tested by the New York State Department of Health prior to kickoff, points to a strategy that can be employed safely and effectively by Proctors Collaborative at its Albany (Capital Repertory Theatre), Saratoga (Universal Preservation Hall) and Schenectady (Proctors) venues. We’ve already having upgraded heating and cooling systems and fresh air intakes,” Morris reported. “The time to start testing ways to use the facilities is fast approaching.”

In New York the arts and culture industry accounts for almost half a million jobs, and generates $120 billion in economic output, according to Gov. Cuomo. “But these are not just statistics; they are our friends and our neighbors.”

New York Arts Revival will support numerous performances and events to kick-start the state’s efforts and support some of the out-of-work artists and technicians. “The Proctors Collaborative will be at the ready to support these efforts,” said Morris.