Be An #ArtsHero/Arts Workers United Co-Founder Carson Elrod, last seen on Broadway in Peter and the Starcatcher, will testify during a January 19 Congressional House Hearing before the Small Business Committee chaired by Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez.
The 10 AM ET hearing on the Arts and Culture Sector is titled The Power, Peril, and Promise of the Creative Economy. Elrod, co-founder of Be An #ArtsHero, which has evolved into Arts Workers United, will serve as one of four witnesses alongside Actors' Equity Association's Sandra Karas; Presleys Theater's Raeanne Presley, testifying on behalf of the National Independent Venue Association; and Oregon Shakespeare Theatre's Nataki Garrett.
Throughout the past eight months, Be An #ArtsHero/Arts Workers United has worked closely with Democratic and Republican representatives advocating for a hearing on the Creative Economy. The remote hearing will be the first to draw attention to the Arts and Culture economy in its entirety as a whole sector.
“From the earliest days of Be An #ArtsHero, our objective in every meeting the past two years was to get Congress to hold a hearing on the entirety of the American Creative Economy. We are humbled, honored, and thrilled to be invited to testify before the Small Business Committee on behalf of distressed Arts Workers everywhere,“ says Elrod.
"As the Omicron variant sweeps across our nation, once again shutting down live events, it only further drives home how vital it is that Congress understands our Creative Economy desperately needs dedicated relief, recovery, and representation,” adds Jenny Grace Makholm, co-founder of Be An #ArtsHero.
Representing nearly 5.2 million American workers, the arts sector is a major component of the economy. The hearing will provide recommendations for investments in key infrastructure and provide a roadmap for bringing arts, culture, and creativity into the center of long-term recovery.
Be An #ArtsHero/Arts Workers United is also encouraging all Arts Workers to make their voices heard and testify across the country on their social media channels to spread awareness and solidarity in a Day of Testimony. For details, visit BeAnArtsHero.com.
To view a livestream of the hearing, click here.