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The arts are included in new COVID-19 relief bill

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 5:26 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Right now it might be tough for theaters like the Rose to imagine a full house.

COVID-19 has forced officials here to socially distance, filling seats with artwork to help fight the virus.

All of these blocked off seats represent tickets that can’t be sold for live shows. The virus has hurt businesses.

In non-COVID times the Rose seats around 900 people, now with social distancing it seats about 260.

There are around 15 billion dollars in the COVID-19 relief bill that will help small theaters, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions around the country get through these tough times.

The Nebraska District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Leon Milobar says, “anyone who produces plays, anybody who’s involved with events, this is an opportunity for them. We have a specific set aside for them.”

The money will help keep people working, especially individual artists.

Matt Gutschick, the Artistic Director of The Rose, says, ”the business problem we think of as something that’s immediate and it’s very acute but we do also recognize that it’s not going to last forever. We’re a mission-driven organization which means that despite that business challenge we still got to serve kids in this community.”

Officials with the Small Business Administration says there are some restrictions as to who qualifies for these specific relief funds. Officials say larger corporations and publicly traded companies do not qualify for the funds.

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