The League of Independent Theater and sister organization IndieSpace will convene via a virtual town hall this month to address a key concern of the extended, widespread closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The League, which represents venues with 99 seats or less, will call upon elected officials to suspend commercial rent payments and provide long-term rent stabilization.
The online meeting will take place on May 28 at 1 PM ET. You can register here.
The announcement comes after the recent closures of two long-running New York City arts organizations: Manhattan's Shetler Studios, which closed its doors last week after 30 years in business, and The Secret Theatre in Long Island City.
“The artists tasked with creating the innovation needed to revive our culture and refresh our economy are being forced into untenable financial circumstances,” says the League’s Acting Director Aimee Todoroff. “Our community stood up and made painful sacrifices for the health and safety of our beloved city. Now, this often overlooked sector is simply asking that, while we are reinventing the cultural landscape, we are not also burdened with a back-log of debt accrued during a period when our work was involuntarily interrupted.”
“Without full rent cancellation we fear upwards of 25 percent of our indie venues will shutter for good post-COVID-19," adds Randi Berry of IndieSpace. "A loss of that magnitude impacts the entire cultural makeup of the city and leaves thousands of artists without a home to do their work. No rent deferral. We must cancel rent.”