Senate Bill 1116, a measure introduced by Senator Anthony J. Portantino that seeks to create a payroll fund to support small nonprofit performing arts venues (SNPAOs) was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 29. The effort comes at a time when small community theatres are struggling in the aftermath of the pandemic.
On Thursday, Sept. 8 California legislators, artist labor unions, performing arts employers, arts advocates and Hollywood stars came together during a press conference at Boston Court Theatre in Pasadena to urge Gov. Newsom to invest in arts jobs and prevent the demise of more non-profit performing arts organizations by signing Senate Bill 1116. SB 1116 establishes an equitable payroll fund for the nonprofit arts sector. The bill has passed out of both houses of the Legislature and is now heading to the Gov. Gavin Newson’s desk for signature.
Participants in the press conference included Senator Portantino, Senator Susan Rubio, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, Kate Shindle – president of Actors’ Equity Association, actors Kate Burton, Kirsten Vangsness and Parvesh Cheena, screenwriter/playwright Josefina López, and arts leaders Martha Demson – president of Theatre Producers of Southern California, Julie Baker – executive director of California Arts Advocates and Gustavo Herrera – CEO of Arts for LA, and Marc Anthony Prichett – artistic director of Sacred Fools Theatre Company, along with video messages from actors French Stewart, Vanessa Claire Stewart and Alfred Molina.
The event was hosted by Jessica Kubzansky, artistic director of Boston Court Theatre and emceed by Cheryl Rizzo, managing director of Boston Court Theatre.