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Orlando Congressman Hosts Mini Concert in Office, Unveils New CREATE Art Act

Orlando Democratic Congressman Maxwell Alejandro Frost unveiled new legislation alongside congressional colleagues and creative industry leaders at a mini concert event in his office where attendees heard from Orlando-based, soulful indie band Venture Motel.

The Central Florida Democrat and Rep. Dan Kildee, Rep. Greg Casar, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, all Democrats, announced the introduction of new legislation to create federal grant programs to support the work of emerging artists – the CREATE Art Act.

The federal legislation, aimed at advancing equity, diversity, and opportunity for creatives to be able to pursue fulfilling careers in the arts, would establish four new grant programs for artists to be able to tap into to cover a wide variety of costs from instruments and studio time to marketing and travel costs for emerging creatives dedicating their lives to their craft.

“Artists contribute value to our community’s culture and economy but are asked to assume the risk and expense,” said Congressman Frost. “The same way we assist small businesses in getting off the ground, we should be supporting emerging artists. The CREATE Art Act would help usher in a new era of support and equity across countless creative industries and the local economies they empower. Central Florida wouldn’t be the world-class destination for arts that it is without the creatives that live there. It’s time we invest back into them.”

The legislation has been endorsed by the Recording Academy®, the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), National Independent Venues Association (NIVA), United Musicians & Allied Workers (UMAW), Future of Music Coalition, Song Writers of North America (SONA), Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC), Artist Rights Alliance, and the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO.

“I am proud to help introduce this legislation that will give emerging artists the resources they need to make a living for themselves in creative industries,” said Rep. Kildee. “Live music and performing arts contribute billions to our economy each year. And they also bring our communities together. By investing in artists, we are enriching our communities, helping create good-paying jobs, and boosting our local economies.”

“As someone who represents the Live Music Capital of the world, so many of my constituents are musicians and artists. But when we say we love our ‘starving artists,’ we don’t actually mean we want them to starve,” said Rep. Casar. “With the CREATE Art Act, we’re making sure the next generation of artists can support themselves, boost our local economies, and inspire us all.”

Other initial feedback from supporters included:

Todd Dupler, Chief Advocacy & Public Policy Officer for the Recording Academy said, “As an organization that exists to serve and elevate all music creators, the Recording Academy is thrilled to celebrate today’s introduction of the CREATE Art Act. Music is essential to the well-being of our communities, and we are grateful for Rep. Frost’s work to ensure emerging musicians have the resources they need to thrive. Today is just the beginning, and together we can champion the next generation of creativity.”

“We thank Representatives Frost, Casar, Ocasio-Cortez, and Kildee for their continued efforts to support creatives and artists through the creation of the CREATE Art Act. The CREATE Art Act represents a transformative step forward in nurturing the growth and sustainability of emerging artists. By reducing financial barriers and fostering equitable opportunities, this legislation not only supports the artistic community but also enriches our cultural landscape. A2IM is proud to endorse an initiative that aligns so closely with our mission of empowering independent music’s diverse voices,” said Dr. Richard James Burgess, President and CEO A2IM (American Association of Independent Music).”

“Songwriters of North America (SONA) applauds Representative Frost for his vision in recognizing the critical impact that creators have on our society. Songwriters represent the smallest of small businesses in this country, yet our music is an integral part of daily life. This Act has the power to create opportunities for burgeoning songwriters and ensure that working songwriters can continue to create. The CREATE Act puts the U.S. on a path to an even playing field with other nations that rightly support creators,” said Erin McAnally, Executive Director of SONA (Songwriters of North America).

“Performing artists are why stages exist, capturing the vibrancy that every community aims to showcase. However, the U.S. lags behind other OECD countries in supporting these artists,” said Stephen Parker, Executive Director of the National Independent Venue Association. “The CREATE Art Act acknowledges the importance of artistry as a vital workforce sector, offering financial support to help emerging artists begin their careers and tour. The nation’s independent live entertainment sector is grateful to Rep. Frost, Rep. Kildee, Rep. Casar, and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for their efforts to bring the U.S. in line with other global powers in providing artists the resources they need to thrive.”

“BMAC is invested in finding new ways to bring our collective influence and bargaining power together in order to amplify and galvanize the artistic community around legislation that protects and empowers this community. We were instantly drawn and were quick to endorse the CREATE Art Act as it directly impacts the creative community through federal legislation. This bill speaks to the work we’re doing to create a guaranteed income program for artists across the country,” said BMAC Co-Founder/ CEO/ President, Willie “Prophet” Stiggers. “We worked closely with the RAP Act, which created a national conversation that led to states passing bills, and hope that our endorsement here will help make similar noise and waves.”

“I applaud the introduction of the CREATE Art Act, which is the type of smart policy solution needed to help build diverse talent pipelines and grow a more representative sector. DPE’s affiliate unions fundamentally believe that diversity is a strength and are dedicated to creating more and better opportunities for underrepresented people in the arts, entertainment, and media industries. I commend Rep. Frost, Rep. Kildee, and Rep. Casar for recognizing that all people should be able to pursue a career with fair pay and benefits,” said Jennifer Dorning, President, Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE).

“The Artist Rights Alliance thanks Rep. Frost for his leadership helping emerging artists pursue their craft. In this time of uncertainty, when artists face so many challenges earning a living wage, the CREATE Art Act will help open the doors of opportunity for the next generation of musicians, recording artists, songwriters, performers and more. This legislation represents a profound investment in the future of our culture and the storytellers of tomorrow,” said Jen Jacobsen, Executive Director of the Artist Rights Alliance.

“It has become increasingly difficult to survive as a working class artist. Everywhere we turn from streaming companies paying a fraction of pennies, to labels cutting unfair deals, to large venue conglomerates taking merch cuts large corporations have chipped away at our income. This has put the dream of being a musician out of reach and continues to stratify the music industry into have and have nots. The ‘‘CREATE Art Act’’ introduced by Rep. Maxwell Frost is a fantastic step to bring value and direct support to artists and if passed, that support will help countless working class musicians find how to pay rent and grow their careers in music,” said Zack Nestel-Patt, musician and organizer with UMAW (United Musicians and Allied Workers).

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