Save Our Granite Stages Fund 19-A:15 Save Our Granite Stages Fund. There is hereby established the save our granite stages fund, which shall be appropriated for fiscal year 2022 to the New Hampshire state council on the arts for the purpose of providing grants to both non-profit and for-profit live venues that did not receive a grant from the federal Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) program, which was established by Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act (P.L.116-260). The fund shall be nonlapsing and kept separate and distinct from all other funds. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any discretionary federal funds received by the state in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency may be deposited into the fund. In addition to state appropriations, the council may accept grants, gifts, and donations for deposit in the fund.
A letter-writing campaign to Governor Sununu and the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee has begun to request that a minimum of $1 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan funds be deposited into the Fund. Suggested language (feel free to edit as you see fit!) and email addresses follow. It appears that the next meeting of the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee is August 20, but the sooner you write your letters the better. Thank you in advance for doing this and sharing this effort with your networks – we want to reach as many venues as possible!
Dear [Governor Sununu] [Members of the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee],
I am [We are] writing to you today regarding the Save Our Granite Stages Fund, which was created as part of the FY22-23 state budget through language in HB2. [feel free to attach the bill language to your email].
As you know, the Save Our Granite Stages Fund will be appropriated to the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts for FY22 to provide grants to nonprofit and for-profit live performing arts venues that did not receive grants through the federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program. For various reasons, there are a number of performing arts venues in New Hampshire that did not qualify for the SVOG program, many being smaller venues or those with unique organizational structures. The combination of extreme losses during the COVID-19 pandemic and extensive reopening costs are putting these venues at risk and they could benefit greatly from the new Save Our Granite Stages Fund as they resume operation.[If your organization is one of these, please elaborate here about why you didn’t qualify or get a grant. If your organization did get an SVOG, you can say so here.]
The Save Our Granite Stages Fund was created without a specific appropriation. I [We] therefore respectfully request that $1 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan funds be allocated to the Fund for the purpose of grants to this specific part of New Hampshire’s performing arts sector, to help them recover and reopen.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and for your ongoing support of New Hampshire’s creative economy.
Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee