The Forgotten Artists

There has been coverage of Americans quitting their jobs at an alarming rate, there has been coverage of those who are at risk for losing their homes for non-payment of rent for various reasons mainly due to job loss or furlough.

However, there is a segment of the population that has been forgotten in the conversation. The artists. Not the celebrities or influencers but the actors & actresses, dancers, playwrights, theater directors, and more. Though there were some entertainment fields that qualified for relief such as unemployment benefits however there were many that did not qualify.

Jose Rodriguez Marmol is a graduate of Full Sail University in Entertainment Business and is currently working on his master’s degree in New Media Journalism set to graduate this upcoming December. Also, Rodriguez Marmol is the Co-Founder of JJ Art and Design Productions and on artistic-spot.com where there are over 87 podcast episodes dedicated to telling the stories of artists in Central Florida.

Photo by Zichuan Han on Pexels.com

According to the LA Times the in February 2020 reported that the number of people employed in LA County fell from 152,500 to 92,000 and is still recovering. Also, New York Daily News reported that prior to the shutdown in 2020 entertainment was producing $60  billion dollars in economic activity a huge blow for the city. Also, CNN has reported that 1 in 500 Americans has succumbed to the COVID-19 and as of Tuesday, September 14th 663,913 in total Americans have passed away from the virus.

“We cannot blame anybody …. this is a pandemic that started with something in my opinion that started with something that we were not prepared to face,” Rodriguez Marmol explains.

The question remains that with so much at stake for cities that receive large revenue streams from the arts and entertainment industry why has there hasn’t been an effort to ensure that the employees from these industries are receiving assistance? There has been helping from independent organizations Artsnet has posted a full list of organizations for artists looking for assistance. The most notable organization is Artist Relief who is offering a $5,000 grant relief for artists who have lost their source of income during the pandemic. Many have also found relief through the CARES Act which states used to help local arts and culture organizations and employees.

“Working as an Operations Manager at a property management company and seeing how people most of them working for the theme park industry and being the Arts and Entertainment Industry is one the most affected industries and the last industry to restart again. You start thinking about why this is happening”

Jose Rodriguez Marmol

 However, this may not be enough for artists who have impacted six months or longer and are still waiting on relief from the Emergency Rental Assistance program which has been slowly moving. The residents of Orlando and Orange County Florida have been fortunate as a plan has been put in place for those who need assistance with rent.

The residents of Orlando and Orange County Florida have been fortunate as a plan has been put in place for those who need assistance with rent. “Orange County has done a great job offering rental assistance programs. There is not only a rental assistance program from the city of Orlando there is also a rental assistance program from Orange County because we are in a city that has two Mayors.”

Which are Buddy Dyer who is the Mayor of Orlando FL and Jerry L. Demings who is the Mayor of Orange County, FL both have the qualifications listed on the city of Orlando’s website. Though it’s not immediate assistance it is a step in the right direction to help those who work in entertainment, arts, and Culture.

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