Art Market

New York art dealers backed a COVID-19 relief bill to suspend rent.

Daria Simone Harper
Mar 27, 2020 5:05PM, via Art Dealers Association of America

An NYPD officer wearing a face mask. Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez via Getty Images

The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) and the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) have come out in support of a COVID-19 relief bill to suspend rent proposed by New York State Senator Michael Gianaris. ADAA’s announcement letter reads that the proposed bill would “suspend rent payment obligations for a period of 90 days for small businesses and individuals experiencing financial hardship as a result of coronavirus.”

The legislation was developed following the news of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 90-day mortgage relief program which provided aid for the state's homeowners but failed to include renters. Gianaris’s proposed rent suspension would apply to both commercial and residential tenants, and would provide crucial relief to New York art galleries, artists, and art workers.

To promote awareness of the proposed bill, social media users have been using the hashtag #CancelRent. Just last week, NADA launched a petition calling on the government to provide financial aid to small and mid-sized art spaces. NADA is currently encouraging their community to contact their local representatives to get the rent relief bill passed.

This support comes as cultural institutions and arts organizations across the country begin to experience the economic fallout of COVID-19. Recently, major institutions have been forced to lay off staff and have pressed Congress to include a $4-billion arts and culture bailout as part of the nation's federal relief budget.

Daria Simone Harper