Helen Hayes Awards


‘Arts Are For The Wealthy?’

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Children's Chorus of Washington is one D.C.-based arts organization facing a possible 6 percent ticket tax.

The latest piece in the D.C. budget debate: whether art patrons will have to pay a 6 percent tax on ticket sales.

The current proposal, if approved, would tax arts and performance tickets in the District (except those put on by federal institutions). The Washington City Paper reports that among those who testified against the tax Monday was Linda Levy Grossman, president and CEO of the Helen Hayes Awards, who had this to say:

Grossman said the “inaccurate assumption” that arts patrons have the spare cash to pay more for a ticket “further perpetuates the erroneous assumption that arts are for the wealthy.”

Since this tax is a flat one, it is regressive, meaning it applies to all people the same regardless of income levels. And such a tax affects lower income people more than the rich.

Representatives of other arts organization, such as Step Afrika! director Brian Williams, said they already charge patrons less than what the tickets are worth, and they make up the difference by securing sponsorships.