Senator Susan Rubio Bill to Save Small Performing Arts Theaters  Passes State Assembly Arts Committee

June 21, 2021

SACRAMENTO, CA – The State Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Committee today passed a bill by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) that will help save small community performing arts organizations from disappearing and allow them to continue their important work as social justice vehicles for marginalized voices.

Senate Bill 805, “Save The Performing Arts Act of 2021,” creates a program that will offer vital funding for small non-profit performing arts organizations to help them recover from the devastating impacts caused by the pandemic, as well as help them comply with AB 5.  The funding, slated specifically for pay for artists and production workers, will be distributed in the form of grants based on the organization’s size (i.e. smaller organizations get larger grants).  There will be a maximum revenue cap for eligible organizations. This funding will apply to all performing arts industry, including theaters, operas, and symphonies. It will also create a low-cost payroll services to nonprofit performing arts organizations.

“Small theaters are the beginning point for emerging voices and artists, especially in marginalized communities, so I want to thank the State Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Committee for passing this bill,” Senator Rubio said. “I also want to thank all the amazing artists who are part of the SB 805 Coalition for their support, including Michelle Krusiec who testified on behalf of the bill today. They have worked tirelessly, and remain committed to worker protections. Our work is not done, and their enthusiasm and determination will be essential as we move through the legislative process.”

“As an Asian American woman in our country, I know what it feels like to be invisible,” said Michelle Krusiec, an award-winning actor, writer, director. “I am never included in the conversation, and it was very important today to be seen by the Arts committee. This is why I’m an artist, to fight for visibility and change. Everything I am in this moment as a person and artist, I learned in the theatre. Artists need theatre companies because they provide infrastructure and together they build community. The conversations that take place on these stages, develop and serve as incubators for these artists to grow and evolve. That was true for me. You cannot underestimate the work that’s being borne out of these small theatres. Oftentimes, for my community, they are the only spaces we have to strengthen our voices.” 

SB 805 Coalition Member Include: Theatrical Producer’s League Los Angeles, Theatre Bay Area, Californians for the Arts/California Arts Advocates, San José Arts Advocates, Alliance of Desert Theatres; Theaters:  24th Street Theatre, Actors Co-op Theatre Company, Altarena Playhouse, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, CASA 0101 Theater, Celebration Theatre, Chance Theater, Coin & Ghost, Collaborative Artist Bloc, Company of Angels, Dezart Performs, El Teatro Campesino, Fountain Theatre, IAMA Theatre Company, Infinite Jest Theatre Company, The Inkwell Theater, Inland Valley Repertory Theater, Interact Theatre Company, Macha Theatre Company/Films, Moving Arts, New American Theatre, Numi Opera, Open Fist Theatre Company, Ophelia’s Jump, Playwrights’ Arena, Rogue Machine Theatre, Rogues Artists Ensemble, Sacred Fools Theater Company at the Broadwater, Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre, Sierra Madre Playhouse, Skylight Theatre Company, SkyPilot Theatre Company, The Robey Theatre Company, The Victory Theatre Center, Theatre of NOTE, Theatre Unleashed, Teatro Máscara Mágica, Teatro Visión, Theatre West, Town Hall Theatre: Independent Artists:  producer Michaela Bulkley, Robert Fancy, Cristal Gonzalez, and hundreds of union workers in the performing arts. 

SB 805 will go to the State Assembly Labor and Employment on Tuesday. 


Media Contact: Edward Barrera,