The $30 million founding father: How 'Hamilton' got federal aid

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, June 25, 2024


The $30 million founding father: How 'Hamilton' got federal aid
Outside the closed Richard Rodgers Theatre where "Hamilton" was playing before the pandemic in New York, Oct. 3, 2020. The megahit had five separate productions around the nation, and with each applying for $10 million in pandemic relief to help get back onstage, the tally could reach $50 million. Karsten Moran/The New York Times.

by Michael Paulson



NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- “Hamilton” is the biggest Broadway hit in years, and until the coronavirus pandemic shuttered all of its productions, it was making a lot of money: It has played to full houses since it opened in 2015, and on Broadway it has been seen by 2.6 million people and grossed $650 million.

So why is the show getting $30 million in relief from the federal government, with the possibility of another $20 million coming down the road?

The answer is that, before the pandemic, “Hamilton” had five separately incorporated productions running in the United States — one on Broadway and four on tour — and, under the rules set up for the government’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which provides pandemic relief for the culture sector and live-event businesses, each was eligible for $10 million to help make up for lost revenue.

The practice of separately incorporating touring productions is standard in the commercial theater business, and other shows similarly applied for $10 million in assistance for each production running before the pandemic. But “Hamilton” stands to get the most money because it had the most touring productions.

As of this week, “Hamilton” has been approved for $10 million each for the Broadway production and two touring productions; it has not yet heard about the other two tours.

Aware that a large amount of federal aid going to a megahit could raise eyebrows, the show’s lead producer, Jeffrey Seller, agreed to explain why “Hamilton” qualified for it, and to describe how the money would be used, as intended, to restore the show’s five American companies to financial health. (The show also had a London production that was not eligible for the American relief program.)

“Remember when Chrysler and GM were about to go bankrupt? In the same way that the federal government came in to bail out auto companies, it’s doing the same thing for all of show business with this legislation,” he said. “It’s returning us to health and it’s protecting the well-being of our employees.”

Seller said that none of the money would go to the show’s producers (including him) or its investors, and none would be used as royalties for artists (including the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda).




Instead, he said, the money will be used to remount the shuttered productions, and to reimburse the productions for pandemic-related expenses.

The reopening expenses are varied — a month of rehearsals to get actors, musicians, stagehands and others ready to perform again, as well as longer workshops for new cast members. Plus there are the costs of repairing and replacing equipment, transporting people and sets, hiring COVID safety personnel, and marketing the shows.

And the pandemic expenses, incurred throughout the shutdown, included financial assistance, health insurance coverage, and, in some cases, housing aid for those who had been employed by the productions at the time of the shutdown. Seller said “Hamilton” had continued to pay health insurance costs for all former employees throughout the pandemic, and had made emergency cash grants as well.

There were more mundane expenses as well, including $784,000 in rent for the show’s Broadway theater (yes, Broadway landlords continued to seek rent from producers during the pandemic), as well as warehouse storage for costumes, and flights for cast and crew who needed to get home when the touring stopped.

“‘Hamilton’ has spent many millions of dollars during a time in which it was earning no income,” Seller said. “Our goal is for ‘Hamilton’ to be in the same financial position it was in when we suspended operations on March 12, 2020.”

The rollout of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant initiative, a $16 billion federal aid program designed to help get cultural organizations back on their feet after the pandemic forced many to close, has been plagued by delays and confusion. But the Small Business Administration, which is administering the program, has begun announcing grant recipients, and there are indications that Broadway and its affiliated businesses could fare well.

As of Monday, the administration said that among the entities getting $10 million, which is the maximum available for a single grant, were two Broadway landlords, the Nederlander Organization, which controls nine Broadway theaters (one of which houses “Hamilton”), and Jujamcyn Theaters, which controls five, as well as the Roundabout Theater Company, a nonprofit that runs three Broadway houses. David Byrne’s Broadway show, “American Utopia,” was also among those getting $10 million.

Nederlander affiliates that run commercial theaters in Los Angeles and Chicago each got $10 million. Three Broadway touring productions managed by NETWorks were given grants — $10 million for “Fiddler on the Roof”; $9.8 million for “Waitress”; and $9 million for “The Band’s Visit.”

Even a nightspot frequented by Broadway fans and artists did well: Feinstein’s/54 Below got $3.6 million.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.










Today's News

July 1, 2021

From gutter to gallery: Aleph Contemporary exhibits works by Henry Ward

Minneapolis Institute of Art acquires nearly 800 works on paper by Theodore Roszak

The World Wide Web sells for $5.4 million

New Hans Christian Andersen museum opens in Denmark

V&A reveals new creative vision for V&A East, alongside first acquisitions

Over 200 million years ago, nature called. It was full of beetles.

Exhibition at the Städel Museum sheds light on modern photography's wide-ranging trends

Kunstmuseen Krefeld presents 'Lehmbruck - Kolbe - Mies van der Rohe: Artificial Biotopes'

Kenjirō Okazaki joins Blum & Poe

Gainsborough's masterpiece The Blue Boy to return to the UK - exactly 100 years, to the day, since it left

High Museum receives $3.1 million conservation grant from Sara Giles Moore Foundation

Hello, i'm Victor (FEWOCiOUS) and This Is My Life totals $2.16 million

Chadwick masterpieces triumph at Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art sale

Hollywood history worn by Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and more struts into Heritage Auctions

The Steinway that traveled the world with Elton John lands at Heritage Auctions

Wellington Arch's Quadriga Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Daniel Crews-Chubb

The $30 million founding father: How 'Hamilton' got federal aid

Ellen McIlwaine, slide guitarist with a power voice, dies at 75

Black Dance Stories: By the artists, for the people

Modern Art announces representation of the Estate of Karlo Kacharava

'It's a rush of culture!' Americans return to Paris

Important group of medals awarded to Captain Peter Townsend to be sold at Dix Noonan Webb

Whistling as an art almost died off. Can Molly Lewis keep it alive?

ARTA accelerates integrations with art galleries, marketplaces and auction houses to support surge in online sales

How to start an online payment processing company?

Uncontested & Contested Divorce in Arkansas │ What's the Difference?

DIY tricks for cowboy hat painting

Top 6 Pros of Ceramic Bands That Are Worth Knowing

Advantages and disadvantages of working with FxPro broker

Artist Gloria Gao Q&A

How to Identify a High Quality CBD Oil

5 Ways to Get Creative With CBD Oils




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful