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Goodspeed Opera House to Receive More Than $2 Million in American Rescue Plan Relief Funding, Courtney Announces

July 7, 2021
Press Release

NORWICH, CT—Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) made the following statement today after the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT was officially awarded a federal relief grant through the American Rescue Plan totaling more than $2,000,000. The grant was awarded to the historic opera house through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, which was authorized by Congress and supported by the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319) to target support specifically towards live venue operators—theaters, museums, cinemas, and other similar entities.

“We’re seeing over and over again how the American Rescue Plan is targeted at our local recovery in eastern Connecticut, and it’s great to see support coming home to assist the historic Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam,” Rep. Courtney said. “This federal funding is going to help Goodspeed and the other local venues we love to hit the ground running this summer, and to stay open and on their feet as our recovery continues. American Rescue Plan funding is helping our students get back on track, it’s supporting our local police stations and firehouses, and now it’s being delivered directly to our local live venues and theaters. This new support will make a big difference as they re-open this summer, and that’s exactly why I voted to pass the American Rescue Plan. Congratulations to Artistic Director Donna Lynn Hilton and the entire team at Goodspeed Opera House—they’re part of what makes eastern Connecticut a great place to call home, and it’s good to see them get the support they need.”

On April 7th, Rep. Courtney joined Donna Lynn Hilton, Artistic Director of Musicals at Goodspeed, and other local theater and live venue operators outside of the Goodspeed Opera House to announce the opening of applications for the SVOG program. Courtney helped create the SVOG program when he voted to pass H.R. 133, which authorized $15 billion for the program. The American Rescue Plan Act authorized an additional $1.5 billion to assist shuttered live venues. Courtney voted to pass the American Rescue Plan Act on March 10th, sending it to President Biden’s desk where it was signed into law on March 11th.

A federal SVOG grant of $2,080,000 will be awarded to the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT. The SVOG program was created to provide economic relief to live venues shuttered by COVID-19, and is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Impacted venues are able to put SVOG relief funding to use in a variety of ways, from payroll costs, to rent and utility payments, scheduled mortgage and debt payments, worker protection expenditures, state and local taxes and fees, insurance payments, maintenance and administrative costs, and a wide variety of other ordinary and necessary business expenses. Click here to read more.

In June, Courtney announced two SVOG grant awards totaling more than $420,000 to the Submarine Force Library and Museum Association in Groton, and to Niantic Cinemas (Niantic Cinema Corp.) in Niantic. Click here to read more. The SBA is still working to process SVOG grant applications from venues across the region, and is expected to provide more updates on outstanding grant applications.