WATCH THIS VIDEO FOR STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING UNEMPLOYMENT IN OKLAHOMA.
Statewide arts and entertainment organizations are stepping up to make a difference to Oklahoma’s creative industry professionals due to their critical loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. These statewide leading organizations include the Oklahoma Arts Council, The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO), the Red Dirt Relief Fund, Horton Records, The Church Studio, the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture, Arts Alliance Tulsa, and the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO).
“As a result of our collaborative efforts, we have been able to identify the most impactful ‘Top Five Action Steps for the Arts + Entertainment Industry Workforce During COVID-19’,” said Tava Maloy Sofsky, Director of OF+MO. “Our office continues to monitor the rapidly evolving situation around COVID-19 and our focus is on the health and safety of our communities around the state.”
Here are the ‘Top Five Steps’ any self-employed creative, independent artist, gig-worker, or small business owner should take:
Top Five Action Steps for Arts + Entertainment Industry Workforce During COVID-19:
1. The federal government will send one-time economic stimulus payments that will be direct-deposited (or mailed) based the filing of 2019 or 2018 taxes. Filing your taxes will ensure you receive this one-time economic stimulus payment. If you have not filed your taxes for 2018 or 2019, this is your first step. The federal government is sending up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, depending on your income.
2. Oklahoma unemployment benefits will now be extended to self-employed and 1099 “gig” workers.
APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS HERE. Acceptance and approval applications for benefits is determined only by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.
3. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan – Apply for a Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) up to $10,000 loan that may convert to a grant.
For a step-by-step guide on how to fill out an EIDL application CLICK HERE.
4. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone. Currently, this program is out of funding, but please keep checking as additional funding could be added.
For a step-by-step guide on how to fill out a PPP application CLICK HERE.
Find out more about the program HERE.
5. Please fill out the American for the Arts (AFTA) Survey to support the future of arts and entertainment industries.
One Tulsa-based, non-profit 501c3 organization, the Red Dirt Relief Fund, provided $100,000 in one-time $250 emergency grants to music industry professionals in Oklahoma affected by COVID-19 related closures and postponements. The 400 independent professionals served come from every musical genre, job and geography. They’ve done everything from write, sing and produce to engineer, tour manage and sound tech. They include members of the metro symphonies, churches, renowned artists, award-winning singer/songwriters and musicians who have planned to work at Cain’s Ballroom, Chesapeake Area, BOK Center, Tulsa PAC, Tower Theatre, and the list goes on.
“We are inspired that the arts organizations in our state are joining together to bring the next wave of relief resources to all self-employed, gig workers and creative small businesses,” said Katie Dale, Executive Director of the Red Dirt Relief Fund. “Our goal is to make sure the most valuable cultural resources in our state—the artists—can weather this storm.”
For more details on the Top Five Action Steps, visit reddirtrelief.org/covid19.
For more information on COVID-19 Resources for Film + Music Workforce, visit okfilmmusic.org.
About the Oklahoma Film + Music Office:
Created in 1979, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office strives to share all that Oklahoma has to offer by welcoming filmmakers and music professionals to the state and by creating a network of support to develop Oklahoma’s film and music industries. For more information about the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program or the Oklahoma Film + Music Office please visit okfilmmusic.org.