Hollywood stars, activists join rally in Boyle Heights to support small theaters

A new senate bill has been dubbed the 'Save the Performing Arts Act of 2021.'
BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- On Wednesday at Casa 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights, Hollywood stars, including Edward James Olmos and Danny Glover, joined State Senator Susan Rubio in a rally to support her senate bill 805, known as 'Save the Performing Arts Act of 2021.'

"The arts are the single most important aspect for strength to culture and community, and theater is the number one goal. If it was not for small theater in this city, I would not be standing here as Edward James Olmos the artist," said Olmos.

The bill would primarily create funding to help small nonprofit theaters pay all workers minimum wage, particularly workers in marginalized communities.

"The big theater houses, you know what they do? They bring shows from New York City. They basically take everything that's done in New York. And so the actors here in Los Angeles, the playwrights here, we're ignored," said Josefina Lopez, artistic director at Casa 0101 Theater. "This is the way as small theaters we say, 'No, no, no,' Los Angeles has a theater community."

Theater owners said that if the bill doesn't pass, some small theaters will have to permanently close.

"We know what is happening to Asians in this country right now. It is horrific. What we are going through right now being attacked, being killed, being assaulted and no one is talking about it. And it is awful and horrific. I have been dealing with it my whole life and what saved me was theater," said Michelle Krusiec, an actress attending the rally.

Senator Rubio said the bill is up for a vote tomorrow with the appropriations committee before it goes to the Senate floor for a vote.

"If it doesn't pass tomorrow, it is dead. So we need to do the work today. Start calling, organizing. Making sure our voices are heard," said Rubio.

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