Carper at Milton Theatre on ENCORES Act

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and Milton Theatre Director Fred Munzert speak about the Carper-sponsored ENCORES Act on Monday, Aug. 10. The legislation is designed to help small entertainment venues recoup the costs of canceled shows and refunded tickets so they will be better able to survive the pandemic.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) on Monday, Aug. 10, visited the historic Milton Theatre to highlight legislation he recently introduced with U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the Entertainments New Credit Opportunity for Relief & Economic Sustainability (ENCORES) Act, which is designed to help small live music venues survive the pandemic.

With the live music industry shuttered across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, this legislation, which was introduced in July, is intended to help to make sure small, independent music and entertainment venues can survive until crowds can gather safely again. The bill will create a new tax credit for live entertainment venues with fewer than 500 employees to help cover the cost of refunded tickets for shows that were canceled due to the pandemic.

“These venues are truly special places that have, for generations, provided our families with priceless memories,” said Carper. “It’s on us to do what we can to support this industry now so that we can come out on the other side of this pandemic and ensure that this will not be the day the music died.”

Milton Theatre Director Fred Munzert joined Carper to discuss how the pandemic has affected the town’s century-old theater, which last year hosted 60,000 people at 300 shows, and how the legislation can help it recoup some of its losses.

“History tells us that for every challenging time, the arts persist and come back even stronger. Art is one of the first things people look to when regaining their sense of normalcy,” said Munzert. “In these incredibly challenging times, live art will be the voice of peace and hope. Keeping our local venues alive and well must be part of our plan as we create a new world for all to enjoy.”