Advocacy Alert House Bill 226

“What can I do to help?”

People have been asking us this question since the beginning of the pandemic. Here is an important way that everyone can help and is easy!! We are not asking you to get out your wallet. We are asking you to unleash the power of people who love the ARTS and what the ARTS bring to Georgia.

What do the ARTS bring? Each year the creative arts business sector accounts for 200,000 jobs while contributing $37 BILLION (with a B) to the State of Georgia’s economy! In comparison, the coal mining industry accounts for only 53,000 jobs in the entire country.

Aurora is a successful small business. We have created hundreds of jobs, and we serve as a major economic development engine for all of Gwinnett. Chuck Warbington, City Manager of Lawrenceville, calls us a “Force Multiplier.” Oooo – sounds like we are Marvel Superheroes.

HB 226

Because the ARTS are bi-partisan, this piece of powerful legislation has been introduced by an incredible bi-partisan team! This bill would restore tax-exempt status for ticket sales at non-profit performing arts businesses in Georgia; the same as it was from 2017-2020. We used this money to pay the royalties for shows like NEWSIES, to design and build the spectacular sets and costumes for MAMMA MIA, and to provide jobs to the incredible artists who choose to call Atlanta home.

Again, we are not asking our state to cut a check, but rather to reinstate tax-exempt status to our ticket sales. This is huge for the state that is 49th in arts funding!!

3 Things You Can Do Today

#1 THANK the members of the Ways and Means Committee who support this legislation and it’s sponsors. They need to hear your voice, citizens in favor of legislation that supports small business and businesses in the non-profit sector.

  • Shaw Blackmon (R) Chair of the Ways and Means Committee – (404) 656-5103
  • Bonnie Rich (R) Ways and Means Committee Member, Bill Sponsor – (404) 656-5087
  • Ron Stephens (R) Ways and Means Committee Member, Bill Sponsor – (404) 656-5115
  • Debbie Buckner (D) Ways and Means Committee Member, Bill Sponsor – (404) 656-0116
  • Chuck Efstration (R) Dacula, GA, Bill Sponsor – (404) 656-5105
  • Gregg Kennard (R) Lawrenceville, GA, Bill SPONSOR – (404) 656-0202
  • Spencer Frye (D) Athens, GA, Bill Sponsor – (404) 656-0265

Feeling Motivated? Email Aurora Theatre Associate Producer Ann-Carol Pence and she’ll send you the list of the entire Ways and Means Committee!

#2 ALERT your representative(s) that HB226 is important. Try to share a great ARTS memory. If you tear up while writing your email, or while talking on the phone, all the better. We need bi-partisan support, so the more Republicans and Democrats that are touched by our request, the better. And BE KIND. We are all exhausted by all the yelling.

Let them know you are a constituent and provide your address- they will look it up anyway.


#3 BECOME a member of Georgians for the Arts! This bi-partisan organization is only as strong as its membership. This organization helps Aurora and all other Georgia artists advocate for the ARTS. Remember, we are huge contributors to the state’s economy.

Click for more information

We have been working hard behind the scenes. Thanks to our friend Gregg Kennard for sponsoring the bill.

This is HUGE for our path to recovery from the devastation of COVID.

We need your help friends! Let’s get to work.

★ BONUS: Pour your favorite beverage. Walk outside your home. Yell loudly into the universe: I LOVE THE ARTS. THEY BRING GEORGIA A LOT OF MONEY AND ME A LOT OF JOY!