Smart Talk: United Way study draws attention to financial hardships facing families

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A new report is highlighting the financial distress that some Pennsylvania families are experiencing. Even before the pandemic, almost 1.4 million households in the state were one emergency away from financial ruin, and now the situation is worse the study shows.

The ALICE report was published through an initiative of the Pennsylvania network of United Ways. The acronym stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, and it is used as a way to raise awareness of the financial issues facing Pennsylvania’s low and middle income working families.

Appearing on Smart Talk Friday to talk about policy priorities are Kristen Rotz, President, United Way of Pennsylvania and Executive Director of PA 211 and Rebecca O’Shea, Advocacy Coordinator, United Way of Pennsylvania.

#SaveOurStages secures a lifeline for independent theaters, venues and festivals

As it became clear the Pandemic restrictions would carry into 2021, a group of over three thousand independent entertainment venues across the country banded together to ask Washington for help.

That help came as part of the most recent COVID-19 relief bill and is called the Save our Stages Act. It is not only independent venues that may benefit, but also zoos, museums, theaters, and even festivals.

Karl Blischke is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and he, along with Hal Real, founder and president of World Café Live and a co-founder and board member of the National Independent Venue Association will join Smart Talk Friday to explain how the relief will be distributed.