Originally published on April 13, 2021 by Douglas Cunningham in The Putnam County News and Recorder.
On the lawn of Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison on Friday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer outlined the benefits available to the Hudson Valley’s live venues, performers, and artists through the American Rescue Plan, including critical relief to struggling independent live venues, movie theaters, and cultural institutions, as well as increased COBRA health insurance benefits. The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, which is set to perform this summer on the grounds of Boscobel, would be a key local beneficiary.
In a socially distant meeting outside, with the Hudson River and Constitution Marsh below, a host of local representatives spoke with Schumer, including Jennifer Carlquist, Executive Director and Curator, Boscobel; Alexander Reese, Co-Chair, Boscobel Board of Trustees; Legislator Nancy Montgomery of Philipstown; Philipstown Supervisor Richard Shea; county Tourism Director Tracey Walsh; Managing Director Kate Liberman of HVSF; Artistic Director Davis McCallum of HVSF; Mike Oates, President and CEO, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp., and Matt Ross, press representative for HVSF. Douglas Cunningham attended for the PCNR. Liberman said the pandemic had caused the Shakespeare Festival to lose 100 percent of its expected income in 2020, and the federal help will be vital as it restarts this year. Its annual economic impact is an estimated $4.6 million.
Schumer also briefly discussed other wins for Putnam County in the American Rescue Plan. Out of the estimated more than $100 billion headed to New York, Putnam County families will see approximately $113 million in direct payments to around 45,000 households in Putnam County, and more than $19.07 million will be going to state and local aid in Putnam.