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City Councilman Wants Performing Arts Groups To Set Aside Work For Local Acts

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A city councilman wants local performers to be guaranteed roles on stage when taxpayers help foot the bill for a play, musical or concert.

It's not easy for struggling actors or musicians, and Council David Oh believes that performances funded in part by the city should guarantee roles for local performers. He has now introduced a bill that would mandate exactly that.

"I'm calling for the city," Oh said, "whenever it uses tax dollars or city resources, to ensure that we are giving first opportunity to local musicians, local performers and local artists."

Under his plan, any show that receives any city money would have to set aside ten percent of its total budget -- whatever the source -- for local performers. He has also introduced a related bill that guarantees the performing artists or musicians temporary free parking so they can load and unload. That bill, Oh said, mirrors a measure enacted in Seattle. Both will be debated in committee.

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