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Tuesday Rundown, April 21

Ready for a Rundown on your Tuesday? Here are some of the latest stories.


CARES Act and Payment Protection Program Updates

The Social Security Administration’s Commissioner Andrew Saul issued a statement on Monday afternoon indicating that action was required by April 22 for Social Security beneficiaries with dependents who do not file tax returns in order to receive payments of $500 per dependent.

Social Security beneficiaries with dependents who do not file tax returns should visit the IRS website here by Wednesday to enter their payment information in order to receive dependent payments.

The statement can be read in its entirety here.

Additionally, Cornell Cooperative Extension issued a fact sheet for farmers on Monday with tips for filing for the Payment Protection Program, though it is widely reported that the program ran out of funds on April 15. The fact sheet recommends filing for PPP despite reports, as applicants will be considered again on a first-come-first-serve basis if Congress votes to allot more funding for the bipartisan program.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension fact sheet can be read in its entirety here.


Chemung Chamber Advocates for Increased Funding of COVID-19 Emergency Loan Programs

ELMIRA: On Thursday, April 16, the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce urged Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to work together to appropriate additional funding for the CARES Act COVID-19 emergency loan programs known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

As a member of the Advocacy Coalition of Rochester Area Chambers (ACRAC), the Chemung Chamber spearheaded an additional letter of support from the regional group of chambers, mailed on April 17. In independently written requests, ACRAC and the Chemung Chamber wrote, in part:

“Unfortunately, unprecedented demand has caused both programs to quickly reach their statutory caps. Millions of businesses are at a standstill, with applications still in the pipeline, waiting to see if and when help may come. What’s more, the SBA is unable to accept new applications for either program, leaving countless businesses in the lurch. Small businesses comprise 99.9% of all U.S. businesses, and they are counting on Congress to reach an agreement in order to survive.

“No small business, self-employed individual, non-profit, or independent contractor should be left behind during this crisis. Once again, we urge you to work together and negotiate increased funding for the PPP and EIDL programs. The future of our economy is at stake.”


Cornell Students Move Annual Film Festival Online

ITHACA: As Cornell University shifts to remote instruction due to COVID-19, this year's Centrally Isolated Film Festival (CIFF), Cornell’s annual student-run film competition celebrating student filmmakers, will also move online. Selected films will be available for free streaming between April 24 and May 1 at

Photo credit: CIFF

Since 2013, the Centrally Isolated Film Festival has been a highlight of the Department of Performing and Media Arts' spring season. Student filmmakers from colleges and universities throughout the greater central and upstate New York region submit short films to be judged by industry professionals. This year, submissions were selected from Cornell, Ithaca College, Binghamton University, Brown University, Syracuse University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, and Columbia University. Cash prizes of $200 are awarded to first-place winners in four categories: Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, and Audience Choice. This year’s panel of jurors includes Leslie Raymond, executive director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival; Daniel Fermín Pfeffer, screenwriter, director, and producer; and Kelly Gallagher, filmmaker and assistant professor of transmedia at Syracuse University.

Student organizers Ella Ekstrom ’20 and Ruby Que ‘20, along with faculty advisor Sabine Haenni, are working tirelessly to ensure that this year’s festival is produced in an online capacity. For many student filmmakers in the department, CIFF has been a defining aspect of their careers at Cornell. “I’ve been involved with CIFF since my freshman year, and I can proudly say that we are doing our best to showcase emerging student filmmakers' original work,” said Que. “Everyone on the selection committee has worked so hard for the past few months, and we are beyond excited to bring these truly fascinating films to the public.”

Photo credit: CIFF

“As CIFF enters its seventh year, there is no better time to be called the ‘Centrally Isolated Film Festival’ than right now,” said Ekstrom. “It truly is remarkable that we are able to transform this unexpected situation into a new opportunity to connect with one another." Thanks to the online setup, viewers can support student filmmakers from their own homes and even participate in the voting. "Like all art, film is transcendent—it allows you to connect with others across space and time," said Ekstrom. "While we are separated by quarantine, what better way to celebrate that which connects us all than with CIFF 2020?”

As Cornell University shifts to remote instruction due to COVID-19, this year's Centrally Isolated Film Festival (CIFF), Cornell’s annual student-run film competition celebrating student filmmakers, will also move online. Selected films will be available for free streaming between April 24 and May 1 at


Cornell Athletes Push Back Against COVID-19 with Virtual 10K Fundraiser

ITHACA: Among the many planned activities and events that have been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic there is a long list of significant events that will no longer happen. With the Cornell Woman’s Rowing Team primed and ready to take on any challenge that came their way, COVID-19 unexpectedly erased their season. Still, the team’s head coach, Steve Coppola, encouraged his athletes to stay committed to their workout routines and set goals for themselves. When three members of the team and Class of ’22 – Gabby Gabel, Mary Kate Henderson, and Annie Bryson—found themselves struggling to find the motivation to continue, they came together to find a solution. “We came together to deal with the loss of a season that was just getting started and realized that their disappointment paled in comparison to the hardships that individuals everywhere are facing as a result of the pandemic,” shared Gabby Gabel. It was then that the teammates knew that they needed to “push back against COVID-19” and the control it was having over the lives of others and their own. As a result, the threesome has launched a virtual 10K fundraising event they dubbed “Active Against COVID-19” with the goal of raising $10,000 for COVID-19 relief efforts in Tompkins County through the United Way. And they are inviting others to join them.

The athletes have continued their daily work-outs in preparation and are involving friends and family to become their “sponsors” by giving to United Way of Tompkins County on their behalf. The women’s rowing team members have selected May 17 for their 10K day as it was the day originally scheduled to be the Ivy League Women’s Rowing Championship.

Anyone who wishes to participate in the event can register. During the week of May 17, participating athletes will run a virtual 10k from wherever they are in the world, and 100% of the funds raised by their “sponsors” will go towards programs and services providing COVID-19 relief and recovery in Tompkins County. “Our goal is to help those in Tompkins County who are struggling right now because they have lost a job, are sick themselves, or are a healthcare worker risking their lives to save others. But, we also hope that the pre-existing inequalities that are revealed even more-so from this virus are acknowledged. Having these conversations and addressing these issues as a real problem, even when coronavirus ends, is very important,” shared Anne Bryson.

To register for the “Active Against COVID-19” virtual 10k, please visit

Inspired by the dedication and compassion of these athletes? Let them know by being a “sponsor” and giving a gift through the United Way of Tompkins County at


Civic Ensemble’s ReEntry Theatre Program Streets Like This To Be Presented ONLINE

ITHACA: Civic Ensemble’s ReEntry Theatre Program will be presenting a recording of their performance of Streets Like This, which was originally scheduled for ten performances in mid-March, and was shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic. The current production is a remount of the 2018 production of Streets Like This. “When the show was shut down, we decided to use our recording of the production to make sure as many people as possible could experience the show and continue the conversation. We wanted to continue the dialogue about policies and practices that impact people who have experienced incarceration in Tompkins County,” said co-playwright and actor A.C. Sidle.

The recorded performance will be available to the public between Thursday, April 30 and Sunday, May 17. A link will be distributed on Thursday, April 30 and will remain open and accessible through the end of the day on Sunday, May 17. Pay What You Can Tickets are available via donation at The link will be accessible to everyone. Director and producer Sarah K. Chalmers notes, “We hope that everyone who can pay something on GiveGab will do it before watching the video. And everyone who wants to see the show will be able to access it regardless of their payment, or lack thereof.”

Civic Ensemble will also host a live discussion about the play and the issues it raises on Saturday, May 9th at 8pm. As our community, and nation, grapples with mass incarceration and issues of reentry, those with direct experience with reentry will be at the center of this discussion. Those interested in the discussion will have the opportunity to sign up to participate in the discussion. Information about the performance and the discussion can be found at and by signing up for Civic Ensemble’s mailing list.

All material for the play comes from the real lives and imaginations of participants of the program and woven into a story shared by two characters, Deon and Dennis. Worn out from past convictions, dysfunctional institutions, and the preventable deaths of loved ones, the two men sit on a stoop and watch Crystal, Abby, and Brian struggle with their diverse obstacles and mistakes while stuck in the United States’ broken criminal justice system. Streets Like This travels from Ithaca’s Meadow Street Mobil Station to the Social Services offices, and from the curb outside Day Reporting, to workplaces and homes.

Civic Ensemble launched the ReEntry Theatre Program in 2015. It is an opportunity for members of the community who have experienced incarceration — prison, jail, or drug rehabilitation — to learn storytelling skills, create theatre work, and build community together, regardless of arts experience, criminal record, or income. The group has previously presented A Setback Ain’t Nothing but a Setup for a Comeback in March 2015 and Dreams and Nightmares: Do What You Always Did, Get What You Always Got in April 2016. As of October 2017, the ReEntry Theatre Program meets every Monday 9am-11am at Day Reporting, to provide a consistent meeting for returning participants and give individuals sentenced to attend Day Reporting a creative outlet.

Picture Credit: Rachel Philipson/Civic Ensemble

The cast and crew consists of new and returning members of the ReEntry Theatre Program as well as actors from the community who have not experienced incarceration. Leroy Barrett, Abdullah Khalil Bey, Brian Briggs, Sherron Brown, Suzanne Burnham, Melissa Cady, Terrell Dickson, Heather Duke, Jo-Louis Hallback, Casandra Ponton, Edwin Santiago, Elizabeth Seldin, and A.C. Sidle, will act. At the helm of the ensemble are director Sarah K. Chalmers, assistant directors Carley Robinson and Amy Heffron, stage manager Jackie Scheiner, and assistant stage managers Heather Duke and Dan Zannella. The production is designed by Elizabeth Kitney (costumes & props), Lea Davis (lighting), and Rudy Gerson (sound), with scenic consultation from Norm Johnson. Off stage, support comes from Civic Ensemble staff Sage Alia Clemenco, Julia Taylor, and Marketing and Box Office Associate Francesca Infante-Meehan. Carrie T. Chalmers provided graphic design.

Performances: ONLINE access to a recording of the 2020 production will be available online between Thursday April 30 and Sunday, May 17.

Live ZOOM Discussion: A live ONLINE facilitated discussion will take place on ZOOM on Saturday, May 9th from 8pm-10pm.

Tickets: Get Pay What You Can Tickets via donation at

The ReEntry Theatre Program is currently funded by a grant from the Park Foundation, the Community Foundation, and private donors. Live performances of Streets Like This were sponsored by the Greater Ithaca Activities Center and The Cherry Artspace. In addition, this program was made possible in part with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.



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