The $146,255 million appropriation is identical to President Obama's proposed budget, a cut of nearly $9 million from FY 2011, and is a compromise between the House of Representatives number of $135 million and the Senate number of $155 million as previously considered by their respective subcommittees.
Also included in this bill is $24.596 million in funding for the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, which had been zeroed-out in a previous proposal in the House.
This concludes the prolonged Congressional negotiations for the FY 2012 budget and prevents a government shutdown.
After the New Year, Congress will begin considering the FY 2013 budget. Join us in Washington, DC for National Arts Advocacy Day 2012 on April 16 - 17, 2012 to let your members of Congress know the arts are important to you and your communities!
Thank you for your support of the arts! Please help us continue this important work by becoming a free member of the Arts Action Fund.
Robert L. Lynch to Be Honored With YoungArts Leadership Award
December 13, 2011—YoungArts, the core program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, has announced that Americans for the Arts' President and CEO Robert L. Lynch is the recipient of their Leadership Award. YoungArts will also honor actor Robert Redford with the Arison Award and visual artist Doug Aitken with the Alumni Award. Lynch will receive his award on Saturday, January 14, 2012, at An Affair of the Arts Performance and Gala in Miami.
YoungArts recognizes and supports America’s most talented 17-18 year olds in the visual, literary, and performing arts. It identifies emerging artists and assists them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development, raising the appreciation for, and support of, the arts in American society.
Local Arts Agency Blog Salon on ARTSblog
December 02, 2011—Join our first ever Local Arts Agency Blog Salon December 5-9 on ARTSblog as leaders in the field tackle questions about emerging trends, surviving the economic downturn, local collaboration, model programs, and more.
The following guest bloggers are generating and leading the discussion:
Wayne Andrews, Yoknapatawpha Arts Council Jennifer Armstrong, Illinois State Arts Council Roberto Bedoya, Tucson Pima Arts Council Jan Brennan, Denver Office of Cultural Affairs Marc Folk, Arts Commission of Greater Toledo Derek Gordon, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge Maggie Guggenheimer, Piedmont Council for the Arts Libby Maynard, Ink People Jill McGuire, St. Louis Regional Arts Commission Maria Munoz-Blanco, City of Dallas Felix Padron, San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs Michael Spring, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Richard Stein, Arts Orange County Sarah VanLanduyt, Arts Council of Johnson County Will Maitland Weiss, Arts & Business Council of New York Erin Williams, Worcester Cultural Coalition
The Salon begins at 10:00 a.m. EST on Monday, December 5 with new posts added throughout each day of the week.
Alec Baldwin to Deliver 2012 Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy
November 23, 2011—Emmy Award®-winning TV, film and stage actor and arts advocate Alec Baldwin will deliver the 25th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy. This leading national forum for arts policy serves as an opportunity for public discourse at the highest levels on the importance of the arts and culture to our nation’s well-being. It will be held at 6:30 p.m. on April 16 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Baldwin’s career has spanned more than three decades. He has appeared in more than 40 films, including such memorable film performances as Captain Ellerby in The Departed and Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross. His work also includes stage and television roles, including his record-breaking 15 times hosting Saturday Night Live and current role on 30 Rock, for which he has won two Emmy Awards®, two Golden Globe Awards® and two Screen Actors Guild Awards® for his role as Jack Donaghy. As a stalwart advocate for public policy and the arts, Baldwin currently serves on Americans for the Arts’ Artist Committee. In addition, he has also provided testimony before Congress on the essential role public funds play in promoting and sustaining the arts industry.
Tickets will be available for pick up the night of the lecture at the Will Call Desk in front of the Concert Hall at the Kennedy Center.
2011 Post-Election Impact on the Arts
November 14, 2011—This past Tuesday was Election Day across the nation, and the Americans for the Arts Action Fund has compiled a Post-Election Impact on the Arts Report of this week's state and local elections, and what impact they may have on the arts. With Election Day 2012 now less than one year away, the Arts Action Fund is officially kicking off ArtsVote2012.
The Arts Action Fund wants to educate all presidential and congressional candidates that an investment in the arts is:
an investment in the growth of our American economy
an investment in jobs that cannot be outsourced abroad
an investment in well-rounded education for our children, and
an investment in our national culture and heritage
Read more on the Americans for the Arts Action Fund website.
Two Blogs Salons in Two Weeks on ARTSblog
November 08, 2011—The broad theme for our first ever Animating Democracy Blog Salon is the current and future role of the arts, culture, and design in cultivating civic engagement and creating a sense of place on a local level. What principles should we hold onto and what are the shifts that need to occur? Join the Animating Democracy Blog Salon November 7-11.
Then, come back for our Private Sector Blog Salon November 14-18 for a discussion about the new landscape of arts and business partnerships as the arts are being more deeply integrated in business strategy to benefit workforce development, recruitment and retention, management training, creative problem-solving, and community engagement.
Sprinkles Cupcakes for the Arts
October 27, 2011—Kerry Washington, the star of the ABC drama Scandalwill be greeting and serving fans from 3:00-5:00 pm at Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown to raise funds for Americans for the Arts. All the proceeds from Sprinkles Red Velvet cupcakes purchased from October 29 to November 6 will go towards Americans for the Arts. Sprinkles Cupcakes is located at 3015 M Street, NW. Kerry said "I'm just going to kind of hang out on Saturday and meet some fans of Sprinkles, and fans of Americans for the Arts and maybe one or two fans of Kerry Washington, and have a good time.”
U.S. Senate Subcommittee Draft Proposes Level NEA/NEH Funding
October 20, 2011—The U.S. Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee has proposed level funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities at $155 million for Fiscal Year 2012. Americans for the Arts provided testimony to the subcommittee earlier this year calling for NEA funding at $167.5 million.
This draft appropriations bill is not expected to be considered by the subcommittee as time is running out for Congress to complete FY12 appropriations work. Currently the Senate is trying to pass a “minibus” funding bill which includes spending for a few departments (including transportation and commerce). If that effort is successful, then the Interior bill may be included in a second "minibus" effort. These efforts are designed to avoid an end-of-year showdown with a larger “omnibus” bill.
The appropriations status in the House remains unclear at this moment. An amendment to strike $10 million from the House Interior Subcommittee mark of $135 was defeated on the floor in late July, but that was the last vote on the uncompleted Interior bill. That measure remains in limbo until the House determines how they will move their own bills and reconcile them with the Senate versions.
No timeline has been established for this reconciliation process, though with the Continuing Resolution set to expire on November 18 the appropriations process should be moving forward soon.
National Arts Awards Presented in New York
October 19, 2011—On October 17, Americans for the Arts presented the 2011 National Arts Awards in New York City.
This year’s honorees were:
Frank Stella - Isabella & Theodor Dalenson Lifetime Achievement Award
Beverley Taylor Sorenson - Eli & Edythe Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts
Jenny Holzer - Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award
President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities - Arts Education Award
Gabourey Sidibe - Bell Family Foundation Young Artist Award
Wells Fargo & Company - Corporate Citizenship in the Arts Award
The annual awards recognize those artists and arts leaders who exhibit exemplary national leadership and whose work demonstrates extraordinary artistic achievement.
They are organizations and individuals—artists, business leaders, and patrons—who understand that the arts and arts education enrich people and communities alike.
Join Our National Creative Conversation - October 25
October 14, 2011—Americans for the Arts is hosting a national Creative Conversation webinar titled, "Community Engagement in the Arts," from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST on October 25, 2011.
The webinar will address how communities can leverage their local arts resources to engage residents and increase participation in community events. Conversation participants will see examples of how arts leaders are getting creative with community engagement and connecting the arts with larger community initiatives. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to discuss ideas for enhancing engagement in their own community as well as the myriad opportunities and challenges arts organizations experience when they collaborate with their local community leaders.
Americans for the Arts’ Creative Conversations program brings together local arts and community leaders to discuss challenges and issues regarding the arts in their communities and generate increased energy around the grassroots movement to elevate the profile of the arts in America. Creative Conversations are part of National Arts and Humanities Month, the nation's largest collective annual celebration of the arts.
Those interested in attending other Creative Conversations can visit our interactive map detailing where Creative Conversations are taking place across the country.
Supporting Arts Education in Your Local Schools
October 14, 2011—One of America's fastest growing Italian wines, KRIS, is teaming with Americans for the Arts as part of its second annual "Art of Education" program. KRIS will award 16 schools in the United States a total of $25,000 to improve academic achievement through quality arts education.
When the program concludes on November 30, the school with the winning number of votes will be awarded $5,000. The next five schools receiving the top number of votes will receive $2,000. Schools that rank sixth through 16th in total number of votes will receive $1,000. Visit KRIS Wine's Facebook page to vote for your favorite K-12 public school to win funding for arts education programs. Participants must be 21 years or older and can vote up to one time per day for multiple schools throughout the duration of the program.
"Over the last several years we've seen a significant decrease for arts funding in our nation's public schools," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "This is an alarming trend given the well documented and far-reaching benefits a quality education in the arts provides. Students who engage in arts programs are more literate, exhibit better school attendance and achieve higher grades in all subjects. School leaders and business leaders alike, when surveyed, say that arts in the schools leads to creativity and creativity is what is needed in America's 21st century workers. We are grateful to have a partner such as KRIS Wine that understands the important role art plays in our lives and the welfare of our communities."
KRIS winemaker and seven-time Gambero Rosso "Tre Bicchieri" award winner, Franz Haas, is passionate about the arts. Haas not only considers winemaking an art in itself, but also brings art to the exterior of his wines with labels designed by Italian artist and long-time family friend, Riccardo Schweizer (1925-2004). Schweizer, who studied under Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro, showcases his modern, expressive style in the unique and timeless KRIS labels.
"We are very excited to support the advancement of arts education programs for young people," said Haas. "As our family has created hand-crafted wines for seven generations, we understand and appreciate the importance of artistic production in determining the ultimate character of our wines."
President Declares October National Arts & Humanities Month
October 04, 2012—President Barack Obama has declared October National Arts and Humanities Month through Presidential Proclamation. Within the proclamation, President Obama states:
“Like Rockwell’s painting, art in all its forms often challenges us to consider new perspectives and to rethink how we see the world. This image still moves us with its simple poignancy, capturing a moment in American history that changed us forever. This is the power of the arts and humanities — they speak to our condition and affirm our desire for something more and something better. Great works of literature, theater, dance, fine art, and music reach us through a universal language that unites us regardless of background, gender, race, or creed.”
National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. It is designed to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts and humanities.
From hosting a Creative Conversation or arts center open house to securing a mayoral (or Presidential) proclamation or better newspaper coverage of the arts, people in every community across the United States can celebrate NAHM by helping recognize the contributions of cultural organizations in their region.
For more information about NAHM, visit our website, featuring events you can attend in your community as well as a toolkit to create your own. You can also follow @Americans4Arts on Twitter and use/follow the #NAHM hashtag.
Visit ARTSblog to view the full proclamation text.
As a lead up to the NAMP Conference, Winning Audiences, ARTSblog will be the place for a discussion on the broad landscape of arts marketing and audience engagement.
Join our bloggers, including Sam Horn, Ian David Moss, and Amelia Northrup to name a few, at this online idea swap. Take a moment to leave a comment, share an opinion, or ask a question. You can view all of the posts on ARTSblog starting on October 3.
The 2011 Arts Marketing Blog Salon is generously sponsored by TheaterMania.
Arts Education Blog Salon: Join the Discussion
September 13, 2011—In recognition of the second annual celebration of National Arts in Education Week, join Americans for the Arts in a lively discussion about arts education all week (September 12-16) on ARTSblog.
The topic for this blog salon is “Career Development for Students and the Role of Arts Education.”
Our contributing authors were asked to interpret the theme broadly, including topics such as careers in the arts, post-high school options, 21st century skills, workforce development, investment in an innovative workforce, etc.
Throughout the week, you’ll hear from many staff members from Americans for the Arts, several of our Arts Education Council members, and other key players in our field including: a former assistant superintendent, a corporate arts education funder, the Deputy Executive Director of the National Association of State Boards of Education, and more.
We encourage you to read, share (via Facebook, Twitter, Google+), and comment on the posts throughout the salon!
9/11 & Beyond: Creating a Space, an Invitation, and a Spark for Meaningful Dialogue
September 09, 2011—"On September 11, 2001, the Animating Democracy team was on a conference call with New York-based colleagues when a faint newscast on one of their TVs emitted something about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center.
What started out as a call to fine tune preparations for a national convening of Animating Democracy grantees slated to be held two days later morphed inevitably into cancellation plans, then into disbelief and mourning with the rest of the country.
Two months later, we reconstituted our plan. More than 100 grantees and guests gathered in Chicago to resume our intended work of exploring the role of the arts in fostering meaningful and productive civic dialogue.
With 9/11’s still raw emotions beating in our hearts, we asked artists Marty Pottenger and Terry Dame to help us make sense of it all, particularly the questions that had begun to infiltrate the American psyche: What does it mean to be an American? What is your relationship to America right now? What course should the U.S. take?
Terry’s slow, distorted, eerie, yet beautiful rendition of “America the Beautiful,” played on a homemade gamelon, created a different kind of space in which we moved ourselves physically, psychologically, and intellectually, guided by Marty’s creative facilitation around these questions.
This arts-based dialogue exemplified the potency of arts and culture to create a space, an invitation, and a spark for meaningful dialogue..."
To read the remainder of this blog post by Pam Korza, Co-Director of the Animating Democracy Initiative at Americans for the Arts, visit ARTSblog.
Creative Conversation Program Expands for 2011
September 07, 2011—Since Americans for the Arts started the Creative Conversations program in 2004, in response to the feedback and initiative of the Emerging Leaders Council, the program has grown to serve over 50 communities and about 2,000 individuals each year.
Through Creative Conversations, we have witnessed the creation of strong local emerging leaders networks that still exist today, observed communities start a cultural or strategic planning process, and helped unify groups of people engaged in arts and culture to help spark dialogue, spur advocacy efforts, and create networking opportunities.
While the Creative Conversations program was initially created by and for the Emerging Leaders Network, we have seen and welcomed interest in the program from other networks and individuals as well. Having the structure of a national movement connected to a community’s grassroots initiatives can provide a framework and timeline for enacting a new project or bringing different groups of people together around a single issue.
This year, we are officially expanding the Creative Conversations program to invite and encourage individuals, organizations, and networks of all types to host an event, and engage their community around a cultural topic or issue that is of importance to them locally.
You can learn more about Creative Conversations, find out how to host an event, add your conversation to our tracking map, and learn how to find one already planned in your community on on our website.
2011 BCA 10 Honorees Announced
September 07, 2011—Americans for the Arts has announced the companies selected by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, as The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America for 2011. In addition, Christopher Forbes, vice chairman of Forbes, Inc. will receive the 2011 BCA Leadership Award, and Kohler Co. will be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame. The BCA 10 Awards, BCA Leadership Award and BCA Hall of Fame Award will be presented by Americans for the Arts on October 5, 2011, at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.
Every year, Americans for the Arts, through the BCA, recognizes ten U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board membership.
The 2011 BCA 10 honorees are:
• 3M, St. Paul, MN • Aetna, Hartford, CT • Baker Botts L.L.P., Houston, TX • Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, VA • Corporate Office Properties Trust, Columbia, MD • Macy’s, Cincinnati, OH • Printing Partners, Indianapolis, IN • Publicity Works, Bowmansville, PA • Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL • Wilde Lexus of Sarasota, Sarasota, FL
Robert Lynch: America at a Cultural Crossroads
August 12, 2011—On July 22, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch spoke as part of the Chautauqua Institution's lecture series, discussing the arts and arts education in a speech titled "America at a Cultural Crossroads." You can view a portion of the speech below and the full speech at FORA.tv:
Kansas Senator Receives Public Leadership Award
August 11, 2011—Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, and the National Conference of State Legislatures today announced Kansas State Senator Roger Reitz as the recipient of the 2011 Public Leadership in the Arts Award for State Arts Leadership, which honors a public official who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts at the state level. Senator Reitz will receive his award today at the today at the National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX.
During his tenure in office, Senator Reitz has actively supported arts and arts education programs in Kansas. Upon learning Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s proposal to effectively eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission, he initiated Kansas Senate Resolution 1819, which rejected the Governor’s Executive Reorganization Order transferring the Kansas Arts Commission to another department. Further, he personally spoke with every Kansas Senator to maximize votes in favor of Resolution 1819. During the Federal and State Affairs Committee hearing in the Senate, he testified before this committee—on which he also served—and he spoke again on the Senate floor prior to the vote.
As a result of his efforts, Senator Reitz’s resolution to retain the Kansas Arts Commission passed the Kansas Senate in a bipartisan manner on March 16, 2011. He then went on to work with the Senate Appropriations Committee to appropriate $689,000 for the Arts Commission, which the Kansas House agreed to and included in the final budget for the Governor’s signature. Despite Senator Reitz’s remarkable work on behalf of the Kansas Arts Commission, a line item veto was issued eliminating the Arts Commission’s budget making Kansas the only state without a functioning state arts agency.
Treadwell Receives Arts Leadership Award
July 29, 2011—Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell received a national award in recognition of his support for the arts.
Treadwell was given the 2011 Lieutenant Governors Arts Leadership Award during the National Lieutenant Governors Association conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico this week. The award was presented by Americans for the Arts, which honors outstanding leadership by public officials who demonstrate their commitment to advancing the arts, and their understanding of the benefits to economies, culture, job creation, and the preservation of heritage.
House Rejects Amendment to Further Cut NEA
July 28, 2011—The Walberg amendment to H.R. 2584, the House Interior Appropriations bill that would have cut an additional $10.6 million from the National Endowment for the Arts failed 240-181 earlier today. All 185 Democrats present voted against the amendment and 55 Republicans joined them.
As stated this morning, this success is due in large part to Interior Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (ID) and Reps. Jim Moran (VA), Louise Slaughter (NY), David Cicilline (RI), Lynn Woolsey (CA), John Yarmuth (KY), Rush Holt (NJ), Bobby Scott (VA), and Betty McCollum (MN) who all gave effective and passionate speeches of support in opposing this amendment on Wednesday night.
The next step is for the entire House Interior bill to be completed and voted on with the committee-set appropriation of $135 million for the NEA in the legislation. It is unclear when that will occur.
In addition, the National Endowment for the Humanities is facing a cut amendment of its own when H.R. 2584 is reopened after the debt ceiling legislation is considered.
White House Gathers Arts ‘Champions of Change’
July 27, 2011—On July 19, President and CEO, Rorbet L. Lynch attended an events surrounding the White House initiative called Champions for Change: Winning the Future Across America. The program, coordinated by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the White House Office of Public Engagement pays tribute to the many Americans doing extraordinary things to innovate, educate, and build their communities for a stronger and brighter America.
The recent White House event featured the work of actors, teachers, principals, superintendents, and organizations that have created innovative programs across the country in Arts Education to benefit their local communities. Lynch shares his experience attending the event and the importance of having Arts Education as a feature area in the Champions of Change program on ArtsBlog.
NEA Funding Measure Facing U.S. House Floor Vote
July 22, 2011—As early as next Monday, the full U.S. House of Representatives will vote on FY 2012 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee took the first step in the budget process and passed the Interior Appropriations bill, which proposes to fund the NEA at $135 million for FY 2012. If enacted, this $20 million cut would be the deepest to the NEA in 16 years.
Now, this legislation heads to the next step in the funding process, the House floor, where it could face amendments to increase the cut even deeper or eliminate the NEA altogether.
A similar scenario happened in debates earlier this year over FY 2011 funding, and an amendment to cut the NEA by an additional $20 million succeeded by a slim margin of 8 votes.
Help us reverse this gap by sending a message to your representative today.
U.S. House Committee Approves $20M NEA Cut
July 14, 2011—On Tuesday, the full House Appropriations Committee passed their initial FY2012 Interior Department funding bill by a vote of 28-18.
This legislation contains a $20 million cut for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), passed last week by the Subcommittee, from FY2011’s $155 million level.
The NEA was not mentioned specifically during the debate which largely centered around changes to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory authority as that agency’s funding is being cut most dramatically and controversially in this bill.
At this time, it is still unclear when this bill will go to the House Floor for final consideration.
Senate consideration is, at best guess, actionable in the fall. We do expect that during an open amendment process that some amendments may target the NEA for further reductions.
Please take two minutes to send a message to your Members of Congress in support of the NEA.
NASA Embraces the Arts
July 11, 2011—As NASA completes its historical space shuttle program, Americans for the Arts could not be more pleased to hear that the arts will be used as a vehicle to celebrate the impact of this important contribution to our society.
During the final space shuttle mission, NASA is hosting Because It Flew (BIF), an engaging and informative educational activity that culminates in an art competition. The program introduces students grades 4–12 to the impact of the NASA Space Shuttle Program. BIF is a joint education initiative of NASA, the National Institute of Aerospace, and USA TODAY Education.
Highlights of the Because It Flew program include:
integrating language arts, visual and performing arts (VAPA) content standards, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) in a way that engages students and their creativity
aligning with national standards
offering cash awards, a remote mentoring session with a graphic artist, and certificates
the ability to be adapted to group and individual settings or used as an engaging summer or specialty camp project
serving as a wonderful tool for local community outreach, introducing parents and students to the arts
Participants can explore the educational activities and/or create original artwork that symbolizes the impact of the NASA Space Shuttle Program on our planet and people. The deadline for submitting artwork is August 5, 2011, which coincides with the return of NASA’s final shuttle.
Americans for the Arts highly recommends that teachers, parents, and community organizations take part in this historical moment. You can download the activities (pdf) or obtain competition details by visiting the BIF website.
NEA Takes 13% Cut in FY 2012 House Budget Bill
July 08, 2011—Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Interior Subcommittee approved a measure that sets next year’s initial funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $135 million.
That amount is a $20 million reduction as compared with this fiscal year’s budget, and it would be the deepest cut to the agency in 16 years.
To make matters worse, the 13 percent cut for both the NEA and National Endowment for the Humanities is much more severe than the 7 percent cut to the overall Interior Appropriations bill.
It is expected that the full House Appropriations Committee will consider this legislation next Tuesday and it could be sent to the full House Floor for a vote before the August recess begins.
Stay tuned to ARTSblog for more information as the budget process moves forward and please consider taking two minutes to contact your Members of Congress about this issue.
Josh Groban Launches Find Your Light Foundation to Champion Arts Education
July 07, 2011—Renowned singer-songwriter Josh Groban today announced the creation of his new Find Your Light Foundation. Dedicated to enriching the lives of young people through arts, education and cultural awareness, the foundation is launching its first partnership with Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Through this partnership, Find Your Light and Americans for the Arts will be working together to help ensure that every child has the opportunity to experience a quality arts education.
Arts Advocacy Day 2009 Josh Groban - GRAMMY ® nominated singer-songwriter, lends his voices in support of the arts.
NEA Funding for Kansas?
July 06, 2011—In response to Kansas Arts Commission Chairwoman Linda Browning Weis’ wish that the National Endowment for the Arts will continue to provide the new, privately funded Kansas Arts Foundation with matching federal dollars, Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, issued the following statement:
“Americans for the Arts urges National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman to refrain from providing federal matching dollars to the Kansas Arts Foundation, a new private organization which seeks to replace the state-funded Kansas Arts Commission, unless this new Kansas entity is in compliance with the federal requirements mandated for all other states, including matching funds from state government. To provide federal funding to a state that does not meet standard federal guidelines not only undermines these longstanding mandatory requirements and the legislative intent of federal arts policy in America, but also debilitates the almost half-century-long policy of state government support for the arts nationwide.
The federal-state government partnership program was specifically intended to build and expand government infrastructure support of the arts in all 50 states and the U.S. territories by matching federal dollar investments with state treasury investments. Even Governor Brownback understood the need to minimally invest $200,000 of state treasury funds in order to secure the NEA federal match when he included this amount in his budget along with the transition decree of turning the public arts agency into a private foundation. Unfortunately, the interplay between the Governor and the Kansas legislature, which voted to appropriate $689,000 for the state agency, ended up yielding zero state government funds.
While it may seem antithetical to advocate for the NEA to not send much needed federal arts funds to the Kansas Arts Foundation, the damage that could be caused by ignoring more than 45 years of cultural policy would surely have ripple effects that could destroy the fragile infrastructure of public support of the arts in the U.S. To provide federal dollars to the newly privatized Kansas Arts Foundation would do a disservice to those states which have complied with federal guidelines and have recognized the value of the arts as a state government priority and allocated state monies accordingly.
In 1965 the National Endowment for the Arts was founded to uphold excellence in the arts, bring the arts to all Americans and provide leadership in arts education. A core belief that both the NEA and Americans for the Arts have upheld since their respective inceptions is that state governments should invest in the arts. And since the NEA’s founding nearly 50 years ago, state funded arts agencies have been one of the NEA’s primary partners in serving the American people through the arts. It is a partnership that has a proven track record of working and working well.
Further, providing the Kansas Arts Foundation with federal dollars could suggest that all states might be alleviated of their duty to financially support the arts by tacitly granting them permission to follow Kansas’ shortsighted example. Without state dollars and state legislative oversight, a private organization does not have the same level of financial and programmatic accountability for delivering arts funding to all corners of Kansas that a public agency does.
While we at Americans for the Arts are in favor of new private-public sector models of funding, it should not be done at the expense of public dollars. Experience shows that relying solely on the private sector to fund the arts—as Kansas plans to do—is a nearly impossible construct for either building or sustaining the arts. In America the success model for arts support has been a three-way partnership, comprising public support, private support and earned income. For example, in the coming year alone, the new Kansas Arts Foundation will need to raise nearly $2 million in private philanthropic dollars. More importantly these dollars will need to be new dollars to ensure that the new Kansas Arts Foundation will not be simply shifting already existing funds to its coffers and competing with the fundraising efforts of the very constituents for whom it is raising support money.
And that’s just this year. To provide true, sustainable support for the arts in Kansas, for example, the Kansas Arts Foundation will need to either raise $2 million or more every year or build a trust that will provide steady, permanent income—in the form of interest—in perpetuity. However, a trust of over $40 million would be required just this year to allow the Kansas Arts Foundation to distribute the $2 million necessary to account for the absent government funding.
But where will these new charitable funds come from? Studies show that, at present, fewer U.S. companies are making philanthropic contributions to the arts. Our most recent Triennial Survey shows that from 2006-2009 alone, the number of businesses providing charitable support for the arts fell 15 percent—from 43 percent to 28 percent. Further, when state arts agencies distribute grant money, it is often for the sort of nuts-and-bolts needs which private donors find unattractive.
Overall, state support of the arts gives clues to our collective priorities and fundamental beliefs. Is America just about the bare basics, or are we a cultured society that values originality, beauty, design, innovative thought and a creative workforce? Let us hope it is the later.”
SC Legislature Overrides Gov's Veto
June 29, 2011—In response to the South Carolina General Assembly’s decisive action to override Gov. Nikki Haley’s line-item veto of funding for the South Carolina Arts Commission, Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, issued the following statement:
“By restoring $1.9 million in state funds to the the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC), the General Assembly has done what Governor Nikki Haley failed to do: uphold the state’s long tradition of valuing its artists and arts organizations to enrich the lives of all South Carolinians.
South Carolina residents know the value of the arts and that eliminating funding for the SCAC would have harmed both the quality of life and economic development in South Carolina. They know that South Carolina’s creative industries contribute more than $9.2 billion to the state’s economy annually. They know that South Carolina’s arts sector supports more than 78,000 jobs. They know that the arts are big business in South Carolina - that it is imperative to invest state dollars in this critical sector of the economy.
Betty Plumb, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance states, ‘South Carolinians have spoken and the General Assembly has listened. The budget is balanced, and it includes the arts. The state's small investment in the arts yields significant, statewide returns for education, quality of life and our economy. The support and services that the Arts Commission provides make a positive difference in our communities and schools.’
Americans for the Arts applauds arts advocates and the legislature’s decision to preserve state arts funding - an action that has ensured that the state of the arts in South Carolina will prosper in the coming year and for generations to come.”
Alec Baldwin on Supporting the Arts
June 28, 2011—Alec Baldwin has teamed with Capital One in support of arts organizations. You can get involved too by making a donation to Americans for the Arts. Donations made to Americans for the Arts will be matched by Capital One up to $50,000. Capital One customers can make donations with their Capital One or No Hassle Rewards but anyone can make a donation by visiting the Capital One GivingSite.
Alex told Extra in an interview in April, "I'm going to do a series of commercials for them, Capital One," explained Baldwin. "Capital One was so great in cooperating with me to set up a source for people to contribute online. Capital One will match to give to the Americans for the Arts." The actor continued, "My whole thing is encouraging people not to give up funding for the arts, even during difficult economic times. All the money I make I'm giving it to different charities that are arts-related." You can help, too! Consumers can go to Capitalone.com/Give and make donations to the charities of their choice. Capital One will cover all transaction fees so that 100% of the donation goes directly to the charity.
You can hear more from Alec as he provides details on the David Letterman Show.
Student's Design Posters to Win Scholarships
June 23, 2011—The 2011 winner of the Art Institutes and Americans for the Arts Poster Design Competition have been announced. The competition was created to recognize, encourage, and reward young artistic talent at the high school level. High school seniors with an interest in design were eligible to enter the competition to express their visual interpretation of why “life is better with art in it.” Students submitted their entries to participating Art Institutes schools, where local competitions were held and winners were selected. These first place winners’ entries were then placed into consideration for national judging. A panel of graphic design professionals visited The Art Institutes’ website (www.artinstitutes.edu/posterdesign) and scored the 48 entries on a 100-point value system.
Judges chose Ernest Castillo’s submission, a design depicting an artist’s journey to a magical deep-sea environment as he paints the first stroke on a blank canvas, because it best exemplifies the competition theme—“life is better with art in it.” Castillo’s prize-winning piece tries to show the audience that art inspires, excites and ultimately moves artists and viewers alike.
For more information on The Art Institutes and Americans for the Arts Poster Design Competition, visit The Art Institutes website.
Awards Announced at Annual Convention
June 16, 2011—The following awards were announced at the 2011 Americans for the Arts Annual Conventionin San Diego, California:
2011 Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award: William P. Blair, legislative counsel for Ohio Citizens for the Arts
2011 American Express Emerging Leader Award: Angela Harris, founder and executive director of Dance Canvas, Inc., an Atlanta-based nonprofit that presents professional dance performances showcasing emerging choreographers
2011 Arts Education Award: Arts for All, L.A. County’s nationally recognized collaboration to restore all arts disciplines into the core curriculum for all K-12 public school students
2011 Michael Newton Award: Susan Schadt, president & CEO of ArtsMemphis
2011 Selina Roberts Ottum Award: Libby Maynard, co-founder and executive director of The Ink People Center for the Arts in Eureka, CA
Kansas Arts Agency Eliminated
May 28, 2011—In response to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s decision to veto funding for the Kansas Arts Commission, Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, issued the following statement:
"Americans for the Arts is disappointed with Governor Sam Brownback’s decision to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission (KAC) by vetoing the legislative branch’s budget for the agency. His action not only robs the citizens of his state of access to quality arts programming, but is also a direct affront to his campaign platform to create jobs and rebuild the state’s economy. Kansas now holds the dubious distinction of being the only state without a functioning state agency in charge of promoting the arts and culture.
During the KAC’s 45-year history, Kansas’ nonprofit arts and culture sector has become a booming industry—one that generates $153.5 million annually in direct statewide economic activity. This spending–$80.3 million by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and an additional $73.2 million in event-related spending by their audiences–supports 4,612 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $95.1 million in household income to local residents, and delivers $15.6 million in local and state government revenue. With modest grants to non-profit arts groups, the KAC has been the driving force in establishing arts and cultural organizations in many of Kansas’ most rural communities, providing ALL citizens, not just those in large urban areas, with access to quality artistic experiences.
Further, the KAC received a matching grant of $778,200 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2011 to support Kansas jobs, artists and cultural groups. That funding is now lost for 2012 with the elimination of the KAC, the only agency in Kansas that is eligible for the NEA’s matching grants. Kansas also loses the $437,767 the KAC brought in from its regional partner, the Mid-America Arts Alliance. This $1.2 million funding shortfall far exceeds the $689,000 KAC appropriation recommended by the Kansas legislature during budget negotiations.
We at Americans for the Arts understand that times are tough, and governors across the country are facing hard budget decisions. We further recognize that the arts will have to do their part to ensure state governments are able to make ends meet. So while some cuts to arts funding are expected, they should be proportional to those of other government services. We all have to do our part. The arts alone should not be sacrificed as they have been in Kansas as the total elimination of the KAC does not substantially solve Kansas’s budget deficit but rather removes $1.2 million in federal money from Kansas’ economy—money that will now go to other states.
More than 30 years ago, I was inspired by the arts and arts leadership in Kansas when I attended my first national meeting of locally based arts leaders held that year in Wichita. Today, as legislative sessions across the country wrap up, we hope that lawmakers in other states are inspired by the actions of the Kansas legislature—not those of Governor Brownback—to make their budget decisions. Since the governor issued an executive reorganization order to effectively eliminate the KAC, Kansas citizens have sent 5,000 letters, emails and telephone calls urging their representatives to support arts funding. As a result, both the Kansas Senate and House presented a budget bill to the Governor which invested state funds in the KAC for the next fiscal year. They heard the voices of Kansans, and they responded. We at Americans for the Arts applaud the Kansas legislature for listening to the wishes of their constituents.
But now, with Governor Brownback’s veto, the KAC is abolished. While the arts community mourns the loss of this vital institution, it is ultimately the citizens of Kansas that suffer. For a mere 0.005% of the state's $13.8 billion budget, Governor Brownback could have preserved the arts and the financial benefits they provide flowing to Kansas communities, especially those rural communities, which need every possible economic asset available in these difficult times."
Federal Arts Education Program UPDATE
May 26, 2011—Yesterday, the House Education and Workforce Committee voted to approve HR 1891, the resolution sponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) that terminates the authorization of 43 U.S. Department of Education programs, including the Arts in Education program. This bill marks the first attempt at reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), popularly know of late as “No Child Left Behind.” The Committee is promising to move several like pieces of legislation in the coming months toward remaking ESEA.
The Arts in Education program is invaluable to many communities across the country as it funds not only professional development opportunities for arts educators in high-poverty areas, but it also provides money to model programs that support “the enhancement, expansion, documentation, evaluation, and dissemination of innovative, cohesive models that demonstrate effectiveness in: integrating into and strengthening arts in the core elementary and middle school curricula; strengthening arts instruction in those grades; and improving students' academic performance, including their skills in creating, performing, and responding to the arts.”
Americans for the Arts staff attended the markup session and worked with staff from both parties to oppose termination of the Arts in Education program.
During consideration of the measure, Reps. Rush Holt (D-NJ), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Susan Davis (D-CA), and David Wu (D-OR) sponsored an amendment that would amend HR 1891 to support a “well rounded education” and give the Secretary of Education the ability to fund arts education, foreign language, and history programs if so desired (You can view Rep. Holt’s introduction of the amendment on YouTube). Unfortunately, the amendment was defeated by a 16-23 party line vote.
The measure could go to the full House for a floor vote soon, so we will continue to work with House and Senate education leaders to determine if the legislation has any traction as Congress continues to work on all the many pieces of ESEA reauthorization.
Federal Arts Education Program In Danger
May 24, 2011—Just 11 days ago, U.S. House Education Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced legislation (H.R. 1891) that seeks to terminate 43 federal education programs, including the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education.
The bill is now coming up for a vote in the House Education Committee tomorrow.
This measure is more serious than the annual funding bills that have recently threatened to de-fund arts education, as HR 1891 would permanently strip policy language out of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that allows the Arts in Education program to be funded annually.
So, what can you do? Contact your members of Congress and let them know you support the federal arts in education program.
May 18, 2011—Start your summer with six months of FREE professional Americans for the Arts membership for your organization.
Your organization can join now at the Choice level ($150) or above and receive membership through December 31, 2012—that's six free months of membership!
As a member of Americans for the Arts, here are just a few of the great benefits and resources you would have access to:
Your network of colleagues, ready and willing to assist you in times of crisis and success, accessible simply by posting a question or comment to the members-only listservs
Savings of at least $100 off registration for the 2011 Annual Convention in San Diego, CA and other professional development events throughout the year
Timely information, tools, and resources in our Monthly Wire e-newsletter and Arts Link quarterly newsletter, as well as special reports on issues facing local arts organizations
All our live and on-demand webinars on topics like changing business models, video marketing, and more. These webinars are free for members and $35 each for nonmembers
The Members-Only website, featuring past issues of publications, tips on how to take advantage of member benefits, sample documents, and best practices to assist in your everyday work, and much more!
To take advantage of this limited time offer and receive six free months of membership and learn more about our benefits and levels.
Changes to Our Board of Directors
May 18, 2011—C. Kendric Fergeson, Chairman and CEO of NBC Oklahoma, Elected as Chair
Americans for the Arts, announced today the election of C. Kendric Fergeson as Chair and two new members to its Board of Directors. The new members are: Deborah Jordy, executive director, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts; and Nancy Stephens, noted actor and activist.
“I am pleased that Ken will be taking on this leadership role. He has been an extraordinary board member, and his commitment to the organization will make him an outstanding Chair,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “I am also happy to welcome Deborah and Nancy—two extraordinary leaders—to our Board of Directors. They bring exceptional dedication and commitment to the arts and arts education, and I look forward to working with them and our other board members to further expand the reach the arts have in America."
NEW! Cultural Tourism Award, Apply Now!
May 11, 2011—Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and Americans for the Arts have established a new award, Arts Destination Marketing Award, for the destination marketing organization (DMO) and the local arts agency that have best worked together to effectively and innovatively use the arts to market the community as a travel destination.
This award is intended to reinforce the importance of a strong relationship between a community's DMO and its cultural-heritage and arts agencies. Synergy between these organizations plays a key role in a destination's brand by weaving a community's cultural-heritage story into its overall community message, effectively developing a truly distinctive locale.
The award will be presented to the DMO at 97th DMAI Annual Convention in New Orleans, LA, (July 20-22, 2011) and to the local arts agency at the American for the Arts National Arts Marketing Project Conference in Louisville, KY, (November 12-15, 2011).
A Week of Arts Education Research & Recommendations
May 06, 2011—As previewed by Marete Wester on ARTSblog, this week has been chock full of data and recommendations from our own organization’s National Arts Policy Roundtable (NAPR); the U.S. Department of Education’s first look at national arts education from 2009-2010; and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) recommendationsfor the field.
The PCAH report, released today, seeks to put into practice President Obama’s campaign commitment to arts education as the committee has spent the past 18 months assessing the status of the subject, conducting research, and identifying ways to improve and advance arts education.
Their report offers five recommendations to “clarify the position of the arts in a comprehensive, well-rounded K-12 education that is appropriate for all students; unify and focus efforts to expand arts education offerings to underserved students and communities; and, strengthen the evidence base for high-quality arts education.”
April 25, 2011—Take advantage of the best professional development opportunity of the year while also making every penny count! This Friday, April 29 is the early-bird registration deadline for the 2011 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention. Don’t miss your chance to get the lowest registration price possible (a savings of $175) for our gathering of more than 1,200 arts and community leaders this June 16–18 in sunny San Diego.
The most extensive gathering of arts leaders and professionals from across our field is missing one thing: YOU! A few attendees and staff share why they’re excited to attend in the video above.
Letter to the Editor re: Sidney Harman
April 13, 2011—It was with great sadness that I learned of Sidney Harman’s passing. Sidney was a rare visionary both as a businessman and as a great champion of the arts and innovation.
He was a major donor to myriad arts organizations, including the Folger Shakespeare Library, and was a trustee of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he was instrumental in creating the Aspen Institute’s Harman-Eisner Program in the Arts, which was designed to support and invigorate the arts in America and to enrich civic culture.
Americans for the Arts was honored to partner with Sidney in a series of arts and cultural policy programs at the Aspen Institute over the past few summers. A polymath by definition and by title—he was a Presidential Professor of Polymathy at USC—Sidney’s thirst for knowledge, innovation and the arts was legendary. For his contributions to our nation’s culture, he received the National Arts Award for Individual Philanthropy in the Arts in 2009.
An ardent fan of Maxwell Anderson, Sidney’s life embodied that of his favorite quote from the playwright: “Our best hope lies in our nascent arts. For if we are to be remembered merely as the people who lived, loved, made war and died; then it is for our arts that we must be remembered…The leaders too, are soon forgotten unless they have the wisdom and foresight to surround themselves with doers, poets—artifices of things of the mind and the heart.”
Sidney, a great leader, will not be forgotten. The arts world has lost a great friend, and the board and staff of Americans for the Arts deeply mourn his loss.
Robert L. Lynch President and CEO Americans for the Arts
FY11 Budget and its NEA Appropriations
April 12, 2011—Americans for the Arts is heartened by the final FY2011 federal budget levels for the nation’s cultural agencies, which reflect a more sensible and proportionate funding cut of 7.5 percent to the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. These cultural agencies are now set to receive $155 million each for the current fiscal year. While we firmly believe that the nation would be better served with a more robust investment in nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in communities across the country, we acknowledge the constraints of the current budget. We are pleased that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Smithsonian Institution did not incur any cuts and we are relieved to see $25 million restored to the Arts in Education account at the Department of Education, which had been zeroed-out in a previous Continuing Resolution.
Last week during tense budget negotiations between Congress and the White House, Americans for the Arts convened a very timely gathering of 560 grassroots and national arts advocates for Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of meetings and briefings took place in the House, Senate and at the White House. We are grateful to these advocates who carried our message to maintain federal investment in the arts and in education.
April 05, 2011—During the Arts Advocacy Day Congressional Arts Kick Off, a flash mob broke out into song singing "America the Beautiful." It's safe to say that this was the first chorus flash mob that Capitol Hill has ever seen!
Thank You Arts Advocates!
April 05, 2010—Today, hundreds of dedicated arts supporters from across the country came together in Washington, DC for National Arts Advocacy Day, a united effort to tell Capitol Hill how important culture is to our communities, how much arts education means to our children, and how much the arts improve our daily lives.
If you weren't able to join us today, you can still help us carry the momentum. Continue this conversation online and send your Member of Congress a message urging them to support the arts.
Make sure to follow #AAD11 and #TeamAAD and the Arts Advoacy Day Facebook page for all the inside scoop of the event. We'll be blogging, tweeting, posting video and photos from the event in the next coming days.
We cannot thank you enough for all that you've done, and continue to do to sustain the vitality of the arts. We look forward to seeing you next year!
Alec Baldwin, Hill Harper, Kevin Spacey and Kerry Washington Participants at AAD
April 01, 2011—Americans for the Arts, in conjunction with the Congressional Arts Caucus and more than 80 national co-sponsors, announces the event schedule for Arts Advocacy Day 2011. The 24th annual event is organized by Americans for the Arts and is presented this year in partnership with Ovation, the only television network devoted to arts culture.
Arts Advocacy Day brings together a broad cross-section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country, to advance the importance of developing and sustaining strong public arts policies and to advocate for increased public funding for the arts and arts education. Ovation CEO Charles Segars and Kerry Washington are honorary co-chairs of the event.
Events include the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Art & Public Policy, Congressional Arts Kick Off and aspecial hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee. Details for each Arts Advocacy Day event follow:
Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy:
Kevin Spacey, Academy Award®-winning actor and Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theatre
Kevin Spacey will deliver the 24th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy, a leading national forum for arts policy, intended to stimulate discussion of policy and social issues affecting the arts. He will be introduced by Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation and the 2011 Co-Chair of National Arts Advocacy Day. The lecture provides an opportunity for public discourse at the highest levels on the importance of the arts and culture to our nation’s well-being.
Monday, April 4, 2011 6:30 p.m.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC
The lecture provides an opportunity for public discourse at the highest levels on the importance of the arts and culture to our nation’s well-being.
Seating is limited, and the deadline for ticket requests is April 1, 2011.
Congressional Arts Kick Off:
Speakers at the Congressional Arts Kick Off include:
Hill Harper, film and television actor and author Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts Charles Segars, Ovation CEO Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Committee Kevin Spacey, Academy Award®-winning actor and Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theatre
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), Senate Cultural Caucus
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) will receive the 2011 Congressional Arts Leadership Award. In addition, there will be a special performance by James Schlender, 2011 VSA International Soloist Awar Recipient
The Congressional Arts Kick Off marks the official start of the Arts Advocacy Day events on Capitol Hill. The Congressional Arts Leadership Award will also be presented at the Kick Off. The award, which recognizes distinguished service on behalf of the arts, is part of a series of Public Leadership in the Arts Awards given annually by Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. RSVP is essential for press coverage. Please contact Catherine Brandt at email@example.com.
Cannon Caucus Room 345 Cannon House Office Building
This high-energy event is always full of great, unexpected comments and sound bites. This year will be no exception.
Special Hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee:
Witnesses providing testimony at the hearing include:
Alec Baldwin, Emmy Award®-winning TV, film and stage actor
Elizabeth Kautz, Mayor, Burnsville, MN and President, U.S. Conference of Mayors
Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts
Edgar Smith, CEO of World PAC Paper, Business Committee for the Arts Executive Board Member
Kevin Spacey, Academy Award®-winning actor and Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theatre
Special Hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on funding for the National Endowment for the Arts
Tuesday, April 5, 2011 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Press – Please RSVP to Catherine Brandt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rayburn Building Room 2359, 3rd Floor
Witnesses’ testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior will focus on the importance of the arts to the nation and the need to retain current levels of funding to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Their testimony will also underscore the importance of developing strong public policies for the arts and arts education.
March 25, 2011—
Arts advocacy can’t be done by one person or one organization alone. It takes teamwork from a strong community of advocates working together. In order to highlight the work, thoughts, and ideas of arts advocates, who come from around the country to lend their voice to the arts and arts education every year in Washington, DC, we have organized a talented and diverse Twitter Team to keep those who can’t attend, or those who can’t make it to every event, up-to-date on what’s happening at Arts Advocacy Day this year.
Here is the Twitter Team lineup, and to follow what they’re saying during Arts Advocacy Day, simply follow and RT the #TeamAAD hashtag on Twitter.
There is still time to register for this year's Arts Advocacy Day!
Kevin Spacey: 2011 Nancy Hanks Lecturer
March 26, 2011—
Kevin Spacey The 24th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy April 4, 2011 - 6:30 p.m. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall
with a special performance by Touch of Class Show Choir Chantilly High School, Chantilly, VA
Academy Award® winning actor and Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theatre Kevin Spacey will deliver the 24th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy. Receive two free tickets to the lecture with your Arts Advocacy Day registration or reserve your tickets online today.
The Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy is a leading national forum for arts policy intended to stimulate dialogue on policy and social issues affecting the arts. It is held each year on the evening before Arts Advocacy Day at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.
The annual lecture is named for Nancy Hanks, former president of Americans for the Arts and chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, who devoted 15 years of her professional life to bringing the arts to prominent national consciousness.
Alec Baldwin Will Join Arts Advocates
March 07, 2011—Your voice is needed! Join actor Alec Baldwin at Arts Advocacy Day 2011:
Hear from congressional leaders and acclaimed artists at the Congressional Arts Kick Off on Capitol Hill.
Make the case for the arts and arts eduction to your members of Congress.
Be a part of more than 500 of your fellow advocates from across the country.
The arts are being threatened. In the last month, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to slash funding for the National Endowment for the Arts by $43 million and terminate the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education for FY 2011. It is imperative that arts advocates come together through events like Arts Advocacy Day to let Congress know that these cuts and terminations are unacceptable.
Hotel group discounted rate deadline is March 11.
Discounted registration rate expires March 21.
Arts Education Blog Salon Wraps Up
March 14, 2011—Arts education experts from across the country discussed, analyzed, and presented the latest information on the subject through our biannual Arts Education Blog Salon on ARTSblog.
The Salon started Monday, March 14th and posts were published every few hours each day. We encourage you to take part by reading through all of the posts and commenting or posing a question to the author.
Guest bloggers included:
Victoria Plettner-Saunders, Americans for the Arts’ Arts Education Council Chair Clayton Lord, Director of Marketing and Audience Development at Theatre Bay Area Kathi Levin, Arts Education Consultant Richard Kessler, Executive Director of The Center for Arts Education (NY) Merryl Goldberg, Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at California State University San Marcos Ken Busby, Executive Director and CEO of Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa Allen Bell, Program Director for Arts Education, Research, and Information at South Arts Kim Dabbs, Executive Director of Michigan Youth Arts Marete Wester, Director of Local Arts Policy at Americans for the Arts…and many more!
The Arts Education Blog Salons are year-round resources and a great place to start if you are interested in learning more about the latest research and opinions involving arts education in America and around the world.
We hope you will stop by and join in the conversation!
Arts Education Funding Cut in Two-Week Budget Fix
March 03, 2011—Although Congress quickly avoided a government shutdown this week, arts education funding somehow managed to get caught up in the two-week continuing resolution Band-Aid that was passed by both the House and Senate yesterday.
While the Continuing Resolution (CR) keeps the government running for another two weeks, it also makes a $4 billion cut in domestic spending, including a number of federal education programs.
Among the programs designated for cuts is the total elimination of funding for the Department of Education’s $40 million Arts in Education program. This program funds a large number of arts education activities across in the country, including the Kennedy Center’s arts education efforts and VSA, the international organization on arts and disability.
It is unclear at the moment of how a short-term CR might impact a program that currently has over 50 active multi-year grants in place around the country. However, this can be fixed in the upcoming long-term CR that Congress and the White House are currently negotiating.
It is vitally important that the arts community mobilizes to restore this important Arts in Education program, as well as restore the cuts previously made in the House to the National Endowment for the Arts, as the final FY 2011 CR budget is considered in the coming days.
February 28, 2011—We heard what you had to say about last year's annual meeting, and we’ve responded. Check out this new offerings for this year!
Convention On-Demand: You wanted a better way to share your convention experience with board members and staff. Get unlimited access to more than 37 hours of recorded content, audio presentations synchronized to PowerPoint™ presentations, downloadable MP3 files, handouts, and much more, for only $39 plus the cost of registration. Register now and receive the discounted early-bird rate plus Convention On-Demand today.
2011 Annual Convention June 16-18, 2011 San Diego, CA
House Makes Deeper Cut to NEA
February 17, 2011—The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H.R.1, a appropriations bill written to target at least $100 billion in domestic spending cuts in the current fiscal year. This legislation includes a $43 million reduction for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)—from the current $167.5 million to $124 million. This represents the deepest cut to the NEA in 16 years. Representatives narrowly passed an amendment to the originally proposed appropriations bill on Thursday by a vote of 217-209, which increased an already dramatic cut to total the $43 million reduction. The Senate, which may be more supportive of the NEA, will begin its consideration of the appropriations bill starting February 28, following a week-long recess in observance of Presidents Day.
Members of Congress, especially Senators, need to hear, see, and read about it. We’ve made it easy for you by setting-up a Media Alert to help you quickly and efficiently send your opinions to the local newspapers, and radio and TV stations in your area.
House Amendments Threaten NEA Funding
February 15, 2011—Two amendments have been introduced regarding the funding bill for Fiscal Year 2011 currently being debated on the floor of the House of Representatives that would further cut/eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The first amendment offered by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) would zero out funding for the NEA completely.
The second amendment of concern is offered by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI). It would reduce funding for the NEA by an additional $20.5 million, resulting in an allocation of $124.5 million for the Endowment.
The amendments are scheduled to be heard, along with over 400 more, some time over the next few days.
To help prevent these amendments from being included, visit our E-Advocacy Center.
Obama Proposes $21M NEA Cut for 2012
February 14, 2011—Today the Obama Administration released its much anticipated Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request to Congress which includes funding for the nation’s cultural agencies and programs including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Smithsonian Institution.
Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts stated the following: The administration request of $146.255 million for the National Endowment for the Arts is a decrease of $21 million from the $167 million that Congress appropriated last year. The arts community recognizes the shared sacrifice being asked of all federal agencies to help reduce our national debt and is willing to do its part. President Obama had acknowledged in his State of the Union that it was time to prioritize and identify the programs and agencies that work and invest in them to “win the future.” The NEA is one of those agencies. It helps create jobs and drive economic activity by leveraging modest but critical funds at the state and local level and is part of the solution to returning our economic vitality.
At a time when NEA dollars are the critical lifeline helping state and local budgets survive as philanthropic dollars are dwindling, this drastic reduction does not take into account the incredible return on investment those funds generate to federal, state and local treasuries. While we are pleased that cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian received additional funds and that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting saw continued support from the president, we believe the administration has missed the mark with such a deep cut to the primary federal source for leveraging support for cultural programs and public and private funding to every state and community in our country.
It is our hope that Congress and President Obama will work together to come to a compromise that understands the importance of the creative sector to our communities and economy.
It was just yesterday that we reported the National Endowment for the Arts is facing a $12 million budget cut in the 2011 House Appropriations Bill. Today the news is even worse.
The House has amended the same proposal, slashing the NEA budget by $22.5 million, leaving the endowment with a $145 million budget. This drastic measure would result in the largest cut to the agency in 16 years. Arts advocates have already sent over 10,000 messages to Congress, but we need much more. Next week, the proposal moves to the House floor, where we expect amendments for even more drastic cuts.
By taking two minutes today to send a customizable message via our E-Advocacy Center, we will automatically send letters on your behalf to both your Senators and your House Representative.
Let's Make Some Noise
February 11, 2011—Are you starting to hear the drum beats coming out of Washington?
Now is the time for arts advocates to mobilize with a strong and unified voice. Let’s get 50,000 messages to Congress over the next week.
The House Appropriations Committee has proposed a mid-year budget cut to dozens of valuable federal programs, including support for the arts. They want to cut the National Endowment for the Arts budget mid-stream from $167.5 million to $155 million.
The bill goes to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote next week. Unfortunately, this is where the battle really begins. I expect members of the Republican Study Committee to offer amendments that would cut even more money and quite possibly attempt to zero-out the NEA. Because this is serious threat, we are simultaneously working on a Senate and White House strategy of blocking any deep cuts to the arts.
Here’s what you can do:
Take two minutes now to send customizable messages to your Members of Congress via our E-Advocacy Center. These elected officials, especially the freshmen, need to know where their constituents stand on arts funding issues.
Be on the look-out for additional alerts next week. If we need even more messages to go to Congress about specific, fast-moving floor amendments to zero-out funding of the NEA, please please return to our E-Advocacy Center to let your voice be heard.
Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, Nina Ozlu Tunceli, recorded a podcast on ArtsBlog discussing the budget process and stresses how deeply important our voices will be during this time.
Super Bowl: A Showcase for the Arts
February 09, 2011—One of the largest arts audience activities of the year happened earlier this week. Thousands of artists from around the United States and throughout the world prepared for months for this single event on one night in February. It's called the Super Bowl. Yes there was football, too and some pretty exciting football at that. But this is a televised sports event where no one leaves their seat during the commercials because they might miss some really cool, fun art. Graphic design, computer generated imagery, audio engineering, musical composition, actors, lyricists, script writers, musicians, lighting designers, dancers, fabricators of all kinds produce these tiny bits of theater we call advertising.
I've often heard -- and even said -- that the arts are America's secret weapon in developing our communities and cities. But lately it's clear that the secret is out because more and more mayors, community leaders and government officials are using the arts to transform communities. This theme played out in several of the ads on Sunday night. One wonderful piece showed the benefits that public art, performance halls, design, choral music, architecture and cultural life in general can have in the animation of a downtown and for the image of an American city. This ad without the soundtrack could have been a video poster for our nation's five thousand city arts commissions. The City turned out to be Detroit, and the spot featured Eminem one of Motor City's most renowned musicians. And the ad was for Chrysler.
The Fox network seems to understand the power of the arts, too. The post-Super Bowl spot is the most coveted, prime TV real estate currently available for any TV show. Because that show is virtually guaranteed to have the largest audience it will ever have, it has the golden opportunity to draw in new viewers. So what did Fox choose to follow the Super Bowl? They chose Glee, the arts show... with some football and relationships thrown in. And did Glee ever reap the benefits. The post-Super Bowl episode was the highest-rated Glee show ever, and is the top-rated scripted telecast of any TV show in three years.
I find this fascinating but not surprising. The National Arts Index, which Americans for the Arts produces each year, indicates that interest in the arts in America continues to grow. Online downloads of music are soaring. Involvement in the arts -- whether in the neighborhood, personal self creation, volunteerism or on TV during the Super Bowl intermission -- is stronger than ever. Three thousand new nonprofit arts organizations were created during the 2007-2009 recession resulting in a record 109,000 nonprofit art groups in America. Glee writer and co-creator Ryan Murphy while accepting his Emmy for Outstanding Director noted that "Glee is about the importance of arts education." And Ian Brennan said in accepting an award at this year's Golden Globes, "I just want to say thank you to public schoolteachers. You don't get paid like it, but you're doing the most important work in America." Fox and Chrysler may want to send a thank you to all the art teachers and artists too.
It turns out that the influence of the arts may go far beyond the audience retention benefits of Glee and the sales benefits of the best arts presentation in advertising. In a recent NPR piece it was revealed that many Green Bay Packers players had been adding a bit of the secret weapon of the arts to their own game arsenals. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers plays guitar and has his own record label. And a number of Packers have taken group piano lessons, including two safeties, a cornerback, a quarterback and a linebacker. Green Bay won. Coincidence? I don't think so. But you never know. Years ago Kareem Abdul Jabar told me that his love of jazz and the improvisation it taught him helped with his basketball game. And New York Yankee Bernie Williams said the discipline he learned as a classical guitarist made him a better baseball player. For future Super Bowl players, the scouts may be out early looking in on the music and theater classes and perhaps even the nation's glee clubs.
February 09, 2011— Now more than ever we need to come together to fight one of the biggest battles we have had to protect and save the arts. Listen to Nina Ozlu Tunceli's, Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs, short podcast about Kevin Spacey, this year's Nancy Hanks Lecturer, and Arts Advocacy Day. She even announces a celebrity who will testify in front of Congress!
National Arts Advocacy Day April 4–5, 2011 Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington, DC There are three easy ways to register:
Register by mail Download our printable PDF registration form and mail to: Americans for the Arts c/o Meetings & Events P.O. Box 91261 Washington, DC 20090–1261
Register by fax Download our printable PDF registration form and fax to: F 202.371.0424 Attn: Meetings and Events
Find the official Arts Advocacy Day page on Facebook.
Follow Arts Advocacy Day on Twitter. And use the tag, #AAD11, when spreading the word!
Convention Opening Keynote Announced!
January 31, 2011—
Susan Smith Ellis, CEO of (RED), leads a creative powerhouse with the mission to combat AIDS around the world. Named one of the Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, Smith Ellis will share how the work of artists, designers, and performers play a key role in the (RED) mission and its success in raising more than $160 million in four years.
Smith Ellis will inspire and motivate you with stories about the innovation, tenacity, and original business model that make (RED) a ground-breaking example for mission-driven organizations everywhere.
Arts & the State of the Union
January 26, 2011—
Last night, President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union speech before the United States Congress where he addressed three areas of concern that resonate with arts advocates: federal spending, jobs and education policy. Earlier this week, 165 conservative members of Congress representing the Republican Study Committee called for termination of the National Endowment for the Arts and key arts education programs at the U.S. Department of Education. We know that the battle to protect these programs will be tough this year, but with your help, not insurmountable.
Please take two minutes to take action and send a message to your member of Congress in support of the National Endowment for the Arts or arts education at the U.S. Department of Education.
Several major newspapers across the country interviewed Americans for the Arts President and CEO Bob Lynch in response to the dubious notion that cutting the arts will actually reduce the nation’s deficit. In today’s New York Times, Bob pointed out that the arts support 5.7 million jobs in the United States that generate about $30 billion in taxes, nearly $13 billion of which goes to the federal government and said, "If they’re serious about jobs and they’re serious about income, they would invest more in the arts.”
Since 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts has been serving arts organizations and artists in every state and every community. The arts not only play an important role in our nation’s well-being and foster creativity and innovation, but they also create jobs and prepare our workforce to compete in the global economy. Including the arts in a comprehensive and formal education for every student is critical. The education reforms that the President and leaders in Congress should be looking at are ones that strengthen the role of the arts and truly implement it as a core academic subject in schools throughout the country.
Please send a message to your member of Congress in support of the National Endowment for the Arts or arts education at the U.S. Department of Education.
Arts Advocacy Day 2011 Registration Open
January 06, 2011— National Arts Advocacy Day Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington, DC April 4–5, 2011
Next year, more than 100 new members of Congress will take office as a result of the elections earlier this month. As these newly elected congressional leaders focus on creating jobs and growing the economy, it is imperative that arts advocates help educate them to understand the profound role the arts play in federal policies such as spurring economic growth and job creation. Coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the 24th Annual National Arts Advocacy Day brings together arts, education, entertainment, and policy leaders from across the country to develop strong public policies and support for increased public funding for the arts and arts education.
LEARN how to lobby congress.
NETWORK with other attendees from your state and across the country.
BE HEARD by your members of Congress when you visit them to make the case for the arts and arts education.
There are three easy ways to register:
Register by mail Download our printable PDF registration form and mail to: Americans for the Arts c/o Meetings & Events P.O. Box 91261 Washington, DC 20090–1261
Register by fax Download our printable PDF registration form and fax to: F 202.371.0424 Attn: Meetings and Events
Find the official Arts Advocacy Day page on Facebook.
Follow Arts Advocacy Day on Twitter. And use the tag, #AAD11, when spreading the word!
Vitality of the Arts Industry Hits 12-Year Low
January 24, 2011—Americans for the Arts announced the first update to its National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of the arts industries in the United States. The 2010 Index offers the first comprehensive picture of how the arts fared during the Great Recession.
According to the Index, the vitality of America’s arts sector reached a 12-year low in 2009, dropping a record 3.6 points to 97.7. What’s more, since the onset of the Great Recession, the Index has plummeted 6.2 points. In fact, the losses sustained from 2007-2009 were nearly double the gains made from 2003-2007 (3.9 percent).
Defying this fall was a continued growth in the quantity of arts organizations. From 2007-2009, the number of nonprofit arts institutions grew by 3,000. As a result, the arts sector is now composed of 109,000 nonprofit arts organizations and 550,000 for profit arts businesses, and 2.2 million artists in the U.S. workforce. However, an increasing number of organizations and individuals are struggling to make ends meet. In 2008, 41 percent of nonprofit arts organizations reporting to the IRS failed to achieve a balanced budget, up from 36 percent in 2007. Further, analysis shows these organizations in deficit are likely to be larger in budget size , though no specific arts discipline is particularly more likely to run a deficit.
Fueling the drop in the Index and the growing number of arts organizations’ inability to balance their budgets are declines in earned income and charitable giving. While the public’s personal spending on the arts has remained in the $150-$160 billion range, it has steadily slipped since 2002 in terms of share of all expenditures (from 1.88 percent to 1.57 percent). In addition, arts and culture continue to lose their market share of philanthropy to other charitable areas, such as human services and health. The portion of all philanthropic giving going to the arts dropped from 4.9 percent to 4.0 percent over the past decade. In other words, if the arts sector merely maintained its 4.9 percent share from 2001, it would have received $14.9 billion in contributions instead of $12.34 billion in 2009—a $2.5 billion difference.
January 20, 2011—"Federal support for arts and culture is now officially in the cross hairs of congressional Republicans, if that's a metaphor we're still allowed to use.
Any way you want to describe it, the Republican Study Committee, made up of about 165 GOP members of the House of Representatives, on Thursday announced a budget-cutting plan aimed at slashing federal spending, and it calls for the elimination of the nation's two leading makers of government arts grants: the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Also on the chopping block is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The arts and humanities endowments each get $167.5 million a year; the broadcasting agency, which supports public radio and television, gets $445 million...
In an interview Wednesday, before the GOP plan had come out, Robert Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts, a leading advocacy group for government funding of the arts, had said arts supporters "are cognizant of the attitudes out there among some leaders, and we have to do a good job of education."
A key argument, Lynch said, is that the government's existing arts-funding model follows conservative budgetary principles: A small federal investment that's important to the health of the nonprofit arts sector helps sustain its 5.7 million jobs and the $30 billion in annual returns to federal, state and local coffers that those workers pay in taxes."
Herbie Hancock, Anna Deavere Smith and Public Leaders Awarded
January 19, 2011—Each year, Americans for the Arts presents awards to honor those who are committed to building communities through the arts. The National Arts Awards recognize high-profile artists and philanthropists; and National Public Leadership in the Arts Awards, recognize public officials.
Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors, announced that Herbie Hancock will receive the 2011 Legendary Artist Award, and Anna Deavere Smith will receive the 2011 National Artist Advocate Award. In addition, Carmel, IN Mayor James Brainard, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson will receive the 2011 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards.
“Anna Deavere Smith has been an extraordinary advocate for the arts, showing how the arts are integral to creating better American communities and citizens, and Mr. Hancock continues to inspire artists with his innovative stylings. Mayors Brainard and Nutter and Governor Richardson have all demonstrated immense dedication to the development of arts programming within their respective communities and states,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.
“Every year, the U.S. Conference of Mayors recognizes the efforts of those who believe as much as we do, that the arts are the heart of our society. Arts and culture help shape a city’s quality of life, but mayors also understand the connection between the arts and business and the arts’ impact on the local economy,” said U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran.
The recipients will receive their awards tomorrow morning at The United States Conference of Mayors’ 79th annual winter meeting in Washington, D.C.
Annual Convention Registration is Open!
January 13, 2011—What does the future of the arts in America look like? How can my organization work even more effectively within my community?
The Americans for the Arts 2011 Annual Convention on June 16-18 in San Diego, CA will answer these questions and off the critical and timely professional development you need in local arts development, advancement, and policy.
Join more than 1,200 arts and community leaders coming together to imagine and plan for a creative future through leadership and innovation in our sunny, becautiful host city.
Register by April 29 for the early-bird discount! Plus, receive $50 off a second registration for a colleague.
Check out all the ways to save and book your hotel room today!
NAMPRadio: "Marketing Yourself as an Independent Artist”
January 07, 2011—In our newest NAMPRadio podcast, panelists Ron Evans, Matt Campbell, and Maris Smith talk with special guest panelist and jazz artist Dmitri Matheny about the day-to-day grind for individual artists having to promote themselves. Dmitri discusses best practices for how he's created relationships over the years that have built into a powerful following!
January 05, 2011—Today, all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives will be sworn in, and 13 new U.S. Senators will take the oath of office as a result of the November elections. It is critical to contact them now to show that the arts are important to you and your community.
Many of the newly elected congressional leaders are focused on cutting discretionary funding, reducing the federal deficit, and creating incentives to grow the economy. It is imperative that arts advocates work quickly together to help educate the largest congressional freshman class in decades about the profound role the arts play in spurring economic growth and job creation.
We have provided a customizable letter you can send to your Member of Congress congratulating him or her on beginning their service in the 112th Congress and letting them know the arts are important to you!