What would you say if you had the chance to tell the next President of the United States how much the arts matter to you?
That’s what the goal is of our ArtsVote2016 national campaign. We’re creating opportunities for your voice to be heard over the noise of the presidential elections, especially in pivotal early primary states like New Hampshire and Iowa.
But we can’t do this without your help.
With your support, you can help us to:
- Train 200+ arts advocates in each of the early primary states to attend town hall meetings and meet-and-greets with presidential candidates.
- Retain a political/media strategist who will open doors to meet candidates in order to discuss how the arts are valued and supported in every state they visit, starting in Iowa and New Hampshire.
- Create customized Questions to Ask every candidate as well as arts background papers about each candidate.
- Draft unique arts profiles about New Hampshire and Iowa in order to share with candidates so they understand that voters in these early primary states value the arts.
- Expand our www.ArtsActionFund.org website so that we can provide these new robust resources to candidates and advocates.
Our goal is to raise $250,000 for the 2016 election cycle by encouraging Arts Action Fund members to contribute $20.16 to the Arts Action Fund. Reactive your membership now, and your contribution will provide the support we need to continue the critical work we are doing for ArtsVote2016.
Thank you for playing your part,
Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director, Arts Action Fund
P.S. Check out the advice on the arts that Arts Action Fund members are giving to presidential candidates. Send us yours on Twitter using the hashtag #ArtsVote2016!
The Return of Orphan Works
The Next Great Copyright Act
We would like to thank artist Elaine Frenett for bringing this issue to our attention via her connection with the Illustrator’s Partnership of America and other related groups. It is crucial that artists retain the rights to and control over their creative works, and it appears that the US Copyright Office and the US Congress are threatening to take those rights and control from us with a new version of the US Copyright Act. This is not the first time this has been proposed, and twice before the national arts community has managed to fend off this attack on our intellectual/creative property, yet this latest proposal appears to be worse than previous versions. Grass roots activism has gained influence in Washington, DC, and though many of you may not be accustomed to such actions, this is one we hope will motivate you to join with the rest of the creative arts community by writing a letter to the US Copyright Office…and hopefully your state representatives in Congress, too. The information below will fill you in on what they propose and some ideas to help you write your letter. The deadline for submitting your letter is July 23, so there’s plenty of time to craft a well-written letter, yet no time to waste, so let’s take a few minutes to put down our brushes and pick up our pens to preserve our control over our creations. There is a link to the Copyright Office website where your letter can be submitted under the When and Where heading below. Please read the entire article carefully. We hope the suggestions for your letter will help you get your own words flowing so the letters received in Washington are effective and powerful. Go to http://artists-bill-of-rights.org/ to learn more about copyright and the challenges artists face when it comes to the control of the use of their works.
Though they do not seem to have published anything about this recently, Fractured Atlas, an Americans for the Arts partner organization, is a source of helpful information, and may have other services you find helpful in other areas of your art career.
For more than a year Congress has been holding hearings for the drafting of a brand new US Copyright Act. At its heart is the return of Orphan Works.
Twice, Orphan Works Acts have failed to pass Congress because of strong opposition from visual artists, spearheaded by the Illustrators Partnership.
Because of this, the Copyright Office has now issued a special call for letters regarding the role of visual art in the coming legislation.
Therefore we’re asking all artists concerned with retaining the rights to their work to join us in writing.
When and Where
You can submit letters online to the Copyright Office here.
Here are the Basic Facts
“The Next Great Copyright Act” would replace all existing copyright law.
It would void our Constitutional right to the exclusive control of our work.
It would “privilege” the public’s right to use our work.
It would “pressure” you to register your work with commercial registries.
It would “orphan” unregistered work.
It would make orphaned work available for commercial infringement by “good faith” infringers.
It would allow others to alter your work and copyright these “derivative works” in their own names.
It would affect all visual art: drawings, paintings, sketches, photos, etc.; past, present and future; published and unpublished; domestic and foreign.
The demand for copyright “reform” has come from large Internet firms and the legal scholars allied with them. Their business models involve supplying the public with access to other people’s copyrighted work. Their problem has been how to do this legally and without paying artists.
The “reforms” they’ve proposed would allow them to stock their databases with our pictures. This would happen either by forcing us to hand over our images to them as registered works, or by harvesting unregistered works as orphans and copyrighting them in their own names as “derivative works.”
The Copyright Office acknowledges that this will cause special problems for visual artists but concludes that we should still be subject to orphan works law.
The “Next Great Copyright Act” would go further than previous Orphan Works Acts. The proposals under consideration include:
1.) The Mass Digitization of our intellectual property by corporate interests.
2.) Extended Collective Licensing, a form of socialized licensing that would replace voluntary business agreements between artists and their clients.
3.) A Copyright Small Claims Court to handle the flood of lawsuits expected to result from orphan works infringements.
In your letter to the Copyright Office:
It’s important that lawmakers be told that our copyrights are our source of income because lobbyists and corporation lawyers have “testified” that once our work has been published it has virtually no further commercial value and should therefore be available for use by the public.
So when writing, please remember:
* It’s important that you make your letter personal and truthful.
* Keep it professional and respectful.
* Explain that you’re an artist and have been one for x number of years.
* Briefly list your educational background, publications, awards, etc.
* Indicate the field(s) you work in.
* Explain clearly and forcefully that for you, copyright law is not an
abstract legal issue, but the basis on which your business rests.
* Our copyrights are the products we license.
* This means that infringing our work is like stealing our money.
* It’s important to our businesses that we remain able to determine
voluntarily how and by whom our work is used.
* Stress that your work does NOT lose its value upon publication.
* Instead everything you create becomes part of your business inventory.
* In the digital era, inventory is more valuable to artists than ever before.
If you are NOT a professional artist:
* Define your specific interest in copyright, and give a few relevant
* You might want to stress that it’s important to you that you determine
how and by whom your work is used.
* You might wish to state that even if you’re a hobbyist, you would not
welcome someone else monetizing your work for their own profit
without your knowledge or consent.
Because this is a complicated issue, we’ll follow up next week with some expanded thoughts of our own.
– Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner
for the Board of the Illustrators Partnership
The Illustrators Partnership has filed multiple papers with the
Copyright Office regarding this issue.
Please post or forward this artists alert to any interested party.
|It’s been a fast-paced appropriations season so far! On June 16, the U.S. Senate approved legislation (for the first time in six years!) in subcommittee to level fund the National Endowment for the Arts.The U.S. House also kept its pace for rapid consideration, approving its NEA funding bill in full committee today as well. Tomorrow, the bill that funds the federal museum agency and arts education is on tap for consideration (first time in three years!) in another House subcommittee. And on Thursday, the Senate returns to consider its bill to fund the NEA in full committee.Despite the substantial effort in Congress to advance bills in a timely way, the Administration last night issued a veto threat to the bill because of its numerous policy riders, thwarting any expected advancement.|
What you need to know
Last week, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee approved a bill providing sustained funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. All the cultural institutions, like the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution, also were proposed at level funding.
June 16, the full committee reported out this legislation on a 30-21 vote, enabling it to next be considered on the House floor.
|Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) offers amendment to increase funding for NEA by $2 million to full committee|
During full committee consideration, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) offered an amendment to boost funding for both the NEA and the NEH to the President’s request. This is roughly a $2 million increase to $148 million. Although his amendment did not receive a vote, Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), David Price (D-NC), and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) all spoke favorably on his amendment. Rep. Pingree noted the work of the Maine Humanities Council in her district; Rep. Israel spoke about Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families, a publication of the NEA. A writer himself, Rep. Israel shared his interest to scale up healing arts therapy work with veterans going forward and in more areas across the country. Rep. Price shared with his colleagues another publication, the Heart of the Matter, tucking it in also as recommended reading. Rep. Price also shared with all appropriators that NEA and NEH are funded well below their historical levels. He compared funds to 1992 and said with just inflation, we’d be investing nearly double had we just retained those levels. You can watch the June 16 proceedings at this webcast link, in which Rep. Israel’s amendment can be found at the 2:57 timestamp.
The Senate subcommittee also considered their version on June 16. Both NEA and NEH are also proposed for level funding. The subcommittee’s statement can be found here. The full committee considered the bill June 16.
House floor votes could occur as soon as the last week in June, prior to the 4th of July congressional recess. As the process moves forward, the NEA and other cultural agencies may be prime targets for proposed cuts, if history is any lesson. We will keep you posted on any harmful amendments as the bills head toward the House or Senate floor.
Help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member, you can play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today—it’s free and easy to join.
Thank you for your support of the arts!
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Editor’s Note: Yesterday we sent a message to Oregon House Representative Greg Walden via an ArtsUSA petition. It began with the petition text written by ArtsUSA advocates, but we wanted to add more. We hope you will also send your own message to our representatives about why level or increased funding for NEA programs—which fund Oregon state arts programs—before Congress votes on the proposed budget next week. Feel free to copy ours (below) if it resonates with you. We received a message back from Rep. Walden this morning indicating that he will keep our priorities in mind throughout the budget and appropriations process, but if he needs to hear from more of us. In his words, “At the end of the day, it’s your money that we’re talking about—you ought to have a say in how it’s being spent.” If hears from many, many more of us, we may actually get a $2 million increase in funding as proposed by Rep. Steve Israel of New York last week, but you need to know that continued efforts to cut funding to the National Endowment completely are still threatening this agency so vital to arts funding across the country and in our own home state.
“As your constituent, I urge you to increase or support a budget of $146 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the FY 2016 Interior Appropriations bill to preserve citizen access to the cultural, educational, and economic benefits of the arts and to advance creativity and innovation here at home.
The arts mean jobs for our district! The nonprofit arts industry generates $135.2 billion annually in economic activity, supports 4.13 million full-time equivalent jobs in the arts and related industries, and returns $9.59 billion in federal income taxes.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the NEA announced the latest figures on the arts and cultural sector’s contributions to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), proving that the arts are a significant part of the GDP. Arts and culture activity produced $698.7 billion in goods and services annually or 4.32% of GDP – more than both the construction or transportation sectors.
Grants through the NEA are widely distributed to strengthen arts infrastructures and to ensure broad access to the arts. The NEA makes grants in every congressional district. Furthermore, the NEA distributes 40 percent of its program dollars to state arts agencies, on the condition that each state devotes its own appropriated funds as well. In partnership with the NEA, state arts agencies have awarded 22,000 grants to more than 18,300 organizations, schools, and artists in nearly 4,800 communities across the United States.
With funding for the arts having been cut from most of our schools, I am very concerned that our children are not getting enough exposure to the arts to help them achieve their goals and become productive member of society. I heard a parent recently tell me that her son, who is studying a pre-med curriculum in high school, was having trouble getting decent grades in biology classes because he couldn’t draw an accurate line drawing of an anatomical feature! That’s of grave concern, and this example makes a case for supporting availability and access to the arts outside of the school system. The NEA improves access to the arts, supports artistic excellence and fosters lifelong learning through grants, partnerships, research and national initiatives. The current level funding of $146 million amounts to just 45 cents per capita, as compared to 70 cents per capita in 1992. I am counting on you as my Representative to support at least level funding of $146 million for the NEA.
On a side note, I urge you to support the NEA’s STEAM educational model for our schools. This would add steam to the STEM program and improve student’s ability to learn, retain, and effectively apply information in a broad range of subjects by incorporating the arts into the curriculum. A society that does not value the arts beyond pretty pictures on the walls is NOT a world I want to live in! Numerous studies have proven that including the arts in education does far more than teach kids how to draw or paint or play the piano, but results in important enhancements to executive function and neurological development during a child’s formative and educational years, not to mention creative/collaborative problem solving (and oh do we need more people with those abilities active in our society!), and the fact that high school students with four years of art classes average 100 points higher on their SAT scores than those whose studies included one semester or less of art. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the many ways art can contribute tangibly to our lives. We should respect the truth these studies have discovered and give our kids every opportunity possible to excel in school and in their professional lives after school by reintroducing funding for the arts in education. It is deeply troubling, embarrassing and a poor reflection on the priorities of our society that they were ever cut to begin with.
Approving level funding for the NEA right now is a healthy start. Please commit to continuing funding for the NEA right now, and make it a part of your fight for preserving the quality of life in our country and our ability to complete on the global stage with creative innovations and solutions that only come when kids learn how to think creatively and effectively express their ideas by increasing the NEA’s funding from flat to being up-to-date with the increases in inflation and on par with historical levels at a minimum, and restoring funding for the arts in our schools.”
We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon!
At our meeting at in Grants Pass on April 14th, over 40 enthusiastic people from throughout Southern Oregon attended.
It was wonderful to see the momentum and excitement building as people signed up to be part of this groundbreaking initiative to mobilize arts advocates and strengthen our blossoming arts community!!
Thank you to those who attended! If you missed it, please sign up for your Charter Membership today!
Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon Charter Membership benefits include:
- being a Charter Member and founding supporter of the Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon!
- your name on printed rack card and advertisements
- link on the Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon website
- listing on the online map
- supporting the organizational launch of Arts Alliance and supporting the mission and vision:
Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon is an organization of artists, arts organizations, arts advocates, and the public, dedicated to building a strong, creative and sustainable Southern Oregon arts community.
WE ACCOMPLISH THIS MISSION THROUGH:
– Developing a strong, supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having art as a common interest.
– Strengthening the economies of Southern Oregon communities by increasing the demand for art and increasing arts advocacy.
– Supporting activities that raise awareness of the importance of the arts and create opportunities for all to participate in and experience the arts.
Charter Membership Form is attached. Please print, complete and mail with a $20 check to:
Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon
P.O. Box 24
Jacksonville, Oregon 97530
See you at the Summer Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon Meeting – date to be announced soon!
Thank you and have a creative day!!
-Brooke Nuckles Gentekos, volunteer Steering Committee Chair
Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon- like us on Facebook and see what’s happening in your arts community!
The bill will now be considered by the full Senate
Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon invites all arts enthusiasts to our Spring Community Meeting on Tues., April 14th from 2:30–3:30PM in the Shield Room at The Bear Hotel, 2101 NE Spalding, Grants Pass, OR 97526. All attending will have the opportunity to sign up for an Arts Alliance Charter Membership for just $20!
The Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon is an organization of artists, arts organizations, arts advocates, and the public, dedicated to building a strong, creative and sustainable arts community in southern Oregon.
In the spring of 2013, leaders from various arts organizations gathered with a vision to strengthen partnership and improve communication for the benefit of the greater arts community. Since then, we have regularly held panel discussions, public, and steering committee meetings to gather input as to what the Arts Alliance should be, and created mission and vision statements. Meeting locations vary throughout Southern Oregon in Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass, Jacksonville, and Kerby in order to be accessible, to encourage participation by the regional arts community, and to demonstrate our commitment to being an inclusive, positive, communicative, creative, informative, collaborative, and valuable resource to the arts community and the public.
Participants in a Community Meeting take part in a discussion about the Arts Alliance
With ongoing input from our arts community, we decided to create an active and robust Arts Alliance to help our arts community thrive. Our vision for the Arts Alliance is to accomplish this mission through:
- Developing a strong, supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having art as a common interest.
- Strengthening the economies of Southern Oregon communities by increasing the demand for art and increasing arts advocacy.
- Supporting activities that raise awareness of the importance of the arts and create opportunities for all to participate in and experience the arts.
It is our goal to connect Jackson and Josephine County together through culture. We realize this can have a significant economic impact on everyone who lives in the area, as well as benefitting tourists here for a short stay.
Our current steering committee include:
- Brooke Nuckles Gentekos, artist, arts advocate, and Executive Director of Sanctuary One in the Applegate Valley
- Susan Burnes, President of the board of directors Grants Pass Museum of Art in Grants Pass
- Joyce Abrams, President of the Southern Oregon Guild of Artists in Kerby
- Anne Brooke, artist and founder/director of Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville
- Hannah West, artist, arts advocate, web designer, Art Presence Board member and founder of the Southern Oregon Artists Resource in Jacksonville
- Denise Baxter, Executive Director of the Ashland Art Center in Ashland
- Cammy Davis of It’s All About Art and southern Oregon art advocate in Jacksonville
- Hyla Lipson, co-founder and chair of Artworks in Grants Pass
- Kim Hearon, Executive Director of the Rogue Gallery and Art Center in Medford.
2015 is the pilot year for the Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon. Presently we are planning its launch and preparing for this by building a website, creating a map and calendar, designing and creating marketing materials, continuing to streamline communication, and building membership. We would like to express our gratitude to the Oregon Community Foundation for the grant that is helping us accomplish the Arts Alliance Launch in Spring 2015.
Participants in the last Community Meeting contribute ideas for the Arts Alliance slogan
During our last community meeting we brainstormed slogans for the arts marketing campaign, narrowing the candidates down from a huge list of contributed ideas. The steering committee is coordinating details for the arts marketing campaign including a logo design, regional coordination, fundraising, and continued outreach to our blossoming arts community and arts enthusiasts throughout southern Oregon. We hope you will be among the artists, regional arts leaders, gallery representatives, and art enthusiasts who join us on April 14 to make their voices heard and continue working toward the fulfillment of our collective goals!
Learn more about the Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon at our website: http://www.artsalliancesouthernoregon.org/ and keep up with our events, news, and latest developments on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtsAllianceSO
Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon
P.O. Box 24
Jacksonville, OR 97530
Our membership has approved our platform for 2015!
Help us protect the arts in education!
Friends of the Arts Action Fund testify for a $155 million allocation for the National Endowment for the Arts.