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Arts Action Fund Goes On the Air in New Hampshire

Republican strategist Sarah Stewart appears on the “Girard at Large” radio show to talk about the GOP should embrace the arts

Mary Pat Christie Expresses Support for the Arts

The wife of New Jersey governor and Presidential candidate Chris Christie tells an Arts Action Fund member about her pro-arts actions as First Lady of the Garden State.

Caldera Honored at the White House

Dec. 29, 2015
Caldera Executive Director Tricia Snell (right) and youth representative Alena Nore (center) visit the White House Nov. 17 to accept an award from First Lady Michelle Obama.
Caldera Honored at the White House with national award

Congratulations to Caldera, one of 12 national creative youth development organizations to receive the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. Caldera Executive Director Tricia Snell and youth representative Alena Nore accepted the award at a Nov. 17 White House awards ceremony.

Caldera is the first Oregon organization to ever receive the award, the nation’s highest honor for creative youth programs. It recognizes the country’s best programs while highlighting the positive role that arts and humanities play in youth academic achievement, graduation rates and college enrollment.

In addition to the national recognition bestowed by the prestigious award, Caldera will also receive $10,000 to support its programming and build the long-term sustainability of the organization.
Former Arts Commission Chair Ron Paul passes

It was with heavy hearts the arts community learned of the passing of former Arts Commission Chair Ron Paul.

Ron was best-known as a chef and restaurateur, with the artistry and sustainability of food defining his professional identity. His work with the City of Portland engaged him at the intersection of politics and policy. As chief of staff to former Portland City Commissioner Charlie Hales, he helped shape plans to develop a year-round, food-focused Public Market. He also led the city’s lobbying for the creation of the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Ron recently served as executive director of Portland’s forthcoming James Beard Public Market.
Ron Paul
Oregon’s White House tree features recycled ornaments

Another feather in Oregon’s environmental cap — It is the only state to have its President’s Park (White House) tree decorated with recycled garbage!Incredibly beautiful marine garbage, transformed into art by Angela Haseltine Pozzi, the founder of The Washed Ashore Project in Bandon.

Trees representing all 56 states and territories are annually displayed at the White House park and each year different artists are invited to create the ornaments.

Arts Commission on tour
The Arts Commission took a tour of Northwest Portland galleries, including the Elizabeth Leach Gallery (pictured), following its Dec. 4 meeting at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Pictured (left to right) are: Vice Chair Libby Tower; Public Art Coordinator Meagan Atiyeh; Commissioner Avantika Bawa; Community Art Coordinator Brian Wagner; Commissioner Christopher Acebo; Chair Julie Vigeland; Commissioner Anne Taylor; and Executive Director Brian Rogers.

Upcoming grant deadline


Applications for the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship are due by 5 p.m. on Monday. Feb. 1.

Top Eight Arts Policy Wins This Year

2015 was a huge year for the arts! From increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to a monumental education reform bill, arts and arts education policy have progressed immensely this past year. Take a look at the top eight arts policy wins arts advocates have achieved this year:
Arts education policy ENACTED
President Obama signing ESSA into law
Dedicated funding for arts education SECURED
New funding for the NEA
Key charitable giving tax provisions made PERMANENT
New opportunities for STEAM education APPROVED
STEAM advocates at the White House
Arts eligibility in Title I funding RETAINED
Afterschool programs PRESERVED
Image by Scott Cronan Photography
Airline carry-on rules for musical instruments FINALIZED

To learn more about what 2015 has meant for the arts, check out our blog post online.
Want to do more? Attend Arts Advocacy Day on March 7-8, 2016 and bring your voice to Capitol Hill! Learn more about this event and how to attend on our website Wishing you a happy New Year!

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Arts Action Fund Member Engages with John Kasich

Marilyn Hoffman asks the Ohio governor and Republican Presidential candidate about STEAM education and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts

Great News From Capitol Hill!

We don’t get to say this often enough…there were some big wins for the arts last week from Congress.

Timeline: How Arts Education Won on Capitol Hill

It has been a long and winding road to the first major re-write of federal education law in nearly a decade. This Arts Action Fund graphic explains how STEM became STEAM.

Arts Advocate Attends Hillary Clinton Event

Director of the Capitol Center for the Arts Nikki Clark attended an intimate event for the Democratic frontrunner, and spoke with former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean.


The following is Nikki Clark’s own story about her engagement:

I went to a Hillary event at Gerri and Ron King’s home on Friday, Dec. 11. I attended to hear Governor Howard Dean who is out campaigning for Hillary.

After his remarks, I was able to re-introduce myself to Governor Dean, reminding him that I was the head of the Vermont Arts Council when he became Governor. He remembered me and asked what I was doing in New Hampshire? I told him I was director of the Capitol Center for the Arts and a member of the NH Citizens for the Arts.

I gave him a very brief overview of the #ArtsVote2016 and my advocacy work with the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. I told him I was attending Presidential Candidate events to ask candidates how they would approach investment in the cultural sector if they were to be the next President. I let him know the arts community of NH was looking closely at all the candidates in terms of arts policy, and encouraged him to ask Mrs. Clinton to speak often about the importance of the arts sector to community vitality and the education of our children.

He said he would pass along this message.

For more information about Presidential candidates and the arts, visit our ArtsVote2016 page.

2015 Year End Appeal

View our full year-end appeal which details how 2015 unfolded, then take a moment to make a generous contribution.

House Passes The New Federal Education Bill

The Every Student Succeeds Act is a major overhaul of federal education policy.