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Building Public Will for the Arts: Oregon Pilot Update

The founder of the Southern Oregon Artists Resource attended the Building Public Will for the Arts briefing in Ashland last month, and we recently received an update on the progress of the Oregon Pilot for this important program of the National Endowment for the Arts. We hope that all artists, arts enthusiasts, arts organizations, and galleries will consider participating. We also encourage you to attend the 2015 Oregon Arts Summit in Ashland, October 1-3, 2015. We need a strong show of local support for the Oregon Arts Commission, sponsor of the Arts Summit, to help bring more funding for the arts to southern Oregon.

Latest developments

In the past two months, we have hosted three briefings related to this work:

  • an in-person briefing hosted at Portland Center Stage with a teleconference option for those outside of Portland
  • a statewide webinar
  • an in-person briefing hosted at Oregon Shakespeare Festival

To date, we have received interest from 60 individuals who welcome the opportunity to involve their organization in the implementation phase of this work. These organizations represent a rich diversity of Oregon’s arts and culture community: organizations small and large; rural and urban, with interest from Harney County to Josephine to Multnomah and beyond; and including leaders and organizations serving communities of color. We have appreciated hearing from participants who have shared the report with their boards and staff, and from a few organizations who have already started to apply ideas from the recommendations into their engagement efforts.

We have also been meeting with funders and have raised the majority of funds needed to support the Oregon Pilot over the next year.

What’s next

The implementation phase of this work in Oregon will begin in earnest this October. In advance of that, the Pilot Team—comprised of local arts and culture leaders—will:

  1. Recruit new Pilot Team members, increasing its ranks and further diversifying the perspectives represented on this team
  2. Build out messaging for testing among Pilot Sites (there will be an upcoming invitation to this list to participate in a message development workshop)
  3. Continue to broaden and diversify the stakeholders we are engaging in this work
  4. Select approximately 6-8 organizations to serve as initial Pilot Sites, to receive technical assistance, training and tools for facilitating their implementation of this work (beginning this fall)

If you have not yet indicated whether you are interested in the opportunity for your organization to be considered as a Pilot Site, please complete and return the interest form below.

To access the report related to the research behind this work, please go to: metgroup.com/assets/ArtsMidwest_BPWReport.pdf.

We will be in touch in September as the implementation phase of this work approaches. Thank you for the interest and enthusiasm that each of you is bringing to this work!

– Rob Sassor, on behalf of the Oregon Pilot Team

Download (DOC, 157KB)

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Registration now open for 2015 Arts Summit

The Oregon Arts Summit in Southern Oregon, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2, will include meetings and activities on Oct. 1 and 3, including a tour of the Ashland Shakespeare Festival’s production facility.

Registration now open for 2015 Arts Summit

As the single most important convening of the year for Oregon’s arts community, the Oregon Arts Summit is where seasoned professionals and emerging leaders gather together to learn, to share and to exchange ideas to take back to their organizations. The goal is to build relationships, networks and ultimately strengthen our statewide arts community.

Titled “Creative Exchange,” the 2015 summit is scheduled for Oct. 1-3 at the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites. The majority of program content will be held on Friday, Oct. 2, but all are invited to participate in in pre-conference programming on Oct. 1 or to stay and enjoy the richness of the region through the weekend.

Click here to register.

Who Should Attend

  • Educators
  • Arts Organizations
  • Board Members
  • Art Associations
  • Elected Officials
  • Art Council Members

Where is the Summit Located

In order to showcase the richness of art across our entire state we are hosting the summit this year in Southern Oregon. This is an opportunity for attendees to experience the depth and richness of art across this region. We will have artist showcases from this area, opportunities to take art tours, to see shows and to meet Southern Oregon Arts Leaders.

Host Hotel:
Ashland Hills Hotel + Suites
2525 Ashland St
Ashland, OR 97520
541-482-8310

Discounted rooms are available for Summit attendees. Contact the hotel directly to book your room.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is generously offering all summit attendees the opportunity to purchase tickets at a 20% discount.

Save 20% on any OSF performance from Thursday, October 1–Sunday, October 4. Buy your tickets online at www.osfashland.org with PROMO CODE 13440 or call the Box Office at 1-800-219-8161 to get your Oregon Arts Summit discount. Offer valid only for performances 10/1/15-10/4/15. Not applicable to previously purchased tickets. No refund/no exchanges. Offer does not apply to C seats.

Registration

Registration is limited and just $85 a person.

Click Here to Register

I hope to see you there!

Samantha Swaim

2015 Summit Director

Hillary Clinton Expresses Support for Arts Education at NH Town Hall

The Democratic frontrunner says “…when you remove the arts you really hurt kids who learn that way!”

Hillary Clinton Expresses Support for Arts Education at NH Town Hall

The Democratic frontrunner says “…when you remove the arts you really hurt kids who learn that way!”

Call to Artists: 3rd Annual “Paint the Town” ‘en Plein air’ McCloud, CA

McCloud ARTS Society Sponsors

3rd Annual “Paint the Town” ‘en Plein air’

an artist’s experience

Cheryl Petty's Winning Plein Air Painting from the 2014 Paint the Town event

McCloud ARTS Society, in partnership with McCloud Local First, is again hosting “Paint the Town” ‘en Plein air’ artist’s experience, on Saturday August 15, 10 am to 6 pm in McCloud, CA.

Paint the Town!This event is based upon the original French impressionist masters who left their classical classroom technical painting approach and moved onto portable easels outdoors, or en plein air, where the influence of the natural light on landscapes affected their painting styles. Many refer to them as “painters of light” and “the impressionists.” Familiar names such as Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Van Gogh are associated with this style of magnificent painting. Local artists are trying to recreate interest in painting our great Shasta outdoors. Dorothea Schoenstein, organizer of Paint the Town, stated “the experience is indeed invigorating and challenging at the same time.  Lighting does play an important role in how the scene is interpreted onto the canvas or paper. For example, one early morning, two of us were painting Lake Siskiyou from different vantage points. Later we stopped for lunch and were surprised to see the similar colors chosen for our paintings.  Lavenders and coral colors were predominant in both compositions! Not a coincidence, but recognition of the influence of natural light on the scenic subject matter.”

Paint the Town!Painting outdoors with a group of painters or alone provides the artist, novice or experienced, with a stimulating, ever-changing experience.  The changing light patterns, the smell of fresh air, the sounds of the forest or river brings an artist to paint outdoors.  There is no confinement, very few interruptions, and concentration begins. The connection to nature is visible on canvas or paper.

Plein air painting has grown across the nation in recognition with participation at all levels of artistry.  McCloud Arts Society is in its third year of offering an opportunity for artists and students to join them for the day.  Locations for subjects have been previewed for good vantage points and compositions; otherwise, an artist can come and select their own location from the McCloud Falls to old garages.  At the end of the painting day, 3:30pm, a wet paint art show will be displayed on the porch of the mercantile building for the public to enjoy.  It will be an informal exhibit with wonderful music and wine.  Music by Allison and Victor will lend support to the day of French style of painting.  The public is invited and asked to vote for their favorite piece.  The winner will receive $50 and the privilege of having their work on next year’s postcard.

Campbell Global has funded our scholarship program that will support participation of up to 10 students under the age of 18.  Each student will receive some instruction and supplies.  Interested students should contact Chairperson Dorothea Schoenstein at 964-2065.

This year on the same Saturday there will be a car show downtown, a quilt show, the melodrama, and our exhibit.  More information is available on the McCloud Arts Society Facebook page, or contact Dorothea Schoenstein 964-2065.  Pre-Registion is $20 thru August 10, and same day registration $30.  A $10 box lunch is available from White Mountain Café, order at morning registration. Canvases and paper for competition must have a registration mark on back.

Upcoming Art Events further North…

ClayArt

Peninsula Clay Artists 7th Annual Show/Sale

August 7th to 15th

10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily
Ocean Park, WA

Click here for more info about the Peninsula Clay Artists Show

chinookArtsFestival2

Chinook Arts Festival

September 5th to 7th – Labor Day weekend

This arts festival features a fine display of blown glass, photography, jewelry, oil & watercolors, pottery & much more!

For more information, please email Leslie Walters at: [email protected]

Call to Artists: Return of Orphan Works Extended Comment Period

Editor’s Note: This article is reposted from the American Society of Illustrators Partnership after we received an email forwarded from the former president of the San Francisco Society of Illustrators by Elaine Frenett. Thanks Elaine!

As of the time we’re posting, the comment form at the US Library of Congress website is not working due to a bad link. We hope you will take a few minutes of your time to write your comment and that you will find the submission form working when you’re ready to send your comments to them. Check it here to see if it’s back up: http://copyright.gov/policy/visualworks/comment-form/. You can find the LoC’s notice of the extension here: http://copyright.gov/policy/visualworks/. And here are the instructions for comment submissions:

The Copyright Office is extending the period to submit public reply comments regarding its April 24, 2015 Notice of Inquiry requesting comments on how certain visual works, particularly photographs, graphic artworks, and illustrations, are monetized, enforced, and registered under the Copyright Act.

DATE: Reply comments are due October 1, 2015.
ADDRESSES: All comments should be submitted electronically using the comment submission page on the Office Web site at http://copyright.gov/policy/ visualworks/. To meet accessibility standards, submitters must upload comments in a single file not to exceed six (6) megabytes (MB) in one of the following formats: The Adobe Portable Document File (PDF) format that contains searchable, accessible text (not an image); Microsoft Word; WordPerfect; Rich Text Format (RTF); or ASCII text file format (not a scanned document). The form and face of the comments must include the submitter’s name and organization (if any). The Office will post all comments publicly on the Office’s Web site exactly as they are received, along with names and organizations. If electronic submission of comments is not feasible, please contact the Office at 202–707–8350 for special instructions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Catherine Rowland, Senior Advisor to the Register of Copyrights, by email at [email protected] or by telephone at 202–707–8350.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April 24, 2015, the Copyright Office published a Notice of Inquiry inviting public comments on certain visual works. The initial comments were due on July 23, 2015 and reply comments currently are due on August 24, 2015. It appears, however, that some stakeholders may need additional time to file reply comments. To facilitate full and adequate public comment, the Office hereby extends the time for filing reply comments from August 24, 2015 to October 1, 2015.

Dated: July 21, 2015.

Catherine Rowland,

Senior Advisor to the Register of Copyrights.

THE RETURN OF ORPHAN WORKS

The U.S. Copyright Office Seeks Artists’ Comments

For more than a year Congress has been holding hearings for the drafting of a brand new U.S. Copyright Act.

There is no bill yet. But the Copyright Office has issued recommendations to Congress for a law that would replace current copyright law.

These recommendations include a resurrection of the failed Orphan Works Act of 2008.

That bill called for a return to copyright registration for every picture an artist wished to retain the rights to. Registration would not actually protect your work — an infringer could still infringe you. But by registering it, you would preserve your right to sue in federal court.

Unregistered pictures would still be yours and in theory, clients would still have to get your permission to use them. But if they were to conclude that they had made a “reasonably diligent” but unsuccessful effort to find you, then they could infringe the work as “orphaned.”

The Copyright Office says that several other artists’ issues are “ripe” for legislation: copyright small claims, resale royalties, and other forms of secondary licensing which most artists have never heard of.

The Copyright Office has issued a special call for letters from visual artists asking what challenges we face in licensing and protecting our copyrights. Many of you have already written. We hope many more will do the same.

DEADLINE: THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2015, 5:00PM EDT

New deadline is October 1, 2015.

American artists can submit letters online here.

Non-U.S. artists can email their letters to the attention of:

Read the Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry.

Read the 2015 Orphan Works and Mass Digitization Report.

 

PLEASE WRITE THE COPYRIGHT OFFICE

Because of our past opposition to orphan works legislation, the Copyright Office has issued a special Notice of Inquiry on Visual Works. In it, they acknowledge that visual artists face special problems in the marketplace and they’ve asked artists to respond to five questions:

“The Office invites comments that address the subjects listed below. When submitting a comment, please identify the nature of your interest in this subject (e.g., whether you are a creator, licensee, etc.):

“1. What are the most significant challenges related to monetizing and/or licensing photographs, graphic artworks, and/or illustrations?

“2. What are the most significant enforcement challenges for photographers, graphic artists, and/or illustrators?

“3. What are the most significant registration challenges for photographers, graphic artists, and/or illustrators?

“4. What are the most significant challenges or frustrations for those who wish to make legal use of photographs, graphic art works, and/or illustrations?

“5. What other issues or challenges should the Office be aware of regarding photographs, graphic artworks, and/or illustrations under the Copyright Act?”

[Emphases added for clarity]

And we might suggest a 6th question of our own:

6. What are the most significant challenges artists would face if these new copyright proposals become law?

 

SAMPLE LETTERS

Since most artists have never written to lawmakers before, many of you have asked us for sample letters. It is important that the Copyright Office receive unique letters.

Eight artists have provided their letters to inspire you to write. The letters are poignant examples written respectfully by artists telling their own unique story about their experience and concerns:

    • LETTER 1: “I’m writing to stress that for me, and for artists like me, copyright law is not an abstract legal issue. Our copyrights are our assets. Licensing them is how we make our livings.” Read more.

     

      • LETTER 2: “As a freelance illustrator, I need to maintain revenue streams in order to make a living for my family. The resale of my past images is part of my day to day way of doing business.” Read more.

       

        • LETTER 3: “My art is reasonably well known since it has served the advertising, editorial, public relations and historical documentation needs of the aerospace industry, publications, the military services and air and space museums for 68 years.” Read more.

         

          • LETTER 4: “I am writing to you as an award winning professional illustrator of over 40 years whose work has appeared in many major publications, books and advertisements, both nationally and internationally.” Read more.

           

            • LETTER 5: “I have been a professional medical illustrator since 1975, and self-employed since 1981. During the course of my career, I have created thousands of illustrations…” Read more.

             

              • LETTER 6: “Copyright is the basis of my income and ability to support my business. It is the only way I have to protect the accuracy and integrity of my work, and to negotiate an appropriate fee for re-licensing.” Read more.

               

                • LETTER 7: “My specialty area is fetal development and women’s health illustration… The protection of these images is of utmost importance to my livelihood, and I have struggled to fight the rampant piracy of them, especially by political groups.” Read more.

                 

                  • LETTER 8: “I am writing to ask that you create policy to protect visual authors and their exclusive rights, and support a sustainable environment for professional authorship.” Read more.

                   

                  Remember, no one is asking you to write a legal brief. Copyright law is a business law, and the lawyers writing these laws know little or nothing about our business.

                  Let’s explain to them how the laws they’re writing will affect us.


                  BELOW: Podcast by Children’s Book Illustrator Will Terry, “Everything You Know About Copyright Is About To Change”:

                  Stefan Baumann at Southern Oregon Society of Artists 7/27

                  Southern Oregon Society of Artists

                  Monday, July 27, 7pm

                  Program Members Art Critique, Stefan Baumann, Juror

                  Medford Library 205 S. Central Ave

                  Free, open to public

                  Contact 1-520-471-5046

                   

                  Illumination of Mt Shasta from Tule Lake, oil painting by Stefan Baumann, acclaimed landscape and wildlife artist,  judge at Southern Oregon Society of Artists critique Monday, July 27, 2015.

                  Illumination of Mt Shasta from Tule Lake, oil painting by Stefan Baumann, acclaimed landscape and wildlife artist, juror at Southern Oregon Society of Artists critique Monday, July 27, 2015.

                  Southern Oregon Society of Artists will show their work for critique on Monday, July 27, at the Medford library with Stefan Baumann as juror. The public is invited to attend. Critique participation is open only to current members of the Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA). Refreshments will be provided.

                  Mr. Baumann, an artist for 35 years, is also the creator of the PBS series, “The Grand View: America’s National Parks Through the Eyes of an Artist” featuring more than 20 parks. He teaches oil painting at Central Art Supply in Medford on Thursdays and from his studio at Grand View Ranch in Mount Shasta. Information and image galleries of his work can be found at stefanbaumann.com

                  ArtsVote New Hampshire Advocacy Training, Manchester

                  Arts advocates gathered to learn how to engage Presidential candidates.

                  Cultural Advocacy Coalition 2015 Legislative Report

                  2015 Legislative Report

                  On July 6, 2015, at 6:04 p.m. the 79th Session of the Oregon Legislature adjourned “Sine Die.”  Over the 155 days of the session, the 90 elected members of the Oregon Legislative Assembly convened the 2015 Legislative Session amid uncertainty around the strength of the Oregon economy, a looming Supreme Court decision regarding the PERS reforms adopted by the legislature in 2014 and investigations into possible misconduct by Governor John Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes.  Eleven days after the start of session, Governor Kitzhaber announced his resignation and five days later Secretary of State Kate Brown was sworn in as Oregon’s 38th Governor. While most pundits expected chaos and a rough leadership transition to ensue, Governor Brown moved quickly to solidify her leadership team and to partner with Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney.

                  Culture in the 2015 Legislative Session

                  Overall this was a very successful legislative session for culture in Oregon—we were able to increase available funding in budget bills and stop legislation that would have harmed the cultural sector. An overview of policy and funding legislation is below.

                  SB 441 – Cultural Trust Modernization – Enacted

                  SB 441 made technical changes to the statutory language guiding the Trust, changed the method for determining how much of Trust revenues and earnings should be distributed, added staff and increased funding for administration. The bill replaced the current 7.5% of distributions that were dedicated to Trust administration with $400,000, adjusted annually by an index. This legislation did not impact Cultural license plate revenues, which will continue to generate approximately $400,000 annually to market and promote the Trust. The bill clarified ambiguity in existing law, to allow the Trust board of directors to solicit contributions and invest trust funds.

                  The bill allows the Trust board to distribute between 50% and 60% of monies raised for and earned from the Trust. The bill also changed the formula for the distribution of the earnings once the board has determined the percentage to be distributed. As a result of the bill:

                  • 50% of the amount disbursed goes to the Cultural Development Grant Program;
                  • 25% is distributed to Oregon Counties and Tribes through the Community Cultural Participation Grant Program; and
                  • 25% is distributed among statewide cultural partners

                  HB 5030 – Cultural Resources Economic Fund and Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grants – Enacted

                  HB 5030 funds $2.5 million in new grants for the OREGON MAIN STREET REVITALIZATION GRANT PROGRAM, to be administered by the State Historic Preservation Office.

                  As it relates to cultural infrastructure, the Coalition worked with the co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee to continue previous legislative efforts to fund cultural infrastructure projects. This year’s funding is another step toward a long-term goal of establishing an ongoing commitment in the legislature to fund cultural capital construction projects in each biennium that the state invests in economic development through lottery-backed bonds. During the 2013 Legislative Session the legislature created the Cultural Resources Economic Fund and provided $1.5 million in funding for the Confluence Project’s interpretative art installation at Celilo Falls and $250,000 to the High Desert Museum in Bend.

                  The legislature indicated that the purpose of these grants would be to leverage art and cultural resources to create vibrant public spaces that integrate art and cultural and natural amenities, sustain Oregon’s rich arts and cultural experiences and enhance a strong sense of place and community identity; and to create jobs, expand business and tax revenues and enhance the economic vitality of Oregon communities, in keeping with the purpose of the Oregon Lottery.

                  The legislature voted to fund the following projects within the Cultural Resources Economic Fund in 2015:

                  OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL in the amount of $2 million for a multi-theatre renovation and modernization project that will improve access to the Festival’s two oldest theatres and provide improved access to free public performances on The Bricks for all visitors, regardless of mobility.

                  PORTLAND JAPANESE GARDENS in the amount of $1.5 million to expand its visitor and educational facilities in its Cultural Crossing project that will incorporate new gardens, state-of-the-art educational facilities and other visitor amenities.

                  OREGON PUBLIC BROADCASTING in the amount of $600,000 to renovate its facility to include more flexible, accessible multi-purpose space; new radio studios; and the construction of a multi-media studio to allow OPB the flexibility needed to create video and audio programming such as debates, town halls and musical performances.

                  AURORA COLONY HISTORICAL SOCIETY in the amount of $400,000 to finance the construction of a storage facility for historical artifacts.

                  SB 5502 – Department of Administrative Services – Enacted

                  The Department of Administrative Services provided special appropriation funding to OREGON PUBLIC BROADCASTING in the amount of $750,000 and OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY in the amount of $1,125,000.

                  SB 5525 – Business Oregon Budget – Oregon Arts Commission – Enacted

                  Business Oregon’s budget appropriated $4,115,924 for the OREGON ARTS COMMISSION and set an expenditure limitation for the OREGON CULTURAL TRUST at $8,260,870. In addition, the budget approved a new permanent position to support the Percent for Art program. An additional position for the Cultural Trust was funded in SB441.

                  SB 5528 – State Parks and Recreation Department – Enacted

                  This budget contains the STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE and the HERITAGE COMMISSION, which manages various heritage and preservation programs and provides grants and technical assistance for heritage and historic preservation efforts statewide. The portion of the budget directly lined out as supporting heritage/historic preservation programs was $6,400,000, including FTE and grant programs. Related bills that expanded historic preservation efforts for historic commercial areas were HB5030 and HB 3526. Membership in the Oregon Main Street Network, which is administered by the State Historic Preservation Office, is a requirement for funding through the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Program, administered by SHPO. Additional staffing was provided to launch and administer this program.

                  ADDITIONAL POLICIES SUPPORTED BY THE COALITION:

                  It was an active session for moving policies that strengthen arts and culture in Oregon and stopping legislation that would harm the sector.

                  HB 699 – Exemptions to Cosmetology Regulation – Enacted

                  Representative Jennifer Williamson introduced legislation to expand an existing exemption that allows combing hair or applying hair spray without a cosmetology license while preparing an individual for a theatrical performance, to also be able to style hair through the use of a comb, brush, blow dryer or curling iron, or by any other method. The proposed exemption did not adequately cover current practice. Working with Rep. Williamson and Rep. Paul Holvey, the bill was expanded to allow the application of temporary makeup and styling hair by any method needed to prepare an individual for a professional film or video performance or a theatrical performance without requiring a cosmetology license or being subject to the regulation of the Health Licensing Office or Board of Cosmetology. Whatever the current practice is, the law now allows these practices to be used without the possibility of a fine. It does, however allow the Health Licensing Office or Board of Cosmetology to disseminate guidelines to offer guidance on sanitation and hygiene best practices.

                  HB 3042 – Designates April 14 of each year as Honorary Artists of Oregon Day – Enacted

                  This bill was introduced by Representative Debby Boone at the request of a burgeoning high school artist who felt that having a day to celebrate artists would encourage more young people to pursue artistic endeavors.   The chosen date, April 14, happens to be the student’s birthday.

                  HB 3526 – Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant Program – Enacted

                  HB 3526 establishes the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant Program Fund in the State Parks and Recreation Department for the purpose of providing grants on an annual, competitive basis with the purpose of funding efforts to acquire, rehabilitate and construct buildings on properties in designated downtown areas statewide in the hope that the facilitation of community revitalization efforts will lead to private investment, job creation or retention, establishing or expanding viable businesses or creating a stronger tax base. All grant recipients must be members of the Oregon Main Street Network, which is administered by the State Historic Preservation Office. The bill directs the department to make the funds available statewide while concentrating funds and resources in those areas of the state with the greatest need for main street revitalization and economic development, with a minimum of 50 percent of the funds being reserved for projects in rural areas. The department must give priority to grant proposals for projects that are located in traditionally underserved communities, including rural areas and communities that demonstrate significant financial barriers to efforts to redevelop or rehabilitate downtown areas.

                  LEGISLATION OPPOSED OR AMENDED BY THE COALITION

                  This session there were a handful of measures that had the potential for adverse impacts on the cultural community. Although some were introduced in complete ignorance of these potential impacts, we were able to engage in the process and either amend the bills to eliminate our concerns or to prevent the bills from moving forward in the process.

                  HB 2137 – Imposes sales tax on sale, transfer or display of works of art priced at or above $250,000 – Failed

                  This bill had disastrous potential to stifle the purchase and public viewing of fine art. The bill would have placed an 8.75% sales tax on the storage, use or other consumption in this state of any work of art having a sales price of $250,000 or higher. As many museums in Oregon work with private collectors across the nation to exhibit their rare pieces, that practice would effectively end if the legislation passed. Stopping this bill was an early and ongoing effort of the session. We were able to share the ramifications of the bill with the House Revenue Committee Chair, who sponsored the bill, and the members of the committee. Those efforts effectively stifled the bill. However, because the bill remained in the Revenue Committee and potentially could have moved at any time throughout the session, this legislation was closely monitored until Sine Die.

                  SB 913 – Creates offense of trafficking in animal parts – Failed

                  This bill created a ban on and criminal offense for the sale or transfer or any item containing ivory, black rhino horn or mammoth tusk. This created an unintentional problem for musicians who, as they progress in skill, seek out finer instruments to match their abilities. Many of these instruments are old and possess fittings of ivory. We were able to work with the proponents of the bill to get a broad exemption for transactions involving a musical instrument, pick, bow or other item designed for playing a musical instrument that contains ivory or ivory product if the ivory or ivory product is less than 20 percent of the musical instrument or item by volume. Ultimately the bill failed due to opposition by the National Rifle Association and an insufficient exemption for knives and guns. If the issue arises in future sessions, proponents of the bill are aware of our concerns and will start with language that provides a workable exemption for instruments.

                  SB 105 – Sunset Advisory Committee – Failed

                  SB 105 was one of a handful of bills intended to create a legislative review and oversite committee over for the State’s boards and commissions. SB 105 sunsetted the statutory language that created each board and commission according to a rotating schedule. In short, the board or commission would be eliminated unless the legislature affirmatively acted to continue the board or commission. The boards of both the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust were included in the bill. The bill was not able to gain momentum due to the potential fiscal impact of the review process and by the efforts of a number of boards and commissions, as well as ourselves, in reaching out to key legislators to make sure none of these bills moved forward.

                  POLICIES IMPACTING CULTURAL NONPROFITS:

                  This session saw a significant number of bills aimed at businesses. The issue with the broadest statewide impact was paid sick leave.

                  SB 454 – Statewide Mandatory Paid Sick Leave – Enacted

                  This bill requires employers who have at least 10 employees to provide 40 hours paid sick time for those employees, beginning Jan. 1, 2016. The bill requires employers with fewer than 10 employees to implement a 40-hour unpaid sick time program for employees. Portland is the exception and will maintain its current standard of paid time off for six employees or more. If an employee leaves employment within 91 days of being hired, but returns to work with the same employer within 180 days, the employer is required to restore all unused accrued sick leave.

                  The bill sets a minimum rate of accrual at one hour sick leave for every 30 hours worked and it requires that an employee to be allowed to earn and use up to 40 hours sick leave per year. The bill allows for these hours to rollover to the following year and allows the employer to cap paid sick leave in a given year to 40 hours and cap available sick leave to 80 hours in total. Alternately the employer can cash out unused sick leave at the end of the year, rather than allow employees to rollover their paid sick leave.

                  The bill requires employees give advance notice of intent to use paid sick leave, under certain circumstances, and allows the employer to require medical verification, under certain circumstances, provided the employer is willing to cover the costs of the medical verification. In addition, the bill includes provisions that prohibit an employer from retaliating or discriminating against employees who inquire about or use sick leave.

                  The bill classifies violations as unlawful practices under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, provides for a private right of action and preempts local governmental authority on matters related to sick leave. Businesses with 10 or more employees must implement a paid sick leave program by January 1, 2016 or already have in place an equivalent paid sick time program. Fines and civil penalties through BOLI will not be assessed until 2017.

                  The 2015 session proved to be a strong one for the cultural community, despite political upheaval and budgeting uncertainties. In addition to our priority legislation, which modernized the Cultural Trust, we amended a number of bills that, left unattended, could have had negative consequences on the cultural community. We successfully advanced needed staffing increases in partner agencies, garnered additional funding for capital construction projects and passed bills that supported arts and culture in Oregon.

                  The Cultural Advocacy Coalition is a 501c(4) member-funded, non-partisan advocacy organization formed to lobby in Salem to create a thriving environment for art, heritage and the humanities throughout Oregon. The Coalition is led by a volunteer board representing a broad cross-section of the statewide cultural community and is represented in Salem by veteran lobbyists, the Victory Group.