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BREAKING NEWS: NEA Receives Funding Increase!

We have breaking news out of Washington, D.C. today.  Congress has released their final funding plan for FY 2018, and it is great news!

Congress is proposing to fund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) each at $152.8 million. This is a funding increase of $3 million to support more direct grants and expand access to creative arts therapies for the military.

This final budget is in stark contrast to a year ago, when the Endowments were facing a proposed termination by the President — the first ever!  Since then, our #SAVEtheNEAcampaign has togetherBREAKING NEWS: NEA Receives Funding Increase! resulted in hundreds of thousands of calls, emails, local op-eds, expanded research, newspaper ads, and office visits.

Your advocacy, your persistence, and your time has made a difference. Congress has now decided to invest more funding into the arts.

This support from members of Congress in both parties is a testament that the arts are bipartisan.

NEA grant money is distributed to all 50 states and U.S. territories, and 65 percent of NEA grants goes to small and medium-sized organizations.More, over 40 percent of NEA-supported efforts are in high-poverty neighborhoods.

Communicating this important work has led to the third consecutive year of funding increases for the NEA. It is also the second time in a row that a Republican-led Congress has reversed a request from President Trump to cut our cultural agencies’ funding.

In fact, in the budget plan released today, none of our nation’s arts and cultural agencies incurred a budget cut. All of them received funding increases for this year (see chart below).

Final FY 2018 Federal Funding for Key Arts Agencies & Programs
Key Federally Funded Arts Program/Agency
(in $ millions)
President Trump’s
U.S. House 
U.S. Senate 
Committee Proposal 
FY 2018 Funding
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) *Termination $145 $150 $152.8
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) *Termination $145 $150 $152.8
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) *Termination $231 $235 $240
Corporation for Public Broadcasting *Termination $445
(plus $0 for interconnection system)
(plus $20 for interconnection system)
(plus $20 for interconnection system)
Assistance for Arts Education $0 $0 $27 $27
Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants $0 $500 $450 $1,100
Smithsonian Institution $947 $885 $878­ $1,043
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts $36.7 $36.7 $36.7 $40.5
Save America’s Treasures $0 $4 $3 $13
Educational and Cultural Exchange programs $285 $591 $634 $646
Community Development Block Grants $0 $2,900 $3,000 $3,300

What’s Next

Today and tomorrow, the House and Senate are expected to vote on this agreement, and the President is expected to sign it into law. This will bring a final close to FY 2018—a long and bumpy roller coaster ride, and delivered 5 months late.

Going forward, both Endowments received that same termination proposal in the new budget request for FY 2019. However, the year is already off to a great start. Last week, the

Congressional Arts Caucus co-Chair Rep. Louise Slaughter inspiring the 2013 Arts Advocacy Day attendees!  Remember her full remarks here.

co-chairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) led a bipartisan letter calling for “at least $155 million” in FY 2019.

For the fifth consecutive year, that annual “Dear Colleague” letter has once again set a new record for the number of signatures—166 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed this letter!

We are humbled and grateful, and also mindful that we will sorely miss the leadership over many decades of Rep. Louise Slaughter, who passed away on Friday, March 16. Rep. Slaughter set an example for us all about how to work hard for causes you believe in. We are all so grateful for her tremendous work on behalf of the arts and arts education. You can read Americans for the Arts’ full statement here.

We are also thankful to the more than 650 arts advocates who were just in Washington, D.C. for the 31st annual Arts Advocacy Day on March 12-13 and made more than 300 office visits. Our strategy was to keep asking for $155 million. That has been the consensus ask of the arts and arts education field represented each year at Arts Advocacy Day—every year now for the past 6 years. Your work is not in vain. Advocacy works!

Keep the pressure on. Measured by just emails, advocates sent more than 194,300 #SAVEtheNEA campaign emails to Congress. Your work will be needed to ensure that the latest proposal from the Trump Administration in FY 2019 is again defeated this year. Thank you for being an arts advocate.

Help us continue this important work by also becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund.  If you are not already a member, play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today – it’s free and easy to join.

Want to share this information on your social media platforms?  Click here for a sharable link.



Victory! The voices of arts advocates were heard on Capitol Hill.

Tonight (3/21/18), Congress released the details of its delayed current year FY 2018 Omnibus spending bill. I am pleased to share that arts advocates like you helped convince Congress to reject President Trump’s proposal to terminate the nation’s cultural agencies. In fact, Congress has allocated an INCREASE in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to$152.849 million each. Please check our blog post for a detailed list of of Omnibus allocations to each of the federal cultural agencies and arts education programs.

This victory is such a fitting tribute to last week’s passing of Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chair Representative Louise Slaughter, who spent her career in Congress fighting for the arts. She had most recently co-authored an Arts Advocacy Day “Dear Colleague” letter to her fellow Members of Congress recruiting a record number of 166 House Democrats and Republicans to sign a joint letter to House Appropriators to increase arts funding in America.

Together, Arts Action Fund members provided a strong  and united voice for the arts:

  • Grassroots arts advocates sent close to 200,000 messages to Members of Congress, thousands more signed our petitions and visited their elected Representatives and Senators.
  • Our Arts Action Fund PAC was incredibly effective in educating and supporting key leaders in Congress to take an important stand on the arts.
  • Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA), soundly rejected President Trump’s attempt to terminate our nation’s cultural agencies.
  • Persuasive and timely ads were placed in political publications during key decision times to inform Members of Congress about the latest research on the economic power of the arts.

While we celebrate this victory today, we still need your support as we face continued threats from the Trump Administration to eliminate next year’s FY 2019 NEA funding. We need to keep the pressure on Congress. Please consider contributing to the Arts Action Fund PAC so we can continue to educate incumbents and the next generation of elected leaders, especially as mid-term elections approach in November.

Congratulations on a job well done!  Your advocacy has helped preserve funding stability for the nonprofit arts organizations in your state and community this year.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

1000 Vermont Avenue NW
6th Floor
Washington DC . 20005
T 202.371.2830
F 202.371.0424
One East 53rd Street . 2nd Floor
New York NY . 10022
T 212.223.2787
F 212.980.4857
[email protected]

Breaking News : Arts Victory in Congress!

Victory! The voices of arts advocates were heard on Capitol Hill.

Save the Date Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts 13th Annual Conference

Save the Date Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts 13th Annual Conference
So you’re thinking….wouldn’t it be so great to do something just sooooooooo much fun 
while getting a fresh boost of Inspiration from a Biblical Worldview In current culture and exceptional artistic technical instruction plus camaraderie with other professionally minded and passionate artists of faith?Then you or an beloved artist you know can kick start some summer plans June 14 – 17th by being at the 2018 Masterpiece Christian Artist Conference and Workshops in Ashland, Oregon at the beautiful Ashland Hill Hotel and Conference Center. It’s a stellar and inspiring lineup of talent and joy! Paint with professional and nationally recognized instructors Ned MuellerJoAnn Peralta,  and the young and talented  Brittany Weistlingfor this 4 day event.  Plus One Day Artisan Workshops : Introduction to Mosaics andWire Entwined Stone Jewelry and Marketing tips of the Trade.  These Workshops and breakout sessions will ignite your gifts and passion for your art and your faith with renewed purpose and refocused aim. Class sizes are limited so please sign up early.

See all the details and sign up now at

Fulfill your calling. Hone your gift.  Let all you do be done to the glory of God. Sign up early as each class size is limited.  Best pricing by signing up by April 30th.  For details and pricing or call 541-601-7496.
“Declaring the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light”
1 Peter 2:9

Southern Oregon Guild Hosting Concert and Cakewalk

Southern Oregon region’s 3 Rivers Chorale has been invited to join choral groups & musicians from around the world to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City, April 15th!

Bid on Beautiful Cakes & Enjoy Celtic Songs plus Music from Wailin’ Jennys Performed by the Songbirds from the 3 Rivers Chorale (Jeni Foster, Kate Campbel, and Alisa Bary)

Saturday, March 17, 3:00 – 5:00P.M.

Southern Oregon Guild Gallery and Art Center

RCC Kerby Campus, 24353 Redwood Highway, Kerby


Download (PDF, Unknown)

Exhibit Uncovers Truth, Gives Voice to Black Pioneers

Oregon Archives Exhibit, “Black in Oregon, 1840-1870”


 Secretary of State


The State of Oregon

900 Court Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97310  –  [email protected]

Secretary Richardson

Oregon Archives Exhibit, 

“Black in Oregon, 1840-1870”


When each of us give the Pledge of Allegiance, we place our hand over our heart and promise, “liberty and justice for all.” As your Secretary of State, I have accepted the challenge to promote liberty and justice for all Oregonians. I am doing this through small business assistance, in the Corporations Division, through voter outreach in Elections, through exposing government waste in Audits, and through civics lessons and exhibits in Archives.

To obtain liberty and justice for all Oregonians requires a recognition and clear understanding of the history of Oregon minority populations, who have suffered repression, discrimination, and persecution throughout Oregon’s history.

February is Black History Month. For the past year, Oregon’s State Archivist Mary Beth Herkert, Citizen Engagement and Inclusion Coordinator Larry Morgan, Oregon Black Pioneers Secretary Gwen Carr, along with key staff members of the Oregon State Archives, have worked and researched a first-of-its-kind exhibit focusing on African-American families who were part of Oregon’s pioneer heritage, from 1840-1870.

The exhibit is located at the Oregon Archives Building in Salem and is open to the public Monday – Friday, 8:00am-4:45pm until August 24, 2018. The exhibit features stories, photos, and documents of early black pioneers in the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon State Constitution will also be on display.

For the first time in Oregon history, we have unveiled an exhibit written through the eyes of black Oregonians, for the benefit of all Oregonians.

Why is this important? With Oregon’s long history of racial inequality and prejudice, this exhibit uncovers the truth and uses the records in the Oregon State Archives. It gives voice to the brave and resilient black pioneers who overcame incredible barriers to make a life for themselves and their families in Oregon. This exhibit also seeks to challenge the rising generation of Oregonians to learn about the black pioneers, read their stories, and recognize that discrimination continues today.

For instance, did you know the Oregon Constitution, written in 1857, contained exclusionary language barring African-Americans from Oregon? Also enacted during this time were various laws prohibiting property ownership, prohibiting interracial marriage, prohibiting settlement by African-Americans in Oregon, and instituting lash laws (the public beating of blacks until they left Oregon). Despite these discriminatory barriers, African-Americans did settle in Oregon. Some came of their own accord, while others were brought as slaves. The Constitution’s Exclusionary Clause was finally removed in 1926 by Ballot Measure 3 (the vote was 108,332 to 64,954). In 2002, Ballot Measure 14 passed with 71% of the vote and removed all lingering racist language from the Oregon Constitution.

The “Black in Oregon, 1840-1870” exhibit is worth a visit to the Oregon State Archives building in Salem. I hope that schools will plan field trips to see this exhibit so students can have a firsthand experience learning about this important aspect in Oregon history. The exhibit is a great source of civics education and reminds us that, although we have come a long way on the path of freedom and equality, we still have much to do if we truly are committed to “liberty and justice for all.”

The Oregon State Archives building is located at 800 Summer St NE, Salem, OR 97310.

Federal Arts Funding, Arts Education and Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts                  - Arts Action Fund

It’s time for members to cast their annual 2018 Arts Policy Vote.

Arts Advocacy Day is just around the corner on March 12, 2018. The Arts Action Fund would like to join 90+ national arts partners with a unified message to Congress. Please cast your vote on these three policy agendas for 2018. Click below to vote and you’ll also be given an option to make your annual gift to the Arts Action Fund Political Action Committee (PAC) to support our legislative efforts.


Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

P.S.  Please cast your vote by March 12, 2018. 

Grants, Winners, Poetry and Exhibit News from OAC February 2018

February 2018

News & Updates

A new Arts Commissioner, lots of grant news and a powerful new exhibition in the Governor’s Office — plus a preview of the 2018 Poetry Out Loud contest!

Matt Stringer appointed to Arts Commission

Matthew Stringer, the executive director of Four Rivers Cultural Center and Museum​ in Ontario, Oregon, has been appointed to the Oregon Arts Commission by Governor Kate Brown​. Stringer fills the position previously held by Libby Unthank Tower, who completed her second four-year term in December.
Matthew Stringer

Jess Perlitz named 2018 Joan Shipley Fellow

Jess Perlitz, a Portland-based artist working in sculpture, performance and drawing, is the 2018 recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission’s honorary Joan Shipley Award.
Perlitz leads a group of 19 Oregon artists selected from a pool of more than 120 applicants from 23 Oregon cities for the Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowships.
Jess Perlitz, That Which is Set Before the Eyes, 2015. Concrete, foam, office furniture, paint.

Motoya Nakamura exhibits in Governor’s Office

Portland artist Motoya Nakamura is exhibiting “Images of the 442nd: Nisei Japanese American WWII Veterans and Their Continuing Legacy” in Governor Kate Brown​’s Office at the Oregon State Capitol​ in Salem now through April 4.
Motoya Nakamura, Kenny Namba, 2009, archival pigment print, 30 x 24 inches.

Poetry Out Loud winners named

Congratulations to Jaden Schiffhaur and Leopold Westrey, the first and second place finishers in the Feb. 12 Poetry Out Loud contest at Lincoln High School!
Jaden will represent Lincoln Saturday, March 3, at the Portland Regional Contest at Lewis and Clark College. Regional contests also are scheduled that day at Rogue Community College in Medford and at Willamette University in Salem.
Jaden Schiffhaur (left) and Leopold Westry (right) took first and second place in the Lincoln High School Poetry Out Loud contest Feb. 12.

Arts Learning grants announced

Congratulations to the 20 Oregon arts organizations sharing $193,001 in FY 2018 Oregon Arts Commission Arts Learning grants! The grants, ranging from $4,451 to $12,046, support arts education projects now under way across the state.
Teacher Bari Frimkess leads a recorder class for students in the Phoenix/Talent school district as part of an Arts Learning project led by the Rogue Valley Symphony Association.

Small Operating grants announced

Congratulations to the 79 small Oregon arts organizations to receive FY2018 operating support from the Oregon Arts Commission! Awarded to arts organizations in 29 towns and cities across the state, Small Operating Grants are designed to provide operating support to arts organizations with budgets under $150,000.
A Corvallis Guitar Society event..

Arts Build Communities grants announced

Congratulations to the 33 projects awarded $209,400 in 2018 Oregon Arts Commission Arts Build Communities grants! Arts Build Communities projects use the arts as a means of addressing community need. They target broad geographic impact and arts access for underserved audiences in Oregon. More than half of this year’s awards go to communities outside of the Portland area.
A studnet shows off her ring prowess during a Circus Project workshop.

Conversations with Funders and Partners happening now

More than $5 million in funding will be on the table when Oregon Cultural Trust Manager Aili Schreiner joins with colleagues from the Cultural Trust’s Statewide Partners and other funders for “Conversations with Funders and Partners,” a 14-stop state tour. Attendees will learn about grant programs available from multiple grantmakers and will have the opportunity to discuss their projects and programming. Other statewide programming resources also will be presented.
A 2017 Conversations with Funders event in Eugene.

Happy 55th to the Corvallis Art Center

January marked the 55th anniversary of the opening of the Corvallis Art Center. We are proud of your longstanding service to the greater Corvallis community!
Corvallis Art Center.
Oregon Arts Commission | Phone 503-986-0082 |

Wordplay Call to Artists

Call for Art: Wordplay
July 6 – 28, 2018
Entry Due Date: April 22, 2018
Juried by Vernita Nemec

This exhibition serves to highlight the voice of all female identified artists who use text and image or text as image as a means of creative expression. Works in all media are welcome and encouraged. Submit your work here:
Detail of work by Vernita Nemec
(Image: Detail of work by Vernita Nemec)

Artist Powers – Activate! Join The Fandemonium At Central Art

Artist Powers – Activate! Join The Fandemonium At Central Art This Thursday!
Central                                                          Art Logo

In honor of Medford Comic Con,

Join the “Fandemonium” at Central Art Supply!

During this FREE 3-part event, you are invited to don your creative cape and cowl as you prepare for Medford Comic Con & Central Art’s Fan Art Contest 2018!


Thursday, February 22nd, 4:30-6:00pm – Session 1: “Origins”
Never heard of “Fan Art?” Maybe you have, but need some inspiration to get started. Whether you’re a Sidekick or Superfan, this informal uninstructed intro to the Fan Art phenomenon is your golden opportunity to unleash your untapped powers and create something extraordinary!


Saturday, March 10th, 2:30-4:00pm – Session 2: “Of Capes & Canvas”
You’ve laid the foundation for your Fan Art concept. Now’s your chance to hit it with a bold splash of color an make it burst from the page with a pastel, pen or brush! What medium will you choose?


Thursday, March 29th, 4:00-5:00pm – Session 3: “Doing Art Justice”
Fulfill your creation’s destiny! Let Central Art’s classroom be your creative “Fortress of Solitude” to add those final touches to give some POW! and ZAP! to your creative vision before you submit the finished product.


*Limited art supplies available for use during this event.
Be sure to bring your own!


Deadline for entries is 4:00pm, Saturday, March 31st, 2018. Artwork must be submitted with completed entry form to:


Central Art, 101 North Central Avenue, Medford, Oregon 97501


If you have any further questions, please email [email protected]

Geek Out With DC & Vertigo Comics Artist Matt Brundage and Copic Markers!

Central                                                          Art Logo

Copic Comic Art Workshop, Followed by a “Geek & Draw!” 

Workshop Location: Central Art

When: SATURDAY, FEB. 10TH – 2:30PM – 3:30PM

Fee: $7 

BAM! POW! Find out why COPIC markers are all the rage in this action-packed Extravaganza Mini Workshop taught by DC and Vertigo Comics artist Matt Brundage. You’ll learn pro techniques to add punch to your COPIC art and blow minds with your next “ink”-citing adventure!

*Hurry! Seating is limited, reserve yours now! 541-773-1444. Pre-registration required. Payment required at time of registration.


Be sure to join Matt after the Extravaganza on SATURDAY, FEB. 10TH from 5PM – 7PMfor a FREE “Geek & Draw” hangout in the classroom at Central Art! Bring Your Own Supplies and Snacks (BYOSS) and prepare to geek out and sketch it up with Matt and other fellow artists/comic enthusiasts!

This is going to be EPIC!