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Representative Chellie Pingree’s Statement at the Full Committee Markup Meeting

The new co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Representative Chellie Pingree, gives a heartfelt statement at the full committee markup meeting covering arts funding and expanding grantmaking opportunities for the NEA and NEH.

More Americans Able To Benefit From Arts

Americans for the Arts - Arts Action Fund
              

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Dear Arts Advocate,

Earlier today, the full U.S House Appropriations Committee voted to approve last month’s Interior Subcommittee vote to increase funding by $2 million each to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), bringing them up to $155 million for FY 2019. New Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chair Chellie Pingree (D-ME) was also successful in adding the following report language to the arts funding bill:

“The Committee acknowledges and appreciates decades of arts and humanities advocacy by the late Rep. Louise M. Slaughter. In her memory, the Committee encourages NEA and NEH to expand grant-making activities in a manner that honors her advocacy, especially in rural and under-served areas, so more Americans are able to benefit from the economic, social, and educational impacts of the arts and humanities.”

Next, the bill will move on to be reviewed and voted on by the U.S. Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. As the bill moves to the Senate, we have invited three grassroots arts leaders to “Fly-In” from Missouri, Montana and West Virginia to meet with their Senators and advocate for this increased funding bill. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Steve Daines (R-MT), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), are all members of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. We hope this advocacy strategy will continue to be effective throughout the appropriations process.

Help us keep pressure on the Senate and provide support to pro-arts leaders by contributing to our Campaign to Increase Funding for the Arts in America.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

P.S. Thank you for your support. Please keep checking back to our blog post for more information. We’ll be posting a detailed table of the FY’19 House and Senate appropriation allocations for each of the federal cultural agencies.

 

Take action now!

NEA Funding Increase Approved by Full Appropriations Committee

Earlier today, the full U.S House Appropriations Committee voted to approve last month’s Interior Subcommittee vote to increase funding by $2 million each to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

House Increases NEA Funding by $2 Million!

Americans for the Arts logo

House Increases NEA Funding by $2 Million!

Tuesday night, the U.S House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee advanced legislation to fund the nation’s federal cultural agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

We are happy to report that under the leadership of Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) and Ranking Member Betty McCollum (D-MN), the Subcommittee allocated increases of $2 million to both the NEA and the NEH, bringing their budgets up to $155 million each for FY 2019. Thanks to your impactful grassroots advocacy work, this is the same appropriation level that we requested on Arts Advocacy Day this past March.

Up next, the full U.S. House Appropriations Committee will consider the bill next week before it moves on to the full House and then to the Senate. We’ll need to watch the progression diligently because weakening amendments or perhaps opportunities for even bigger increases can happen along the way as we move into the mid-term Congressional elections this November.

The voice of arts advocates was clearly heard. Help us keep pressure on Congress by contributing  to our Campaign to Increase Funding for the Arts in America.

Guild Hosts Conversation with with Acclaimed Artist & Educator, Jason Graham (Hip-Hop Name MOsley WOtta)

Oregon Humanities’ Conversation Project offers unique and exciting conversation at Southern Oregon Guild

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Community Conversation to Explore “What We Risk – Creativity, Vulnerability, and Art”

Snacks & Social 3:00 – 4:00 pm

Interactive Program 4:00 – 5:30

Made Possible by Oregon Humanities Conversation Project

Free Program

Donations Appreciated

Pre-registration Helpful Call 541-5019

Location: Guild Gallery & Art Center at RCC, Kerby 24353 Redwood Highway, Kerby, OR

www.southernoregonguild.org [email protected] with Acclaimed Artist & Educator, Jason Graham (Hip-Hop Name MOsley WOtta – check him out on TEDx)

 

Spring 2018 Brings Changes for the Arts on Capitol Hill

Spring has sprung, and while Congress is starting work on the FY 2019 budget cycle, several arts-related events have occurred in the U.S. Capitol in the past week. We wanted to be sure to share them with you.

Memorial Services for U.S. Representative Louise M. Slaughter

Rep. Slaughter with Lin-Manuel Miranda in 2017.

On Wednesday, April 18, Americans for the Arts remembered our dear friend and fierce arts advocate, Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), who passed away unexpectedly a few days after Arts Advocacy Day on Friday, March 16, 2018.  Various events on Capitol Hill commemorated Representative Slaughter and her life-long work to support the arts, especially as co-Chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, where she served for over twenty years.

Americans for the Arts hosted a special Capitol Hill reception in conjunction with the Congressional Arts Caucus as a celebration of Representative Slaughter’s life in the arts. Members of Congress, guests, and Louise’s family members gathered together to remember her amazing life of service.

We put together a collection of 50 photos through the years of Louise’s leadership in support of the arts. Tony-award winner John Lloyd Young and Grammy-nominated music producer, composer, songwriter, singer, and arranger Tommy Faragher performed a dedicated musical tribute in her honor.

You can also read Americans for the Arts’ tribute letter, which was submitted to theCongressional Record, along with additional member remarks made on the U.S. House floor.

Welcoming Incoming Arts Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Pingree

Rep. Chellie Pingree with artists John Lloyd Young and Tommy Faragher on April 18, 2018.

One of the pieces of news that evening was U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announcingRep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) as the next co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus!  She joins Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) to co-lead the Arts Caucus.

Representative Pingree is a dedicated advocate for the arts and arts education. She also serves as a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee, which oversees funding for many arts and cultural programs, including the budgets for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). We congratulate her and look forward to her leadership. You can read more here.

What’s Next

Americans for the Arts members (L-R) Pam Hogan, Bobby Welch, and Karen Wiley ready to meet with their legislators in Washington, D.C. last week.  Not pictured: Sheila Smith. 

This week, the U.S. House is beginning the work to pass appropriations bills for the FY 2019. We currently expect the bill that funds the NEA and NEH (the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill) to see committee consideration in May or June.

In advance of that work, Americans for the Arts brought four local arts leaders (from Alabama, California, Minnesota, and Texas) to Washington, D.C. last week to meet with the offices of key representatives, including the new incoming U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) as part of a series of year-round mini fly-ins.
Thank you for being an arts advocate!


 
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Want to do more? 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.


1000 Vermont Avenue NW
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Washington DC . 20005
T 202.371.2830
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www.ArtsActionFund.org

Betty Supports the Arts and the Arts Action Fund Supports Betty!

In Saint Paul with Betty McCollum

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
Proposal
U.S. House 
Proposal
U.S. Senate 
Committee Proposal 
Final
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)
$445
(plus $20 for interconnection system)
$445
(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.


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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]
www.AmericansForTheArts.org
www.ArtsActionFund.org

Breaking News : Arts Victory in Congress!

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

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.

Thanks,

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

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