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UPDATED! 10 Reasons to Support the Arts

By Randy Cohen

How Lin-Manuel Miranda Saved the NEA

Americans for the Arts - Arts Action Fund
            

September 14, 2017

When Lin-Manuel Miranda and his dad, Luis Miranda, heard that the  National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities were at risk of being eliminated this year, they contacted Americans for the Arts and the National Humanities Alliance to ask how they could help. They committed two full days to walk the halls of Congress and made contact with more than 30 Members of the House and Senate on September 12-13. Exhibiting great bipartisanship throughout, Lin-Manuel also received two deserving awards while he was on Capitol Hill: the 2017 Freedom Award from the US Capitol Historical Society and the 2017 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Medallion of Excellence.

The timing of Lin-Manuel’s visit was crucial as the Senate deliberates on the new FY2018 funding level for the NEA and NEH after the House proposed $145 million for each agency (a $5 million cut from last year).  He urged Senators to consider increasing the funding level to $155 million for each agency. In addition to meeting with 30 Members of Congress, check out the fun he had singing his way through the Capitol subway trains while connecting with Members of Congress and staff.

Visit theArts Action Fund Blog for more photos and news about this story.

 

 

            

Help us in thanking Lin-Manuel by sending him a tweet:

Thanks @Lin_Manuel for helping #SAVEtheNEA #SaveTheNEH. Your advocacy on Capitol Hill this wk was invaluable @Americans4Arts @HumanitiesAll

 

Connect with the Arts Action Fund through our online communities:

 

National Arts in Education Week

Join us in celebration of National Arts In Education Week from September 10-16, 2017.

National Arts in Education Week

Join us in celebration of National Arts In Education Week from September 10-16, 2017.

A Giant in Arts Education Research Passes

Blog by Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Executive Director of Americans for the Arts Action Fund

Leveraging One’s Case for the Arts: AKA Maximizing One’s Visit to Lawmakers

Read an advocacy story of upstate NY arts advocates, by Naj Wikoff

NEA Funding Approved for 2018 by House Appropriations Committee

Americans for the Arts logoLate tonight, the full House Appropriations Committee met and approved funding for the National Endowment for the Arts at $145 million for FY 2018.  While we’re still gathering details of the meeting, this completes the U.S. House committee consideration and advances the proposal to a possible action on the U.S. House floor in the coming weeks.

Although we are disappointed by this proposed $5 million (cut from $150 million in FY 2017), we are encouraged that it is not the termination proposal sought by the Administration since March. This House proposal falls short of the funding requested by a record bipartisan group of 154 members of Congress of $155 million.  Similar to the request made by members in the House, 40 Senators requested NEA funding of at least $150 million for FY 2018.

The accompanying U.S. House report notes the “broad bipartisan support” of NEA’s participation in the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military, led by Americans for the Arts.  Be sure to check out the NEA’s Creative Forces for more information about that specific program also referenced in the report.

What happens next?
Now, members of Congress are discussing how to continue work to pass these proposals before funding runs out at the end of September. Still to come is the U.S. Senate’s proposal expected after Labor Day.  With your help, we are asking the U.S. Senate to meet the request of $155 million for both Endowments. Take 2 minutes now to contact your U.S. Senators by using our easy, customizable form. Click here.

In addition, your elected representatives will be in their home states leading up to Labor Day. August is a great time to see them in your local offices at home. Use our easy Advocacy Toolkit to request meetings and equip yourself with all the latest information that can help make the case.

Americans for the Arts President & CEO Bob Lynch’s statement following the approval by the U.S. House subcommittee

Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch offered this statement in response to today’s action by the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, which proposed funding of $145 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities in FY2018:

I am pleased to see this subcommittee propose a figure in stark contrast to President Trump’s calls for full termination. This action endorses the existence for a strong public arts agency, and I thank the strong leadership of Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) and Ranking Member Betty McCollum (D-MN).

The House subcommittee action today is the first authoritative step from Congress in this year’s funding cycle. Although I am disappointed to see the proposed figure be reduced from the current FY2017 budget by $5 million to $145 million, I hope that the full House Appropriations Committee, and the expected consideration from the U.S. Senate, will support an increase to $155 million, which was requested by a record number of bipartisan members of Congress this year.

The evidence of the value of and demand for the arts in America actually calls for an increase in the federal arts appropriations, and with arts advocates from all across the United States, Americans for the Arts will continue to make the case for our government to invest in the arts in America.

As arts advocates know, Congress considers their own budget priorities—and usually without much regard to the administration’s request, and this year is proving no different.

Since the Administration announced its misguided proposal to terminate our nation’s cultural institutions—including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)—thousands of arts advocates have mobilized and joined forces together with nonprofit arts and arts education organizations all around the country. Our combined outreach to these elected officials is making a difference.

Our grassroots advocacy this year has seen an all-time high with over 170,000 messages sent to Congress. With 88 national service organizations and their members, arts advocates set a new record of participation during the annual Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.

Working with our state partners, we’ve run ads in newspapers across the country in key districts whose member of Congress serves on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, especially its smaller Interior Subcommittee that is responsible for making the first U.S. House proposal for funding levels for the NEA. We also ran ads in states whose U.S. Senators serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and tied these to op-ed columns published in newspapers across the country written by Americans for the Arts members to show why the arts and the NEA are vital to their local communities. So far, over 60 have been published in 37 states. Please visit our Arts Mobilization page to see the ads and op-eds.

To bolster these efforts with the latest data, we released our Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) study at our June convention before 1,200 arts leaders from 50 states. This is the fifth study of its kind produced by Americans for the Arts of the nonprofit arts and culture industry’s impact on the economy—a $166 billion industry supporting 4.6 million jobs. It also documents the economic contributions of the arts in 341 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The fact is advocacy works and is making an impact. I am proud of the work that arts advocates have already accomplished together and the work to come, and I thank arts champions in Congress, including Congressional Arts Caucus co-Chairs Louise Slaughter and Leonard Lance, and supporters on the subcommittee under the leadership of Chairman Ken Calvert and Ranking Member Betty McCollum, and the work of Americans for the Arts Action Fund in building a pro-arts majority in the U.S. Congress.

 

Source: Americans for the Arts, 2017

House Appropriations Committee Approves NEA Funding

House Appropriations Committee met and approved funding for the National Endowment for the Arts at $145 million for FY 2018.

Cultural Advocacy coalition Celebrates $12M in New Funding!

cac logo online cultural advocacy coalition

As a member of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition for more than a dozen years, I have seen how the Coalition’s dedication to our future has made a difference in protecting funding and reinvesting in culture and preservation in Oregon.

This session, through the hard work of your Coalition and the tenacity of engaged advocates, the legislature approved over $12 million in support for arts and culture organizations and projects statewide–$12,295,000 to be precise!

The work supported by these public funds will restore historic landmarks, expand access, strengthen community engagement, support innovation and fuel the creative economy.

In honor of the legislature’s investment in culture: let’s invest in cultural advocacy.

Starting today, through the end of this month, I am going to match the first $1,229.50 of new or increased membership donations to the Coalition in celebration of this investment, which represents a renewed commitment to the work of cultural nonprofits across Oregon and a clear indicator of growing legislative awareness of the value of arts, heritage and the humanities.

I believe that the potential for greater success lies ahead. But we need your support today to take the next steps and build on this session’s achievements. Will you help?

You don’t have to double your gift to take advantage of my offer. Just increase your membership by any amount, invite a friend or colleague to join the Coalition for the first time, or join as an individual if your organization or business is a member but you aren’t. Take advantage of my offer today! Let’s strengthen cultural advocacy and celebrate this shared achievement together.

If you joined us for Advocacy Day this year you know the interim is the best time to strengthen relationships with legislators. The final gavel just dropped to close out the 2017 Session–and the Coalition is already at work reaching out to legislators to thank them for their investment and build the case for more support for culture in 2018 and renewal of the Cultural Trust Tax Credit in 2019.

The end of session is the beginning of the work still ahead. I hope in this moment of celebration, you will hear your own call to action and give generously for this work that is so vital to all of us.

John Tess
President, Heritage Consulting Group
Member, Cultural Advocacy Coalition
Trustee, Oregon Cultural Trust

PS. The legislature’s investment of $12,295,000 comes at a significant moment for arts and culture across our state and nation. I am excited to celebrate this accomplishment with you. I hope you will take advantage of my offer to match your new or increased gift to the Coalition before July 31, 2017. Join the cultural community in celebrating this accomplishment—and help strengthen cultural advocacy with a gift today!

Update on NEA Federal Funding; Creative Forces Military Healing Arts Program Threatened

Dear Hannah,

Today, the U.S. House Interior Appropriations Committee advanced a bill to provide funding for our nation’s natural and cultural resources, proposing $145 million to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for FY2018. This is a $5 million cut from current levels and $10 million less than the request supported by a record number of members of Congress this year.

The good news is that this proposal counters and fully rejects the Administration’s call for termination of our nation’s cultural agencies that arts advocates have been fighting against since March when the Administration budget proposal was initially released.

This subcommittee action is even more relevant since this is the first authoritative step from Congress in this year’s funding cycle. It is a clear endorsement acknowledging the importance of the work of our nation’s cultural agencies. But there is still more to come.

Interior Subcommittee Members met today to advance a bill to the full Appropriations Committee for FY 2018
Next week, the full House Appropriations committee will likely meet to consider the bill. Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) stated in today’s meeting that he “strongly supports” the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Following the House appropriations process, the Senate Appropriations committee may advance their own proposal this fall. Funding for key arts education programs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are being considered in a separate appropriations bill. Track all of this with us in our Arts Mobilization Center.

Take two minutes now to urge your congressional delegation to pass a budget that invests in our nation and supports access to the arts in America for all. Thank you for taking action.

More Details

Faced with a smaller overall allocation, the House appropriations subcommittee is proposing a 2.5 percent cut overall in its bill, with some agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeing more severe cuts. The NEA and NEH would be cut 3.3 percent under the current proposal to a level not seen since 2008.  Due to these cuts and other policy disagreements, the subcommittee Democrats voiced their opposition to the bill.

This proposal falls short of support for important environmental and cultural resources programs. It would reverse the past two-year trend of increases to our nation’s cultural agencies that have supported the expansion of the NEA’s Creative Forces program, which increases access to therapeutic arts activities in local communities for military members, veterans, and their families. These sites, located mostly at military bases in 10 states, have begun launching their programs this year.  The Creative Forces initiative could be in jeopardy due to the proposed $5 million cut to the NEA.  

Take two minutes to write to your member of Congress. We know members have been hearing from you. And, it is making a difference. Our grassroots advocacy this year has seen an all-time high with over 170,000 messages sent to Congress. Messages have been sent to all U.S. House and U.S. Senate offices. Thank you for helping to take that action and make that impact.

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.