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

In Saint Paul with Betty McCollum

Breaking News : Arts Victory in Congress!

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

Louise Slaughter - The Passing of an Arts Advocacy Legend

Louise Slaughter – The Passing of an Arts Advocacy Legend

Friday, March 16, 2018

Louise Slaughter - The Passing of an Arts Advocacy Legend The Americans for the Arts Action Fund mourns the loss of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York, who died today in Washington, D.C. at the age of 88. Louise has been a champion of the arts for decades and our organization and its members are profoundly saddened, but still spirited in her honor and grateful for all she has given in service to her constituents at home and nationwide through her passionate support for the value of the arts and arts education.

We will always remember Louise’s kindness, toughness, and effectiveness. She was elected to Congress in 1986 and was a fierce advocate for the arts and arts education and co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus for 23 years.

Passionate about her personal love for the arts, Louise once told an Arts Advocacy Day crowd about a conversation with her husband the night she was first elected to Congress: “My husband swears I told him this…after we’d gotten the results that I’d just won a seat in the House of Representatives, I said to him, ‘Well, all I really wanted to do was be a blues singer.’” Congresswoman Slaughter sang with a big band in college and her husband would often proudly show off a photo of Louise fronting the band.

Our Arts Advocacy Day crowds will miss her spirit, her encouragement, and her vision that the arts should be much better funded in America. Congresswoman Slaughter received the Congressional Arts Leadership Award in 1998 from Americans for the Arts and The U.S. Conference of Mayors, and every year she rallied thousands of arts advocates to speak to their Members of Congress about the value and importance of the arts. With what she described as a fire in her belly, Louise inspired everyone from art students in high school and heads of major cultural institutions to nationally recognized artists, including Lin-Manuel Miranda and Kerry Washington.

“It has been my honor to stand with Louise Slaughter on over 100 occasions in the last 23 years as she fought for arts support while she chaired the Congressional Arts Caucus,” said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. “I have called her a friend and friend of the arts for the entire 32 years she has been in Washington. I’m not sure there has ever been, or will be, an arts advocate who has more tenacity, fight, humor, and spirit of generosity than Louise Slaughter.

My favorite memory is when she was giving one of her signature passionate rousing talks about the arts and how she feared for young people losing opportunity. She suddenly spied a high school-aged boy in the group, my own 13-year-old nephew Ian. She looked at him and called out, ‘are you reading anything today?’ and he answered back citing a book of poetry and one on political action. Louise was so excited that she ran over to him, hugged him, and turned to crowd and said, ‘There is hope for America.’”

Recently Congresswoman Slaughter co-authored an Arts Advocacy Day letter to her Congressional colleagues calling for support of funding for the arts and arts education at the national level saying, “The American public wants and needs an affordable investment in the arts” and “Federal investment in the arts provides all Americans with expanded opportunities to engage with the arts in each state and district.”

As Louise often stated and lived herself, “the power of the arts transcends our differences, transports our imaginations, and teaches our children.” Her longtime passion and energy for the arts and arts education are also reflected in her dedication to the people she served, and when it came to Congressional debate, Louise was an eloquent advocate who never, ever let up. Americans for the Arts will miss our friend but continue to be inspired by her leadership.

An integral part of Arts Advocacy Day both onsite and offsite, Congresswoman Slaughter composed op-eds to further champion the cause—in 2017, and in 2015 with Congressional Arts Caucus co-chair Leonard Lance (R-NJ). Louise’s rousing speeches to arts advocates at Arts Advocacy Day can be viewed here: Arts Advocacy Day 2013Arts Advocacy Day 2014, and Arts Advocacy Day 2015.

Pictured: Arts Action Fund President and CEO Bob Lynch pictured with Louise Slaughter at her official Congressional portrait dedication ceremony on April 15, 2015, in honor of her serving as Chairman of the Rules Committee. 

 

Thank you,

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

 

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. 

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 | www.oregonartscommission.org

What Happens to the Arts When the Government Shuts Down?

Rocky Budget Cycle Continues

During the previous shutdown in 2013, more cultural institutions, like the National Gallery of Art, were forced to close their doors.

Hello, 2018.  Congress is back in full swing, but little progress is being made on funding issues, including for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Yesterday, Congress voted to reopen the government for 17 days, after a brief 3-day partial government shutdown.

This is the fourth short-term funding extension. This next short-term funding extension is currently set to expire on February 8th, when yet another showdown over many of the same divisive issues, including immigration, spending, and health care, may occur.

Despite these larger budgetary and policy issues, we are hopeful that, once there is a final budget agreement, the higher funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) ($150 million, same as current funding levels), that the U.S. Senate proposed, will prevail.

What Happens to the Arts When the Government Shuts Down?

Message posted on the NEA website during the shutdown yesterday.

During the brief, 3-day shutdown, some major cultural institutions were able to keep their doors open, like the Smithsonian, by using prior year funds. Each agency determines which federal employees may still report to work during a lapse in funding. At the NEA, only 5 employees could remain at work. This massive staff reduction cuts off communication to the 50 state arts agencies and grantees in every congressional district, leaving grant project requests unanswered and unprocessed.

Each day of the shutdown, the more severe the impacts become for the arts community, impacting the health of our economy, cultural tourism, and access to the arts.

Next Steps and What You Can Do

Looming funding decisions for both FY2018 and FY2019 are still on the horizon. Vigorous policy disagreements in Congress will likely continue, and it is vital your representatives hear from you!

Arts advocates from across the country will convene in Washington, D.C. on March 12-13, 2018 for our annual Arts Advocacy Day.  Arts Advocacy Day brings together a broad cross section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 700 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.

Attendees will attend advocacy training sessions and policy briefings followed by a full day of meetings on Capitol Hill with their U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators.  The Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy at The John F. Kennedy Center will also take place during the two-day event.  Will you represent your state in Washington, D.C. this March?  Register now!


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[email protected]
www.AmericansForTheArts.org
www.ArtsActionFund.org

Together WE ARE Americans for the Arts

CoCA Presents a Slice of  Four Decades of Seattle’s Art History

Americans for the Arts Joins Federal Amicus Brief in Support of Free Speech Rights of Congressional Art Competition Student Artist

Read a blog detailing the specifics of controversy surrounding a painting from a Congressional Art Competition, by Arts Action Fund Executive Director Nina Ozlu Tunceli

SAVEtheNEA Timeline

Click to view a 2017 timeline of advocacy actions that Arts Action Fund members took to #SAVEtheNEA this year.

Goodbye, Republican Congress

By Earle Mack, published Monday, November 27th in The Hill