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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!


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

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

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:

 

Bambi Artist Tyrus Wong Gets His Due

Tyrus Wong, The ‘Bambi’ Artist Who Endured America’s Racism, Gets His Due

The late Tyrus Wong, whose paintings formed the basis of Disney’s iconic film, is finally receiving the recognition he deserves.

Tyrus Wong
Bambi visual development, 1942, watercolor on paper

Even if you’ve never heard the name Tyrus Wong before, you’ve likely seen his work. Maybe not in a museum or gallery, but you’ve probably enjoyed the late artist’s fascinating brushstrokes ― or the films that they inspired ― in the comforts of your home.

Until his death last year at the age of 106, Wong was considered America’s oldest living Chinese-American artist and one of the last remaining icons of Disney’s golden age of animation. Few people outside of his studio could identify him during his lifetime, but his art was eerily ubiquitous. Handpicked by Walt Disney to guide one of his films, Wong’s watercolor sketches formed the basis of “Bambi” and, later, Warner Bros.′ live-action movies like “Rebel without a Cause.” His calligraphic imagery wound its way onto Hallmark Christmas cards, kites and hand-painted California dinnerware. He did show in galleries and museums, too ― with greats like Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, no less.

And yet, it wasn’t until recently ― later in his life ― that he began receiving the recognition he deserved. It was in 1942 when he painted a minuscule buck leaping through a forest felled by blazing flames, an electric landscape that would heavily influence the World War II-era movie about a fawn who lost his mother. Seventy-five years after “Bambi,” Wong is the subject of an “American Masters” film on PBS, a documentary portrait that reveals how he overcame a harrowing immigration process and years of racism in the United States to become one of the most prolific artists in recent memory.

Courtesy of the Tyrus Wong family
Portrait of Tyrus Wong

“Tyrus Wong’s story is a prime example of one of the many gaping holes in our society’s narrative on art, cinema, and Western history,” Pamela Tom, the director behind “Tyrus,” set to air on PBS Sept. 8, explained in a statement. “By telling his story, I wanted to shine light on one of America’s unsung heroes, and raise awareness of the vital contributions he’s made to American culture.”

Her 90-minute documentary follows Wong from his birth in Canton (now Guangzhou), China, to his attempts to immigrate to the United States in 1919. Detained for a month, he, along with his father, endured extensive interrogation before being allowed to enter the country, only to live in poverty once they arrived. As multiple sources in the film point out, American society in the 1920s and ’30s was not kind to Chinese-American communities ― many immigrants saw only a few options for work, including acting as laundry men, house boys or restaurant staff. And the world of animation and film, a more than unlikely field Wong fought tooth and nail to enter, was not much kinder. Described as “an old boy’s club,” Wong recounts how he was called a racial slur on his first day with Republic Pictures.

Still, his sights were ultimately set on fine art. An eventual graduate of Otis Art Institute, the animator, designer, painter and kite maker rose to the coveted status of a Disney Legend by 2001. Beyond that, his work indeed hangs in museums, his name appearing in placards next to other greats. “He had a lot of dignity, but he also felt the pangs of racism,” Tom told HuffPost in an earlier interview. “I think Tyrus represents success. He represents someone who’s a survivor, who broke these racial barriers.”

Today, immigrants in the U.S. continue to face astounding obstacles. Just a few days before the premiere of “Tyrus,” President Donald Trump and his administration initiated the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protections, putting nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation if members of Congress fail to strike a deal. Wong’s story illuminates just how difficult it is to succeed in a world that’s designed to test your limits at every turn.

“It’s so unlikely,” a voice in the film’s trailer declares of Wong’s biography, “and that’s what makes it so valuable.”

Ahead of the debut of “Tyrus,” HuffPost is premiering an exclusive clip from the “American Masters” film. For more information on the project, head to PBS.

Tyrus” will air on PBS on Sept. 8 at 9 p.m ET. See more images of Wong’s artwork below.

Tyrus Wong
Bambi visual development, 1942, watercolor on paper

Tyrus Wong
Bambi visual development, 1942, watercolor on paper
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Tyrus Wong
Pre-production illustration, possibly from the Warner Bros film “Gypsy”

Tyrus Wong
Reclining nude, circa 1936, oil on canvas

Ildiko Lazslo
Pamela Tom and Tyrus in Tyrus’s kite studio.

Tyrus Wong
Tyrus Wong’s self-portrait, late 1920s.

Courtesy of the Tyrus Wong family
Tyrus Wong painting in his studio.