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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:

 

Fall 2017 Arts Action news

  Vol. III 2017 Quarterly Member Newsletter
Support the Arts Action Fund PAC.
Click to Donate
Message from President & CEO Robert Lynch
As you can see in this quarter’s Arts Action Fund newsletter, the theme is economic impact. From newspaper headlines across the country to briefings on Capitol Hill, state legislative chambers and city halls, the golden number that we all need to memorize is that the nonprofit arts are a $166.3 billion annual industry in America.

We’re very grateful to the federal, state, and local elected officials, business leaders and arts administrators, who are helping to spread the word about the powerful economic impact of the arts in strengthening cities and  enriching lives. In fact, one of our important public partners, the National League of Cities, recently released its annual Top 10 Issues impacting cities. While it may not shock you to read that “economic development” was on the very top of the list, you may be surprised to learn that mayors cited  examples of arts and culture at least 25 percent of the time in their “State of the City” speeches as examples of innovative economic development.

Recently, Arts Action Fund Executive Director Nina Ozlu Tunceli (pictured below on the right) organized a group of grassroots members to meet with the Chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA-42) (pictured in the middle). They met in his district office in Corona, CA, to discuss the programmatic and economic impact of NEA grants in his Congressional district. I am pleased to share that Chairman Calvert rejected President Trump’s request to terminate the NEA and, instead, restored $145 million.



Americans for the Arts Unveils National Findings of Fifth Economic Impact Study of Nonprofit Arts Industry
      

A new national study by Americans for the Arts finds that the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity in 2015-$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related spending by their audiences.

This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue. Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5 (AEP5) is the largest study of its kind and was released on June 17, 2017, at Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in San Francisco.

AEP5 documents the economic contributions of the nonprofit arts industry nationally as well as in 341 local study regions, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data was gathered from 14,439 arts and cultural organizations and from 212,691 members of their audiences. The full report, a map of the 341 study regions and a two-page economic impact summary for each region, a sample PowerPoint presentation, and a media toolkit for advocates can be found at AmericansForTheArts.org/EconomicImpact.





      


Ads and Newspaper Headlines Mobilize Arts Advocacy
In early 2017, Americans for the Arts launched a suite of ads and a social media campaign, #SAVEtheNEA, to showcase the importance and value of federal funding for the arts. Ad placements began the first week of March in The Hill, New York Daily Post and Palm Beach Daily News. Then continued for Arts Advocacy Day in The HillPolitico and Roll Call, reaching a combined audience of nearly 600,000 influential political readers, as well as more than 500,000 people on Facebook.

In May, Americans for the Arts developed 21 customized ads designed to educate key members of the Congressional Appropriations Committees with ads and op-eds in their hometown newspapers. In June, the results of our economic impact study in 341 regions began grabbing front page headlines in newspapers (like the ones below) across the country in all 50 states.


Federal Update
House Appropriations Committee Recommends $145 million in NEA Funding, Rejecting Trump’s Termination Proposal

         

In July, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved funding for the NEA at $145 million for FY 2018. Although this proposal is a small $5 million budget cut (from $150 million in FY 2017), we are encouraged that the GOP-controlled House rejected President Trump’s attempt to terminate the NEA.

Still to come is the U.S. Senate’s proposal. At this key time in the negotiations, six local arts leaders, who are also AEP5 study partners, came to Washington, D.C., as part of a continuing series of advocacy initiatives to respond to President Trump’s proposed termination of federal cultural funding, including NEA, NEH, IMLS and CPB. These arts leaders from across the country met with key Congressional appropriators at a strategic time when the House and Senate are negotiating funding for FY 2018.


State and Local Update
Americans for the Arts Continues to Strengthen Ties with Local Officials and Military

In June, Americans for the Arts’ partner, The United States Conference of Mayors, unanimously passed eight arts policy resolutions at its annual conference. These resolutions called on Congress for full funding of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), preserving charitable giving tax incentives, and endorsing the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Study.

Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the National Association of Counties, was recently awarded an NEA Our Town grant to work with rural counties to use the arts and culture to address systemic issues facing counties.

Americans for the Arts 
was also contracted by the NEA to administer its Creative Forces program
(military arts therapy) and recently hosted the first of 10 kick-off celebrations. These events will bring together members of the military and local arts groups, who will be working together to provide arts therapy and programs to military soldiers, veterans and their families.


PAC Update

The Arts Action Fund hosted its annual reception and fundraiser at the Americans for the Arts Convention in San Francisco on June 16th, featuring President and CEO Bob Lynch, Arts Action Fund Executive Director Nina Ozlu Tunceli, and Executive Director of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program Margot Knight. Margot spoke about the importance of the Arts Action Fund’s grassroots work with members. She urged advocates at the reception to become monthly donors to the Arts Action Fund PAC in order to
support pro-arts candidates, especially in the next mid-term elections. To set-up monthly giving, please visit ArtsActionFund.org/monthly-giving.


  
     

How to Help the Arts Community Affected by Hurricane Harvey

afta arts action fund logo

September 7, 2017

Americans for the Arts Action Fund expresses its deepest compassion for all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and are very concerned for those in the path of Hurricane Irma. The devastation to life, property, livelihood, and cultural heritage has been, and will be, monumental. These disasters have impacted a wide range of cultural organizations, including the submerged Wharton County Historical Museum (as seen below) and the Houston Alley Theatre.

The destruction of physical property and financial resources has been devastating to nonprofit arts organizations along the Gulf Coast. This will also be an even greater challenge for self-employed artists, losing stability both at home and at work. As an organization of 350,000 individuals, Arts Action Fund members can help. We encourage you to make a charitable donation to some of these arts-specific recovery funds:

To stay informed, please regularly visit these websites:

We will continue to update you on disaster relief efforts for cultural organizations and artists.

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.