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Take Action TODAY: Include Arts Support in COVID-19 Federal Response

Americans for the Arts President's FY20 Budget Calls for Termination of Cultural Agencies AgainThe coronavirus has already had a devastating economic impact on America’s nonprofit arts sector—financial losses to date are estimated to be $3.2 billion. Since the first U.S. case was reported on January 20, cancellations and closings have been reported in thousands of communities spanning all 50 states. In order to support the sector at this vital time, request that your members of Congress include $4 billion—to be distributed though the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)—to help offset the losses of the nonprofit arts industry, and expand eligibility through additional federal programs to ensure artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in the creative economy can utilize business interruption relief.

In a national survey by Americans for the Arts, 91% of responding arts organizations indicated that they have cancelled one or more events. Many arts organizations have closed their doors for months to come. More than one-third of respondents expect to make reductions in staff; 26% have already reduced their creative workforce. These estimates are based on more than 3,000 respondents to an Americans for the Arts nationwide COVID-19 impact survey, and then further extrapolation of those data nationally using IRS data about nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. The survey is ongoing, and these figures will be updated regularly. Given that losses documented in the survey have occurred only in the last two months, Americans for the Arts anticipates additional billions in potential revenue losses for the nonprofit arts and culture field.

Join us in calling on Congress TODAY to designate a minimum of $4 billion—to be distributed through the National Endowment for the Arts—to help offset losses in the nonprofit arts industry and expand eligibility through additional federal programs to ensure artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in the creative economy can utilize business interruption relief.


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President's FY21 Budget Calls for Termination of Cultural Agencies Again

Americans for the Arts

February 10, 2020
For a fourth-straight year, the Trump administration has proposed to eliminate 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 of Public Broadcasting (CPB).  As misdirected as this proposal is, we are confident that Congress—as it has done in the past three fiscal years—will again reject this short-sighted budget request in a bipartisan, bicameral manner, and increase funding for these federal cultural agencies.

In the past three years, Congress not only dismissed these initial calls for termination, but in fact gave steady increases in funding to several of our nation’s cultural agencies.  Check out a brief history of budgetary proposals and final funding for these agencies for the past three years with the President’s most recent budget request in red below:

Key Federally Funded Arts Agency President Trump’s
FY 19 Budget Proposal
Final FY 2019 Funding President Trump’s
FY 20 Budget Proposal
Final FY 2020 Funding  President Trump’s
FY 21 Budget Proposal
National Endowment for the Arts
(NEA)
Termination $155 million Termination $162.25 million Termination
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Termination $155 million Termination $162.25 million Termination
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Termination $242 million Termination $252 million Termination
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Termination $445 million Termination $445 million Termination

Be sure to check out Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund President and CEO Robert L. Lynch’s full statement regarding the president’s budget proposal. Additionally, ArtsVote 2020 Chair Ben Folds testified on behalf of Americans for the Arts to urge the House Appropriations Subcommittee to increase NEA funding to $170 million for FY 21. Read Bob and Ben’s written remarks and watch Ben’s testimony on the Arts Action Fund website.

Be sure to check out Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund President and CEO Robert L. Lynch's full statement regarding the president's budget proposal. Additionally, ArtsVote 2020 Chair Ben Folds testified on behalf of Americans for the Arts to urge the House Appropriations Subcommittee to increase NEA funding to $170 million for FY 21. Read Bob and Ben’s written remarks and watch Ben’s testimony on the Arts Action Fund website.

 

I’m Contributing $5,000 to the Arts Action Fund

Americans for the Arts
                  - Arts Action Fund
              
Dear Arts Advocate,

Last Thursday December 5th, the Arts Action Fund kicked off its Year-End Fundraising Campaign to raise $30,000 by the end of the year.

We’ve already raised one-third of that goal from members like you!  In fact, I am contributing $5,000 personally to the Arts Action Fund PAC.  These funds go exclusively to the only political action committee in the country dedicated to supporting pro-arts federal candidates, who are committed to advancing the nonprofit arts in America. Additionally, I’m making a second contribution to the Arts Action Fund to carry out its grassroots activities to train arts advocates across the nation.

Attached below is a copy of the email that our Executive Director Nina Ozlu Tunceli sent you last Thursday.  Join me as an arts champion. Please contribute to the Arts Action Fund today.

Thank you for your commitment to the arts in America.

Robert L. Lynch
President and CEO, Arts Action Fund
Treasurer, Arts Action Fund PAC

———————————————————————————————————————–

FROM:  Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Executive Director of the Arts Action Fund on 12/5/19

Dear Arts Advocate,

Contribute to The Arts Action Fund’s Year-End Campaign this Holiday Season!

Thanks to members like you, we’ve had another effective legislative year in securing an increase in funding for the arts and humanities! We kicked off the ArtsVote 2020 campaign by interviewing presidential candidates such as Mayor Pete Buttigieg in our ArtsVote 2020 podcast with Ben Folds. In addition, we’ve been training grassroots arts advocates in Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and North Carolina on how to ask key arts questions to presidential candidates campaigning in these early battleground states. Help us move into 2020 stronger than ever!

Will you make a year-end financial contribution to our ArtsVote campaign to help elevate the power of the arts as we fully enter the 2020 election year?

You can help stand up for the arts by:

  1. Contributing to our 2019 Year-End Campaign
  2. Using our Questions to Ask Pocket Card
  3. Signing and Sharing Our Arts Platform Petition

We can only succeed with your unwavering support. Keep the momentum going by being an ArtsVote champion today!

Make Your Year-End Gift to The Arts Action Fund by December 31, 2019.

Thank you for your generosity and have a happy holiday season!

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

P.S. Here is our official Year-End Letter to members, detailing the achievements we have made in this past year and how you can continue to help in this upcoming election year!

Take action
                          now!

Arts Action Alert! Please take two minutes to send your message to your U.S. Senators

Hello Arts Advocate,

While fiscal year (FY) 2020 began on Oct. 1, the U.S. Congress must still pass the 12 appropriation bills to fund the government through Sept. 30, 2020 (the government is currently operating under a continuing resolution [CR] through Nov. 21). At least one of your U.S. Senators sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee. They need to hear from you now about your support for robust federal arts funding and how it supports your community and state.

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed their version of the Interior Appropriations bill by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 84 – 9, that included $2 million in increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)! You may recall that the U.S. House bill, approved earlier this summer, provided a $12.5 million increase in funding to those agencies.

These positive results are the outcomes of grassroots advocacy—from Hill visits during the National Arts Action Summit, to the emails (like this one) advocates have been sending to their congressional delegation throughout the year.

As negotiations are ongoing to finish up FY 2020 funding, it is vital to call on U.S. Senate appropriators to include these remaining pro-arts funding levels in the final legislation.

This includes:

Bipartisan Senate passage of FY 2020 spending package that included the Interior Appropriations bill.
  • Education bill—includes arts education grant funds and a provision calling for maintaining a federal “report card” in arts education
  • Defense Department bill—includes language supporting creative arts therapies for service members
  • Veterans Department bill—includes language supporting creative arts therapies and $5 million for veterans
  • Justice Department bill—includes a provision supporting inclusion of arts-specific intervention strategies for juvenile justice programs

Please take two minutes to send your message to your U.S. Senators. Thank you for taking action to support these end-of-year funding priorities.


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Federal Funding For Cultural Arts Agencies Update

Dear Arts Advocate,

On June 25, the U.S. House strongly rejected President Trump’s budget request to eliminate both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by approving $167.5 million in funding for fiscal year (FY) 2020! This is an increase for both agencies of $12.5 million over the FY 2019 funding level of $155 million.

The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate for possible consideration (the Senate may also take up their own version of this appropriations bill).

Why Is This Important?

This is the third year in a row that the Trump administration has proposed a termination of both the NEA and the NEH in his budget proposal to the U.S. Congress. The past two years, Congress has rejected this request and moderately increased funding for the cultural agencies. This year, the House is sending an even stronger message of the importance of arts funding by increasing the appropriation by $12.5 million.

The funding increase matches the 2019 Arts Advocacy Day ask, which would help broaden access to the cultural, educational, and economic benefits of the arts and to advance creativity and innovation in communities across the United States. This also follows public witness testimony Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch gave before the Interior Subcommittee in February, asking for the cultural agencies to be funded at $167.5 million, as well as a Dear Colleague letter circulated by Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY)–asking for the same amount of funding for the NEA and NEH–signed by a record-number (184) of members of Congress.

We are hopeful that the Senate will follow the House’s lead in expanding funding for the NEA and NEH. We’ll be keeping close watch over every step of the appropriations process in case any threatening actions surface. Stay tuned for more updates after the July 4th recess!


Want to do more? Help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund.  Play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today– it’s free and easy to join!

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Congress Responded to Your Advocacy to Save Cultural Arts Agencies!

Americans for the Arts
                  - Arts Action Fund
              
Dear Arts Advocate,

The Democratically-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate have finally resolved with the President the details for the Omnibus Appropriations bill for FY’19 (4.5 months late) to avoid another partial government shutdown tomorrow. It’s expected that the President will sign the bill passed by both chambers into law by midnight tonight. As anticipated, both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) each received a $2 increase to bring their annual budget up to $155 million. Several other federal cultural agencies and programs (see chart below) received healthy increases as well.

Congress responded to your advocacy calls, emails, and visits to save these vital cultural agencies and took it a step further by actually increasing their annual budgets by $2 million each, despite President Trump’s attempt to terminate them.  The NEA and NEH administer thousands of arts and humanities grants to state and local nonprofit cultural organizations, universities, and governmental agencies in all 50 states and U.S. Territories and 435 congressional districts across the nation.

These FY’19 appropriations levels will be in place through the federal government’s fiscal year ending September 30, 2019. On March 5th, arts advocates kick-off Arts Advocacy Day for a much larger increase for the cultural agencies FY’20 budget, beginning October 1, 2019.

Please support our ArtsVote2020 grassroots and political efforts to build an even stronger pro-arts Congress.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

Take action now!

Support the Arts This Holiday Season

Americans for the Arts
                  - Arts Action Fund
              
Dear Arts Advocate,

Let’s Celebrate This Holiday Season.

We #SavedtheNEA. Thanks to members, like you, who supported our

       

View real-time results
of the campaign by clicking
on the thermometer.

advocacy campaign, signed petitions, sent emails to and met with Members of Congress, and supported pro-arts candidates through the Arts Action Fund PAC, we were able to save (and even increase) public funding for nonprofit arts organizations across America. Let’s now begin 2019 strong.

Would you contribute to our Year-End Campaign with a financial gift?Help us reach our goal of $30,000 by December 31st.

Continue to Be an Arts Champion!

You are essential to the grassroots movement to advance public funding for the arts and arts education. Your contributions allow us to:

  • Financially support those candidates who demonstrate support and leadership for the arts.
  • Produce our biennial Congressional Arts Report Card.
  • Generate ArtsVote campaigns to build political clout and voter engagement at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Rally national support against attacks to the arts.
  • Keep our network of 400,000 Arts Action Fund members informed and ready to take action through timely alerts.

Keep the momentum going. Make Your Year-End Gift Today to the Arts Action Fund PAC.

Have a safe, joyous and peaceful Holiday Season.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

P.S. Please know that 100 percent of your PAC contributions support pro-arts candidates across the country.

Take action
                          now!

Federal Arts Funding Update October 2018

Americans for the Arts - Arts Action Fund
              
Dear Arts Advocate,

Congress was able to pass a large funding bill on September 28th to avoid a federal government shutdown, which included final FY’19 funding for the military and several education-based agencies. The bill also included temporary funding in the form of a Continuing Resolution (C/R) for the balance of the federal government’s agencies and programs, including the National Endowment for the Arts. The C/R will provide flat funding at FY’18 levels temporarily until December 7, 2018, so that Congress has enough time to pass these remaining bills at hopefully the higher proposed FY’19 levels.

Please note that even if there are major shifts in party control following the midterm elections, newly elected members will not be sworn into office until January 2019. However, we would still anticipate disruption in the legislative timeline and process. Please support our ArtsVote2018 grassroots and political efforts to build a strong pro-arts Congress.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

P.S. Also last week, Americans for the Arts released Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018, one of the largest national public opinion surveys of American perceptions and attitudes towards the arts and arts funding. The new research demonstrates that Americans continue to be highly engaged in the arts and believe more strongly than ever that the arts promote personal well-being, help us understand other cultures, are essential to a well-rounded education, and that government has an important role in funding the arts.

Take action now!

National Arts In Education Week

 

National Arts in Education Week 2018
Dear Artists, Arts Professionals and Art Enthusiasts,

Join us in celebrating National Arts In Education Week 2018 from September 9-15.

Designated by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 names the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education and its supporters joins together in communities across the country to tell the story of the transformative power of the arts in education.National Arts in Education Week 2018

In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law and its many arts-friendly provisions began to take effect. Recently, Congress and the Administration, proposed drastic cuts to the authorized funding for these arts-friendly measures. Sign the petition to U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos to encourage her to take action in ensuring equitable access to arts education so that every student in America succeeds.

In 2018, it is a particularly important time to celebrate arts education as we face the challenges in Washington and through states around the nation in fully realizing the goal of equitable access to arts education for every student.

This fall, our municipal, education and state leaders are engaged in planning, budgeting, and enacting of laws which will impact arts education. They need to know about the impact the arts have on young peoples’ lives and that they must support the arts in every community and every school in America. Click to send a customizable letter to the editor of your local paper now to tell them how and why the arts matter in education!

After taking your actions, you can join the movement of thousands of arts education advocates celebrating National Arts in Education Week. There are a number of others ways you can participate through social media. Take part in the visibility campaign during the week of September 9-15, 2018 by using the hashtag, #BecauseOfArtsEd. People from all walks of life can share their story of the transformative power of the arts in their own education and the impact the arts have had on their work and life.

  • Post on Facebook. Tell the world #BecauseOfArtsEd story on Facebook. Let us know what you are doing now in work and life and how arts education has a positive impact with a photo! Be sure to use #ArtsEdWeek, too.
  • Send a tweet.  Share your quick #BecauseOfArtsEd story on Twitter. Be sure to include an image or video along with #ArtsEdWeek.
  • Share a photo. Post your favorite arts education photo on Instagram along with your #BecauseOfArtsEd story about the impact of arts education on your life. Be sure to use #ArtsEdWeek.

REGISTER MY INTEREST

Be sure to do your part to advocate to our decision makers and bring attention to the cause of arts education!

National Arts in Education Week 2018


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U.S. House Rejects Cut to NEA!

Dear Arts Advocates,

Thanks to your record-levels of calls, emails, and tweets to your Members of Congress in the past few days, we have good news!

Just a few moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives soundly defeated an amendment that would have cut funding the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).  The House voted down the Grothman amendment by a vote of 114 – 297!  This is one of the largest vote margins in support of the Endowments in the U.S. House!  Read Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert L. Lynch’s statement here.

This bipartisan showing and resounding vote is a testament to the power of the arts in our communities, schools, lives, and careers. There hasn’t been a floor vote like this since 2011. We are proud and excited to know publicly, and on the record, just how strongly supported the National Endowments are by our elected officials in Congress on both sides of the aisle.

During last night’s floor debate on the amendment, Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) and Congressional Arts Caucus co-Chairs Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) all spoke out in support for the arts and the Endowments.

“This amendment would have devastating consequence on critical work for the National Endowment for the Arts at Walter Reed Medical Center, 11 other clinical sites across the country that are supporting therapy service.”
–Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA)
“I am the Republican chair of both the Arts Caucus and the Humanities Caucus in this House, and these programs do wonderful work throughout the entire Nation, in every hamlet in America and, of course, supporting our veterans.”
–Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
“The NEA and the NEH have strong, bipartisan support on this committee, and I had really hoped the days of attacking these agencies were behind us.  Maybe they seem like a good political target for those who don’t understand the ways the arts and humanities affect our daily lives, but the economic benefits are undeniable for big cities, small towns, and everywhere in between.”
–Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME)

What Happens Next
Now that this amendment to cut the funding for the Endowments has been defeated, the U.S. House is expected to pass the Interior funding bill in its entirety later today.  Both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are proposing $2 million increases to the agencies, bringing both of their budgets up to $155 million for FY 2019.  Next week, the U.S. Senate is expected to take up the Interior funding bill for consideration. A conference committee would then iron-out differences between the U.S. House and U.S. Senate bills to present a final version for the President’s signature.

Thanks to your advocacy year-round and at key moments, strong bipartisan support for the arts and humanities is possible. Thank you for being an arts advocate.


 
To share this message on social media, click here!

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.

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www.ArtsActionFund.org