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UPDATED! 10 Reasons to Support the Arts

By Randy Cohen

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.


  
     

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

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.

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.


Arts and Politics in the Trump Era

View the #AFTACON session presentation on Arts and Politics in the Trump Era

Federal Advocacy Update

Read the latest update on federal advocacy.