Elected officials are inundated with information, but they are more likely to read an article published by their own association and are more likely to trust a research report that is endorsed by their group. These public partnerships play a vital role in communicating the value of the arts and arts education to elected officials.
These partners are essential for successful arts funding and policy nationwide. Our partnerships take on different characteristics, but generally include providing speakers for their association conferences, writing articles in their newsletters, our jointly presented Public Leadership in the Arts Award to each level of official, and serving as a resource to the associations' staff and members. Lastly, the associations partner with Americans for the Arts on research reports and projects such as the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study.
The United States Conference of Mayors
The United States Conference of Mayors is the oldest Americans for the Arts public partner, dating back almost 25 years. Each year, Americans for the Arts sponsors an arts breakfast at the USCM’s Winter Meeting in Washington, DC where we present our Public Leadership in the Arts Award to two mayors (one of a city with a population of 100,000 or greater and one with a population of less than 100,000), a governor, and one or two nationally known artists.
At the USCM, the arts and culture come under the authority of the Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports (TAPES) Committee, chaired by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Americans for the Arts works with Mayor Landrieu and the TAPES Committee to submit various arts-related resolutions for consideration and adoption by the committee and then the entire conference. We use these resolutions throughout the year to encourage other elected officials to support the arts in their community or state.
2016 Resolutions Passed by the USCM Supporting the Arts:
- Arts as a Strategy for Education Reform
- National Arts and Humanities Month
- Arts and the 2016 Presidential Election
- Arts Funding for FY 2017 Federal Appropriations
- Supporting America's Creative Economy Through the C.R.E.A.T.E. Act
- Cultural Equity and the Full Creative Life for All
- The 2015 Local Arts Agencies Census
- White House Summit on the Arts
- Funding Arts and Healing Therapy Across the Military Continuum
Have a question about our partnership with The United States Conference of Mayors? Please contact Nina Ozlu Tunceli.
National League of Cities
The National League of Cities(NLC) and Americans for the Arts established a public partnership in 2007 when they agreed to become a national partner for the Arts & Economic Prosperity III report. Since then, Americans for the Arts has written articles for NLC’s monthly newspaper (now a blog) and has spoken at its annual conference. NLC also recently renewed its sponsorship of our Arts & Economic Prosperity IV.
At the NLC, the Human Development Committee proposes policies relating to the arts and culture. The adopted federal policy positions guide the NLC’s federal advocacy efforts and focus on federal actions, programs, and proposals that directly impact municipalities.
National Association of Counties
The National Association of Counties (NACo) and Americans for the Arts established a partnership in 1999 when the two organizations first recognized a county official with the County Arts Leadership award, which is part of Americans for the Arts' Public Leadership in the Arts Awards series. The award is currently presented at NACo's Awards Luncheon at its annual conference. Since then, Americans for the Arts has gone on to write articles for NACo News, its monthly publication, provided speakers at its conferences, and serve as an arts resource to its staff and members.
The NACo Arts and Culture Commission was established in 1997. Americans for the Arts Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs has served on the Commission since 2006 and is a full voting member. Each year, Americans for the Arts sponsors a Commission dinner and awards ceremony at NACo’s annual conference. Americans for the Arts also works with NACo's Health County Initiative and their Veterans Committee.
National Conference of State Legislatures
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and Americans for the Arts have partnered to present a state legislator with an award for State Arts Leadership at NCSL’s annual conference each year since 2006. The award is part of Americans for the Arts Public Leadership in the Arts Awards series and is presented at a general session during its legislative conference.
NCSL’s Labor and Economic Development Committee has jurisdiction over arts and culture within the organization. Each year, Americans for the Arts sponsors a committee luncheon/session focusing on the arts and culture. Americans for the Arts also works with NCSL's Education Committee and their Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Every third year, NCSL debates and renews a policy statement on the arts and culture. The current policy expires in 2017 and states:
- NCSL encourages the federal government to support arts and culture through investments in State and Local programs that will promote economic development, job creation and community revitalization.
- NCSL encourages collaboration and coordination among the Federal Government’s disparate arts, culture and economic development agencies as they consider State and local programs ensure that the policy and program outcomes meet the needs and goals identified by state policymakers.
In collaboration with Americans for the Arts staff, NCSL recently featured an article on Arts in Education in the fall 2014 issue of "State Legislatures,” its print publication. Please click here to read the full article“Art Smart,” written by Sarah Shelton.
National Lieutenant Governors Association
The National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) and Americans for the Arts established a partnership in 2006. Each year at the NLGA Annual Conference, Americans for the Arts hosts a reception and presents a lieutenant governor with a State Arts Leadership Award as a part of the Public Leadership in Arts Awards series.
Americans for the Arts holds a unique position at NLGA as the only organization that is officially recognized as a partner of NLGA. Every five years, most recently in 2016, NLGA reviews and renews this partnership, which allows Americans for the Arts staff to present the Public Leadership in the Arts Award, attend every national meeting, and suggest speakers.
Resolutions Passed by the NLGA Supporting the Arts:
- Resolution Continueing the Public Leadership in the Arts Award [2016, PDF]
- Resolution in Support of Designating the Week of September 13-19, 2015 as National Arts in Education Week [2015, PDF]
- Recognizing the Importance of Arts and Culture in Tourism to the Economy of the United States [2014, PDF]
- Resolution In Support Of STEM Education Initiative [2014. PDF]
- Resolution in Support of Recognizing the Importance of the Arts to the United States and its Economy: Building Healthier States Through the Arts [2011, PDF]
- Resolution To Continue The Public Leadership In The Arts Award [2010, PDF]
- Honoring Americans for the Arts on their 50th Anniversary 
- Urges Support Of The National Arts and Humanities Month [2008, PDF]
- In Support of the Public Awareness Campaign for Arts Education [2008, PDF]
- Partnership Resolution [2006, PDF]
National Governors Association
Within the National Governors Association (NGA), the the Economic Development and Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over arts and culture. The NGA Center for Best Practices provides governors with information about how to use the arts effectively in their states to unite communities, create economic opportunity, and improve the quality of life. They also produced a report in 2012, New Engines of Growth: Five Roles for Arts, Culture and Design.
Each year, Americans for the Arts presents a State Arts Leadership Award as a part of the Public Leadership in Arts Awards series to a governor. Further, Americans for the Arts staff works with NGA to produce periodic research reports in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts.