policy and advocacy
Arts Advocacy Day 2009 Held on Capitol Hill
On March 31, 2009, Americans for the Arts, in conjunction with the Congressional Arts Caucus and 84 national arts organizations from around the country, enlisted arts, education, entertainment, and policy leaders to come to Capitol Hill for Arts Advocacy Day 2009. More than 550 arts leaders and advocates, including President and CEO of Americans for the Arts Robert L. Lynch, fanned out across Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress and their staff. In these meetings, advocates used the 2009 Congressional Arts Handbook to share information on important issues affecting the arts. In addition, more than 4500 e-mails were sent to members of Congress, encouraging them to take action on several arts-related issues.
The Arts Advocacy Day call to action included:
Ask Congress to support a budget of $200 million for the NEA in the FY 2010 Interior Appropriations bill to restore funding for the creation, preservation, and presentation of the arts in America through the NEA’s core programs—Access to Artistic Excellence, Challenge America: Reaching Every Community, Federal/State Partnerships, and Learning in the Arts.
Increase Funding for Arts Education through the U.S. Department of Education
Ask Congress to support a $53 million funding level for the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts in Education programs in the FY 2010 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. The Arts in Education programs support newly emerging models in high-poverty schools that improve arts learning.
Allow Artists a Tax Deduction for Gifts of Their Own Work
We urge members of Congress to co-sponsor bipartisan legislation, S. 405 or H.R.1126, which would allow artists to take a fair-market value deduction for works given to and retained by nonprofit institutions.
You can read the full list of legislative priorities here.
Arts Advocacy Day officially kicked off at a Congressional Arts Breakfast on Capitol Hill, organized by Americans for the Arts in conjunction with the Congressional Arts Caucus. At the breakfast, Americans for the Arts and The U.S. Conference of Mayors jointly presented the 2009 Award for Congressional Arts Leadership to U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA). View the photo gallery here.
Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA)
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)
Musical performances at the event were given by:
Niv Askenazi, VSA arts Young Artist
Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS) and Peggo Hodes (wife of New Hampshire Rep. Paul Hodes)
For the third year in a row, in conjunction with Arts Advocacy Day, Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, hosted a hearing on the importance of investing in the arts. Rep. Dicks once again invited Americans for the Arts to organize a panel of witnesses to give testimony before the subcommittee which has jurisdiction over funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Focusing on the message of "The Arts = Jobs," the hearing was held on Tuesday, March 31, immediately following the Congressional Arts Breakfast. In addition to Americans for the Arts President Bob Lynch, witnesses included jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, legendary vocalist Linda Ronstadt, Reinvestment Fund President Jeremy Nowak, and internationally renowned singer/songwriter Josh Groban. Read more information about the witnesses and their testimony here.
The 22nd Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy was presented to a capacity crowd at the Kennedy Center on the eve of Arts Advocacy Day, March 30, 2009. This year's lecturer was world-renowned jazz musician, composer and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis, who dazzled and inspired his audience with a moving lecture mixed with performance titled The Ballad of the American Arts. Mr. Marsalis' lecture focused on the importance of arts and culture to the American identity and featured special performances throughout by members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Selected Press Coverage About Arts Advocacy Day
3/31–Associated Press: Groban, Marsalis, Press Congress for Arts Funding
3/31–U.S. News & World Report: Linda Ronstadt, Wynton Marsalis, and Josh Groban Pitch Congress
4/4–Newsweek: America in Harmony
View More Video and Press Highlights here.