Thursday, September 23, 2010

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press@artsusa.org

WASHINGTON, DC -September 23, 2010- The United States House Representatives unanimously passed Resolution 1582by voice vote: "Honoring and saluting Americans for the Arts on its 50th anniversary." The House Resolution was sponsored by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), longtime Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chair, along with 28 co-sponsors including a number of Representatives who spoke on its behalf: Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA) Co-Chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI), and Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ).

The Resolution spans the 50-year history of Americans for the Arts from its origin in 1960 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to the current day and also addresses the leadership of President and CEO Robert Lynch who has led the organization for 25 years. Representative Slaughter spoke to the accomplishments of Americans for the Arts in her introduction to the Resolution:

"I thank Americans for the Arts and all their wonderful staff and all the people that have devoted their working careers to this noble effort and for their wonderful, fine achievements over the past 50 years. I am sure that the next 50 will be filled with even more accomplishments, and that we will all continue to enjoy the richness that the arts provide to each of our lives."

The Resolution recognizes a number of key contributions Americans for the Arts has made to our nation including:

  • playing an integral role in the establishment of the National Endowment for the Arts;
  • providing leadership and training to a network of Arts and Business Councils, Business Committees for the Arts, State arts agencies, State arts advocacy organizations, and 5,000 community-based local arts agencies and cultural organizations across the country;
  • creating groundbreaking research which demonstrates that nonprofit cultural organizations generate $166.2 billion in economic activity every year in the United States supporting 5.7 million jobs; and
  • focusing on the importance of arts education for American's children and creating the national, high-visibility "The Arts. Ask for More" PSA campaign.

The Resolution also recognizes Arts Advocacy Day, an annual event hosted by Americans for the Arts in cooperation with the Congressional Arts Caucus which brings more than 500 people from across the country to the nation's Capitol. Also recognized was the 23-year history of the annual Americans for the Arts Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy, which is free and open to the public and has featured such notable artists and policymakers as Maya Angelou, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Leonard Garment, Wynton Marsalis, Representatives John Brademas and Barbara Jordan, Senator Alan K. Simpson, and Robert Redford.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it has a record of 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

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