Monday, August 20, 2012

ArtsSpeak brings prominent artists and top elected federal, state and local elected officials together for a conversation on the future of the arts and arts education in America. ArtsJam is an intimate concert celebrating the arts and arts education featuring performances by major recording artists. All events are part of ArtsVote2012, a national initiative launched by the Americans for the Arts Action Fund geared towards ensuring that the arts impact federal elections.

During the Republican National Convention events, ArtsSpeak will be held at the Tampa Theatre from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28. The event will be moderated by Fox News Channel television host Mike Huckabee. Speakers at the event include Honorable Doretha Edgecomb of the Tampa School Board, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert, California Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, Tampa Bay Times Marketing Director Kerry O’Reilly, Mesa, AZ Mayor and Vice President of The United States Conference of Mayors Scott Smith and former New York Yankee and Latin Grammy Award-nominated artist Bernie Williams. Opening remarks will be provided by Executive Director of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, FL Art Keeble and Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch. ArtsSpeak will immediately be followed by ARTSjam, which will feature Amaury Gutiérrez, 2011 Latin Grammy Award-winner for Best Singer-Songwriter Album along with Grammy Award-winning musician and producer Dan Warner.

During the Democratic National Convention, ArtsSpeak will be held at the Mint Museum from 3:00– 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, September 4.  Bernie Williams will again be among the prominent artists and top elected federal, state and local officials at the event. He will be joined by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, NC Secretary of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle, Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo and Mint Museum of Art Board of Trustees Chair Jay Everette, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley. Opening remarks will be provided by Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and Lynch. Williams and his band will also be the headlining act at ArtsJam, which will be held at the McGlohon Theatre from 11p.m. -1 a.m.

“It is essential that voters are aware of the importance of the arts, as part of this presidential election process,” said Nina Ozlu Tunceli, executive director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund.  “Not only does art fuel innovation in our workforce and boost the economy, but it is also a powerful generator of the human spirit.  It is crucial that the next Administration embrace the arts as a key part of their vision for America.”

ARTS speak and ARTS jam events are presented in partnership with the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), The Recording Academy, The United States Conference of Mayors and The Arts Council of Hillsborough County and Arts & Science Council of Charlotte.

ArtsVote2012 is coordinated by the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)(4) membership organization affiliated with Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

Americans for the Arts Action Fund is the nation’s only grassroots advocacy organization committed to ensure that candidates for public office adopt thoughtful arts policies. Launched in 2004, it seeks to enlist and mobilize citizen activists who will help ensure that arts-friendly public policies are adopted at the Federal, state, and local levels, and public and private resources are maximized. Additional information is available at

Catherine Vacovsky