Arts Advocacy Day Is Coming

Although years may really just be a number, in its 31 years, Arts Advocacy Day has seen six different U.S. presidents spanning both political parties. It’s witnessed sixteen different congressional sessions and eight different Speakers of the U.S. House. Through it all, every year, attendees hear that “the arts are bipARTtisan.” Because, no matter who’s in office, arts advocacy matters. Funding decisions are made every year. Who’s deciding this year may not be deciding next year. Who’s to remember what happened before? Who’s to know why it matters? Who’s to learn from each other? The answer is us. All of us. All of us together.

Advocacy & Arts: Have You Seen the Ads?

Elected leaders care deeply about the areas they represent and the views of their constituents who elect them every few years. They may not agree with what they think, but they do care to know what they think—and it is certainly one key factor that weighs on how they cast their votes, what issues they focus on, and what areas they deepen their knowledge. Since we know that ads bring attention to issues, inspire and educate the public, and mobilize grassroots, they are one great way to invite data and impact stories that can lead to policy change. And, we know that legislators read their local newspapers, so the message gets through.

Supporting the Health of Our Veterans with the Arts

As Veterans Day approaches, we wanted to take pause to reflect on the transformative power that access to the arts has on veterans, their families, and the communities they call home. Today and tomorrow, we will be publishing blog posts exploring the impact that access to the arts and creative arts therapies has had on veterans’ recovery and reintegration—and sometimes even redeployment. But for every veteran and service member, as well as their families and loved ones, who has felt and benefitted from the transformative power of the arts, there are some decision-makers who need to be convinced. 

The Four Minutes That Changed STEM to STEAM

If you were in Washington, DC a few weeks ago, you might have participated in several events surrounding the National Arts Action Summit, now marking its 29th consecutive year of arts advocacy days on Capitol Hill.

One of those events might have been the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy, delivered by John Maeda, designer, technologist, and catalyst behind the national movement to transform STEM to STEAM. He was introduced by co-chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR).

How did this duo come together before a crowd of over 1,200 to talk about STEAM on the national stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts—for a lecture about how STEAM makes STEM taste better?

“Waiving” Goodbye to No Child Left Behind

Over the last few years, Americans for the Arts has been covering each attempt by Congress to reauthorize the Elementary & Secondary Education Act, most recently recognized as No Child Left Behind.
 
We are pleased to say that this might be the final in a series of blog posts capturing the legislative efforts over the past few years. We began covering legislative developments in 2011, 2013 and then the 2015 actions (January, February, July, and September) that led to this final bill.

Wait, This Year Was Fast…Too Fast?

It’s true. Bringing Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), a former governor, together with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), a former preschool teacher, has led to legislative advancement usually unseen and unheard of: unanimous Senate committee approval; an 81-17 Senate vote; nearly unanimous (38-1) Conference Committee approval, and now expected final passage in both houses and a presidential signature! Wow.

 

ESEA Reauthorization – Conference Committee Coming

August recess, August district work period, August vacation. Whichever phrase you might prefer, Congress is now back in session. That means a return to a tremendous amount of pending work, including the start of a formal conference committee to attempt to write a final bill to reauthorize the long expired Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

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