Increased Scope of Legislative Priorities Bears Fruit

Posted by Mr. Peter Gordon, Feb 05, 2020

In a process that began over a year ago, the Arts have gained increased support and funding through the Congressional appropriations process. While traditional legislative priorities—the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, arts education, etc.—garnered increased funding and support language from legislators, new areas—creative arts therapies for veterans and service members and arts programs for at-risk youths—also were recognized and encouraged by appropriators for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding cycle. These additional legislative wins were made possible by an active Congressional Arts Caucus and Senate Cultural Caucus, a growing coalition of pro-arts organizations, and motivated grassroots advocates in every state. As the FY 2021 appropriations process is set to begin next week with the delivery of President Trump’s budget to Congress (scheduled for Feb. 10), our work to build off last year’s successes has already begun. Collaboration with our National Partners on the key issues for the 2020 Congressional Arts Handbook are ongoing, and we are gearing up for the 2020 National Arts Action Summit. 

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Art in Politics: Why Both Matter

Posted by Shannon McDermott, Feb 22, 2018

Every day at work, I am reminded that the intersection between art and government continues grow in importance. Funding, allocation, and government spending is essential to developing our education system. I intern for Americans for the Arts because advocating for equitable access to art and arts education vastly improves our education system. Research shows that marginalized communities consistently have little to no access to arts education in schools. Some of the most diverse voices are being shut out of conversations and art creation. We are left with an education system that refuses to elevate some of the most integral voices in diversity for our dialogue and our art. I had the privilege of art shaping my entire childhood, but there are some places youth have no access to art at all due to systemic inequality in our education system. 

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Understanding, Connecting, and Seeking the Common Good

Posted by Julia Kirt, Feb 20, 2018

Talking with voters, framing issues, raising money. What’s happening to me and how can it feel so natural? For the past 20+ years I’ve been an arts administrator. For the past three, I’ve led our state’s arts advocacy organization, Oklahomans for the Arts. Now, I am running for State Senate in Oklahoma’s District 30. We focus so much attention on elected officials in arts advocacy. Now I’m striving to become one and it feels like just the right conclusion. I felt pushed off the sidelines into running for office from my experiences advocating for arts and education. We’ve led the nation in state cuts to education, and arts funding has been cut almost 50% in the past eight years. Marking this more-than-year-long marathon transition, here are some ways I’m finding that advocacy compares to and differs from running for office.

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Eight for 2018: New Obstacles and Opportunities in the Arts

Posted by Mr. Robert Lynch, Mar 08, 2018

Over the first quarter of 2018 I’ve had the great opportunity to spend time listening to the wisdom of my colleagues in the field. From these gatherings, I continue to see first-hand the spectacular array of work and service offered by the non-profit arts community in our country. It is a vibrant, effective, optimistic, inciteful, and growing field that uplifts our communities across the country. Despite challenges in funding and support, the creativity of our arts field surges forward. There are new benchmarks to celebrate and new obstacles to overcome, all leading I hope to new opportunities for the arts. Here are eight observations for 2018.

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Remembering Louise (1929 – 2018)

Posted by Mr. Robert Lynch, Apr 18, 2018

On March 16, 2018, a dear friend, tireless advocate, and arts leader passed away, U.S. Representative Louise M. Slaughter. I have known Louise for 32 years. We’ve partnered in nearly that many Arts Advocacy Days. It has always been my honor to stand with Louise. I’ve stood with her on over 100 occasions in the last 23 years while she co-chaired the Congressional Arts Caucus. Americans for the Arts and the nation’s arts community owe a debt of gratitude to Louise Slaughter. There has never been an arts advocate with more tenacity, fight, humor, and spirit of generosity. May she rest in peace knowing that she made the world a better place through the arts, and may her trailblazing pave the way to more arts leaders recognizing the transformational power of the arts on our lives, communities, economy, and nation.

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Welcome to Innovations in State Arts Advocacy Blog Salon!

Posted by Ms. Elisabeth Dorman, Apr 11, 2016

Who are the players in statewide arts advocacy you might ask?

Text book speaking, state arts advocacy leaders and their organizations are the primary source of advocacy promoting arts and arts education friendly policy from state governments. Many statewide arts advocacy leaders belong to Americans for the Arts’ State Arts Action Network (SAAN), so you may also hear them referred to as SAAN members.

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