Colorado Representative Leslie Herod Advocates for the Arts in General Assembly

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Nov 03, 2022

Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), presented Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod with the 2021 Public Leadership in the Arts Award for her work in advancing arts and culture, especially during the pandemic to help artists and arts organizations survive. As Chair of the Colorado House Appropriations Committee, she has used her influence to ensure that arts and culture are not only seen as economic engines but are treated with the respect they deserve. Rep. Herod is fond of comparing the economic impact of the state’s arts and culture sector to its ski industry. Aware that everyone in Colorado knows that the ski industry is huge in the state—supporting jobs and bringing in tax revenue—she notes that the ski industry is $4.8 billion dollars, while arts and culture is a $14.4 billion dollar industry, generating about three times more than the ski industry. Rep. Herod believes that the arts bring diverse groups of people together to inspire connections, create change, and support economic vibrancy. She believes that the shortest distance between people are their stories, and the arts open doors to conversations that define us as a community and address complex issues to create greater understanding. 

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How to Secure a Local Proclamation for National Arts & Humanities Month

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Sep 08, 2020

Proclamations are a wonderful way that your mayor, city council, or your city (or county) in general can easily show its support for the arts and culture. Each year, Americans for the Arts encourages advocates to work with their local and state elected officials to issue a proclamation declaring October National Arts & Humanities Month in their city, county, or state. They allow elected officials to easily demonstrate their support for the arts, offer a written document for advocates to use year-round to demonstrate the value of the arts and culture, and serve as a tool to engage other arts advocates in their local communities. For those who have never done this before, I thought that I would offer a how-to guide help you understand the process of obtaining a proclamation.

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A Strong Equation: How State Arts Advocacy Efforts are Paying Off!

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Feb 21, 2020

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) recently published their FY 2020 State Arts Agency Revenues Report. By any measure, the report paints a very positive picture for state funding of the arts, with year-to-year appropriations increasing by more than 37% to a grand total of almost $495 million in total legislative appropriations. Because the economy is doing well, it stands to reason that SAA appropriations would be higher. While it is true that a strong economy makes increases more likely, a strong economy alone cannot explain this year’s massive increase. There in an interesting equation at work: If your state has a State Arts Agency that is engaged in thoughtful programming, a strong statewide arts advocacy organization, and advocates who are proactively engaged with your state’s existing political leadership, more funding/pro-arts policy are possible! 

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Why I Support the Arts: Carrying on a Rockefeller Family Legacy

Posted by Ariana Rockefeller, Oct 02, 2019

My grandfather, David Rockefeller Sr., founded the Business Committee for the Arts in 1967 with a mission: to inspire business leaders to support the arts in the workplace, in education, and in the community. He believed that when businesses partner with the arts, it facilitates a mutually beneficial and inspiring collaboration. Today I carry on the philanthropic traditions and values exemplified by my grandparents by recognizing a responsibility to be an active and engaged participant in the community, both at home and globally. I am honored to be presenting Gensler and Access Gallery with the David Rockefeller pARTnership Award at the 2019 Arts and Business Partnership Awards on October 3. 

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How Hospital Art Collections Became Very Personal

Posted by Elysian McNiff Koglmeier, Sep 19, 2019

My son, Odin, surprised me and my husband at birth with a rare genetic syndrome—Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS). It affects the development of the bones and soft tissues in the face. Most affected individuals have underdeveloped facial bones, very small jaws, cleft palates, and no outer ears. Odin was rushed to Children’s Hospital Colorado on his 3rd day of life; his stay lasted for three months. I am not going to sugarcoat it—those three months were hard. I witnessed my son undergo two intrusive surgeries. For days I couldn’t pick him up and hold him. I had to put away his layette and my going-home outfit I had packed before his arrival. I gave away my nursing clothes. His nursery at home sat empty. Our own home became a truckstop—a pass-through for us to rest and eat. We practically lived at the hospital. Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” If that’s true, my soul during those three months was covered with the thickest mud. 

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August Arts Advocacy Challenge!

Posted by Lauren Cohen, Jul 31, 2019

So far, 2019 has been a banner year in the world of federal arts advocacy. Throughout the spring, we saw promising bipartisan benchmarks for support of an increased budget for the NEA in FY 2020. However, our work advocating for pro-arts policies doesn’t stop with funding for the NEA. Americans for the Arts, along with national coalition partners, has pursued more federal legislative priorities this year than ever before. From tax policy to transit, healthcare to education, we’re working to ensure expanded arts access and opportunity throughout the country. You can get more information and send a message to your congressional delegation about any of these bills through our Action Center.

The U.S. Congress will take its traditional month-long recess in August. Members of Congress will be in their home states and districts holding town halls, making visits to local organizations and businesses, and taking meetings in their local offices. Wondering how to continue your arts advocacy momentum during the long recess? Participate in the August Arts Advocacy Challenge to stay involved and make an impact.

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