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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Artist Legislator

Posted by Mr. John R. Killacky, Jan 09, 2020

I believe my artistic practice parallels legislative actions. Moving bills from drafting to committee deliberations onto floor votes in both the House and Senate also is an iterative collaborative process informed by myriad voices: stakeholders, advocates, community members, and other legislators, in addition to the governor. Bills constantly evolve and change. Compromise may be the best that can be achieved, given conflicting input, needs, and resources. In politics, as in art, vexing problems are best tackled from multiple perspectives with stakeholders involved. Resiliency and adaptability are also essential for best outcomes in life, art, and politics.

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Arts Advocacy through a politician’s lens

Posted by Mr. John R. Killacky, Oct 29, 2019

Since being elected to the Vermont House of Representatives last fall, my perspective has dramatically changed as to how best advocate for the arts and, in fact, how siloed arts organizations and their funders are. My legislative work focuses on economic development, tourism, heath, education, affordable housing, environment, and agriculture, as well as vulnerable populations: veterans, prisoners, the homeless, those suffering from substance use disorders, and survivors of physical and sexual abuse. Art is barely present in these conversations, but is so needed.

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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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Arts and the creative economy

Posted by Mr. John R. Killacky, Jul 17, 2019

On my recent road trips across Vermont, I was reminded how essential cultural organizations are to the vitality of each of their communities, and how the arts are, in fact, economic drivers in urban and rural economic development. The Flynn Center, which I ran before becoming a legislator, employs 300+ people with an annual payroll of over $2.8 million. The Vermont Arts Council recently released a study showing that the creative economy in the Northeast Kingdom employs 3,327 individuals, 9.4% of the workforce of 35,500. The Arts Council is expanding its research statewide to illustrate how substantial the arts sector is in each community. As a state legislator, I feel Vermont can do more for the arts. As we seek to encourage younger people to relocate here, added support for the cultural sector will make our region even more attractive and deliver immense returns on investment.

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