Preparing Your Organization and Your Donors for Shifts in the Charitable Tax Deduction

On January 1, the 2018 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act went into effect, a substantial change to the U.S. tax code which has the potential to negatively impact arts and culture nonprofit organizations in a variety of ways. One of the most significant impacts will come in changes related to the thresholds and amounts associated with the charitable tax deduction. This 100-year-old provision was designed to stimulate giving to charities and other organizations serving the public good by providing an opportunity to claim a deduction as a reduction in an individual’s tax burden. While the repercussions of the federal tax code changes are still emerging, and corresponding shifts in state-by-state tax policy may impact your situation, the notes that follow are an introductory primer. If you have questions about state-level implications, we recommend you reach out to your state comptroller or state association of nonprofits.

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.

The Music in Me

Jada Quin is a 17-year-old singer-songwriter residing in Howell, NJ. She incorporates her own life experiences and those of others around her into her soul-searching lyrics. We had a wonderful conversation and it was great to share ways that our passions—music and visual art—while different from each other, provide us with similar delight and comfort and are indispensable parts of our lives. Coincidentally, but not surprisingly, we both took a path toward developing our talents with the help of an inspired arts educator.

Morris County leader lobbies for the arts in Washington

Monday, August 7, 2017

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Morris Arts Executive Director Tom Werder traveled to Capitol Hill this July to speak to lawmakers about the importance of the arts in New Jersey. Werder joined arts advocates from around the country at a press conference organized by Americans for the Arts, where they discussed data from Arts and Economic Prosperity 5, a recent study that measured the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry.

Arts and culture nonprofits create over 14,000 full-time jobs in New Jersey

Thursday, August 3, 2017

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Despite the popular stereotype of the starving artist, nonprofit arts and culture organizations put tens of thousands of people to work. Arts and Economic Prosperity 5, the latest economic impact study by Americans for the Arts, revealed that New Jersey’s nonprofit arts and culture sector supports 14,342 full-time equivalent jobs and over $340 million in annual household income.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: How the Nonprofit Arts & Culture Industry Impacts the Economy in Your Community

When recently asked how best to advocate for the arts in the current environment, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM)—co-chair of the Senate Cultural Caucus and chief sponsor of the CREATE Act—was unequivocal: “Start by telling every one of your Senators about the economic benefits of the arts.” This familiar refrain is one we have heard for decades from city council chambers to governor mansions to the halls of Congress—and it works. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 does just that. It changes the conversation about the arts from that of a “charity” to one about an “industry” that provides both cultural and economic benefits to the community.

Annual Convention Saturday Keynote Announced

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will share her thoughts on the role of the arts in today's political climate

Monday, May 8, 2017

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will share her thoughts on the role of the arts in today's political climate in the June 17 keynote plenary session at Americans for the Arts' Annual Convention.

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.

New Data Showcase Economic Impact of Arts and Culture in U.S. and States

Arts and cultural economic activity accounted for 4.2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product—$729.6 billion—in 2014

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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Sure, Broadway and Hollywood employ lots of creative people. But when it comes to artistic and cultural work, not all the action is on the coasts. New data show arts and culture account for a larger share of jobs in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado than they do nationally. For the first time, the Bureau of Economic Analysis has produced statistics spotlighting the economic impact of arts and cultural activities in each state and the District of Columbia.

Another Funding Extension

No Agreement Yet on FY2017 Funding Impacting the NEA

Friday, April 28, 2017

Today, Congress gave themselves another week to make FY2017 federal funding decisions, by passing another "continuing resolution" to keep the lights on. During the coming week, final negotiations are anticipated on this work, which was due to be completed last Fall when the fiscal year first began. For the current fiscal year, the Trump Administration would like Congress to immediately cut $15 million from the NEA and NEH apiece. For next year, FY2018, the Administration would like to fully terminate the two cultural agencies.

The Nation’s Report Card in the Arts is Released

The 2016 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in the Arts is Released by the National Assessment Governing Board

Monday, April 24, 2017

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On Tuesday, April 25, the National Assessment Governing Board and the National Center for Education Statistics releases results of The Nation's Report Card: 2016 Arts. This report will demonstrate national Grade 8 results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, including findings by demographic subgroups and region. The release event will explore what the data show about student skills and how the availability of resources and opportunities in arts education may shape these skills.

Robert Lynch Responds to Hill Commentary Calling to End Funding for the NEA

In his op-ed (“The case for cutting National Endowment of the Arts funding,” April 2), David D’Amato states that “Government-funded art is publicly-funded art only once government is lazily conflated with the public. It is not the public (whatever indeed that may mean) that decides which art projects are to be supported with taxpayer dollars.” That statement is simply inaccurate. Mr. D’Amato must be unaware that the public is embedded in the entire grantmaking process at the NEA. This in part is why the NEA has received wide support from both Republicans and Democrats for half a century. 

House Recesses, But Not Before Speaking Out on the Arts

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus, led a one-hour Special Order debate on the U.S. House floor for members of Congress to share their stories of support for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

Advice for Arts Advocates Everywhere

At a time of volatile change, we must be relentless in voicing a strong and clear message. Learning more about our elected officials and then actively engaging with them will serve to advance pro-arts policies that will impact our society and communities for years to come. 

Americans for the Arts Ads on Capitol Hill: The NEA Supports America

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

To kick off National Arts Advocacy Day on Tuesday, March 21, Americans for the Arts sent a message in three frequently read newspapers to legislators and staffers on Capitol Hill about the importance of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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