Understanding, Connecting, and Seeking the Common Good

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.

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 Wagoner Arts Alliance worked with local students to create pieces of art to be displayed throughout town.  The high school art classes participated as well as students from Brighter Futures. Brighter Futures is a free day program for children. The Art Alliance provided the paper for the students to work on.The students had a lot of fun creating the cards. I was blown away by their talent and creativity. The students were excited to have their art work on display around town.

The Oklahoma arts and culture industry is big business

Monday, August 7, 2017

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FOX 25 News reported from Oklahoma City, where the nonprofit arts and culture industry helps the local economy thrive. Arts and Economic Prosperity 5, a study by Americans for the Arts, found that arts and culture nonprofits generate over $602 million of economic activity in the Greater Oklahoma City region, and over $872 million in the state as a whole.

New Resources Summarize IMLS Support for Museums and Libraries in Each State

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) released reports with detailed views of IMLS funding for the past six years (FY 2011 through FY 2016) for every state across the nation and the District of Columbia, including total dollars and counts of IMLS grants and awards, as well as amounts of grantee matches or state government maintenance of effort levels.

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.

Americans for the Arts Unveils Findings from Fifth National Economic Impact Study of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations and Their Audiences

Study Demonstrates That Nonprofit Arts Are An Economic, Employment Powerhouse

Saturday, June 17, 2017

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A new national study by Americans for the Arts finds that the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity in 2015—$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related spending by their audiences. This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue. 

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.

Americans for the Arts Statement on Bipartisan Agreement to Fund the Nation’s Federal Cultural Agencies and Programs for FY2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

Americans for the Arts president and CEO Robert L. Lynch issued a statement following the signing of the bipartisan agreement. 

Pre-Order Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Materials

Fifth National Arts and Culture Economic Impact Study to be Released June 17

Friday, May 5, 2017

Now is the time to preorder study publications detailing results of  the fifth national Arts Economic & Prosperity study, with data from 341 partners across the country to share with stakeholders in your community, including mayors, board members, business and community leaders and other elected officials.

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.

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.

Allied Arts Wins $100,000 in National Brackets for Good Competition

Monday, April 17, 2017

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Allied Arts, a United Arts Fund in Oklahoma City, has won a national philanthropic tournament, Brackets for Good. The only Oklahoma-based nonprofit to compete, Allied Arts out-fundraised 63 nonprofit organizations nationwide during the five-week competition and raised $248,232 in the sixth and final round of head-to-head competition and received a $100,000 grand prize from the title sponsor, AT&T. 

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.

Americans for the Arts to Present Arts Advocacy Day, Push to Save National Endowment for the Arts

Friday, March 17, 2017

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Americans for the Arts today announces a schedule of events for its Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy and Arts Advocacy Day, as part of the National Arts Action Summit held March 20-21, 2017. Now in their 30th year, the events are presented by Americans for the Arts with 88 national organizational partners representing arts, culture, business, civic, and education institutions and individuals nationwide. This annual series of events is particularly important with recent news that the Trump Administration’s proposed FY2018 budget shows eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and other federal cultural agencies.

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