Hello and Welcome,

Our country is experiencing a period of enormous and, at times, devastating challenges. But in the midst of natural disasters and social upheaval, the arts continue to build community and allow us to find our common humanity. To see the support that you all have for one another has been extraordinary and despite the struggles, we have achieved much together. With your support Americans for the Arts in producing an array of responses and services with and through our passionate members, strong partnerships, and informed decision makers. Earlier this year, over 700 arts advocates convened at Arts Advocacy Day (our largest ever). In June, our Annual Convention brought together over 1,000 of our best friends in San Francisco where we released Arts and Economic Prosperity 5, the largest study of its kind ever conducted. For the Save the NEA campaign, a record number of messages have been sent to every U.S. House office (reaching all 435) and every U.S. Senate office (all 100). These successes are your successes, ones of our partnerships with members like you. Over the course of the national op-ed campaign, our local partners submitted over 100 opinion editorials with over 55 key placements in the backyards of key appropriation legislators an estimated reach of over 4,000,000 people in 37 states. In July, we invited grassroots arts leaders from seven states to Capitol Hill to share their stories and results from their AEP5 economic impact studies. Artist Committee member and recording artist Ben Folds also joined in on the meetings with key Members of Congress. It was a rewarding experience all around to connect with members and hear their stories, and bring them as voters to talk to their elected leaders. I look forward to hearing more of these stories at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference taking place on November 10-13 in Memphis, TN this year.

On the national level, together we celebrated National Arts in Education Week through recognizing the influence and vitality of arts in education and sharing the message with friends, family, and communities last month. Our celebration continues as National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is in full swing this October. NAHM is the perfect time to reflect and recharge our advocacy efforts locally for pro-arts policies and work on sharing tools and resources to help spread the word about the value of the arts. One of those tools is measuring the scope of the nations’ arts-related industries through our Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts project and sharing this information through our zip code based mapsAs of April 2017, the Creative Industries reports reveal that there are 673,656 businesses in the United States involved in the creation or distribution of the arts (and those are only the ones with a Dun and Bradstreet number). The arts employ 3.48 million people, representing 4.01 percent of all businesses and 2.04 percent of all employees, respectively. These updated tools and resources will equip our members and advocates to better make the case for arts funding on both a local and national level. Your membership with both Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund is more important than ever as we work with all of you to serve local communities and enact change. Americans for the Arts stands with you, committed to providing the most updated information and tools for our continued work together this year.


Robert L. Lynch
President and CEO, Americans for the Arts

Nov 08, 2018

With a creative business that relies on the vitality of the arts scene, Nel Shelby of Nel Shelby Productions has found opportunities that allow her to connect and uplift the arts field.

Nov 08, 2018

From December 2 to 8, 2018, the initiative encourages the creative field to join together in communities across the country to promote the sales of the work of local artists, and to promote to all consumers that art—including tickets to events and organization memberships—makes great holiday gifts.

Oct 29, 2018

Americans for the Arts wants our members to elect art professionals from the field to serve on one of four network advisory councils: Arts Education, Emerging Leaders, Private Sector, and Public Art. Voting closes November 16, 2018 at 5:00 pm (ET).

2017 Convention State of Arts Speech

Americans for the Arts CEO, Robert L. Lynch, delivers his annual presentation on the State of the Arts at the 2017 Annual Convention in San Francisco on June 16, 2017.

2016 Convention State of Arts Speech (6.4 MB)

Americans for the Arts CEO, Robert L. Lynch, delivers his annual presentation on the State of the Arts at the 2016 Annual Convention in Boston on June 17, 2016.

View the corresponding speech of the presntation.

2015 Convention State of Arts Speech (28.4 MB)

Americans for the Arts CEO, Robert L. Lynch, delivers his annual presentation on the State of the Arts at the 2015 Annual Convention in Chicago on June 12, 2015.

View the corresponding speech of the presentation.

Transforming America's Communities (2.91 MB)

Americans for the Arts CEO Robert L. Lynch's presentation on the new Transform America's Communities through the Arts initiative.

Click here to learn more about Transforming America's Communities.


Meet President & CEO Robert L. Lynch

Robert L. Lynch is president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. With more than 40 years of experience in the arts industry, he is motivated by his personal mission to empower communities and leaders to advance the arts in society, and in the lives of citizens. In 1996, Lynch managed the successful merger of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies, where he had spent 12 years as executive director, with the American Council for the Arts to form Americans for the Arts. Under his 30 years of leadership, the services and membership of Americans for the Arts have grown to more than 50 times their original size.