Monday, March 14, 2016

On Arts Advocacy Day, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) announced new legislation to strengthen the creative economy to a crowd of over 500 arts advocates.

Entitled Comprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy (CREATE) Act (S.2648), the comprehensive bill aims to better support our nation’s creative economy and builds off of research of numerous economic studies, including Arts and Economic Prosperity findings.

Through minor adjustments to existing federal programs in agencies like the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Treasury, the legislation takes steps to better invest in our country’s workforce and creative economy, while recognizing artists as contributors to the small business community. It does this through three titles: 1) Support for artists and entrepreneurs; 2) Support for the creative economy, and 3) Creative community development.

Provisions include direction that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) works with micro-lenders, traditional lenders, and regulators to ensure that artists and entrepreneurs have access to micro-loans and that loan program criteria are not discriminatory toward arts-related businesses. There is also a requirement that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Rural Development Administration ensure that traditional economic development tools, such as incubators and grant programs, support the arts industry. The legislation also includes a demonstration project to promote the creative arts in local economic planning and support to artists trying to get back on their feet after a disaster.

Read more about the bill in this op-ed in The Hill authored by Sen. Udall and Robert L. Lynch, president & CEO of Americans for the Arts. Linked here is the Senator's press release, and here is a one-pager from the Senator.