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[BKARTS] Arts and the new administration



This from my scientific illustration guild. Thought it would be relevant to the recent discussion about arts and money...:

January 15, 2009

For the last month, Americans for the Arts has been working with the field, Congress, and the Obama Transition Team to include support for the nonprofit arts sector and individual artists in any federal economic recovery package. With your help, we have been compiling examples of how the recession has affected arts groups. We are getting this compelling information along with our economic impact data into the hands of key policy leaders in Washington.

Last week, Americans for the Arts officially proposed Nine Recommendations for Economic Recovery & the Arts to help nonprofit and governmental arts groups as well as individual artists du ring this economic downturn. Today, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Bob Lynch met with the Obama Transition Team to discuss these and other ideas.

Also today, the House Appropriations Committee released an $825 billion economic recovery package. Included in the proposed bill is an infusion of $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (in addition to its annual appropriations) to specifically preserve jobs in the nonprofit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support. The House plan proposes additional opportunities throughout other parts of the federal government that could also help the nonprofit arts sector and individual artists. Many of these other opportunities correspond closely with our Recommendations for Economic Recovery & the Arts.

Here’s a summary analysis of how the Americans for the Arts recommendations compare to the related provisions currently in the House bill:

Americans for the Arts Recommendations
House of Representatives Proposal
Include artists in the proposal for Unemployment & Healthcare Benefits for Part-Time Employees
Proposes to extend unemployment insurance coverage for low-wage, part- time, and other jobless workers
Boost arts projects in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
$1 billion in additional funding for CDBG
Provide economic recovery support to the National Endowment for the Arts to be administered by local arts agencies
$50 million in additional appropriations for the National Endowment for the Arts
Include cultural planning through Economic Development Administration program (Department of Commerce)
$250 million for Economic Development Assistance
Increase community cultural facilities support in Rural Development Program (Department of Agriculture)
$200 million for critical rural community facilities
Provide more support for arts projects in Transportation Enhancements (Department of Transportation)
$31 billion to modernize federal and other public infrastructure< /SPAN>
Fulfill the Obama pledge for an “Artist Corps”
$200 million to put approximately 16,000 additional AmeriCorps members to work doing national service
Make Human Capital Investments in Arts Job Training (U.S. Department of Labor)
$5 billion for working training and employment services


Take Action
The Senate and the White House will likely unveil additional versions of an economic recovery package. We are calling on arts advocates to contact your House and Senate members and your local media to raise the profile of why it’s important to ensure there is support for the nonprofit arts sector in the federal economic recovery plan.
1. Write to your Members of Congress
2. Send a letter to the editor of your local media
Thank you to the members of the Arts Action Fund for all their support in the ArtsVote2008 presidential campaign effort and making record contributions to the Arts Action Fund Political Action Committee in support of arts friendly Congressional candidates.
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