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Topic: URGENT! Jan. 28th vote on the National Endowment for The Arts

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  1. #1

    URGENT! Jan. 28th vote on the National Endowment for The Arts

    The following is from the Oregon Arts Commission about the upcoming Jan. 28th vote in the US House of Representatives. Included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is $50 million allocated for the National Endowment for the Arts.

    I URGE everyone here who is passionately concerned about the importance of The Arts to read this and then contact their senators using the letter below as a template. You will find the email and phone number for the Capitol Switchboard in the following information through which all senators can be reached.

    My lady Kate is President of “Art Smart,” our local organization dedicated to sustaining and encouraging the growth of The Arts in the Salem, Oregon area. She asked me to pass this vital and timely information on to our group of musical artists here at the Garritan Forums, feeling that as a community we would want to help the NEA at this difficult and critical time.

    ----------------

    Action Alert: Support Arts Funding in the
    Economic Stimulus Package Act NOW!


    News from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies:

    The US House of Representatives plans to vote on Wednesday, January 28, on the economic stimulus legislation - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - an $825 billion package with $50 million allocated for the National Endowment for the Arts on top of current appropriations. This week, three House committees, including the Appropriations Committee, approved elements of the stimulus measure, setting the stage for debate and votes on the House floor. The Senate expects to vote on a the stimulus legislation by the end of next week or early the week of February 2.

    Critics of the stimulus plan have singled out the arts funding increase as an example of needless spending in the bill. This demonstrates the continuing importance of advocacy that promotes the role of the arts in stimulating state economies. While the NEA funds appear secure in the House bill, it is important to ensure the arts allocation is included in the Senate's version of the stimulus measure as it takes shape, as well as in the final version of the legislation, to be agreed upon by both House and Senate before going to the president for signing.

    TAKE ACTION
    : Please contact your senators and representatives, urging their support to retain the allocation of $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in the economic stimulus legislation - with 40% of the funds going to state arts agencies, and the remainder distributed in direct grants to fund arts projects that preserve jobs in the nonprofit arts sector.

    Reach your senators and representatives by phone through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, or by email at http://mygov.governmentguide.com/mygov/dbq/officials/.

    Public funding for the arts is a timely investment for states and communities facing tough economic conditions. NEA funds to state arts agencies will enable state support for the arts to continue where a depressed economy has resulted in revenue shortfalls. Remind your elected officials in Congress that the arts generate jobs, tax revenues and consumer spending. Support for the arts is an essential part of our nation's recovery and an investment in a creative economy.

    Resources:

    National Governors Association Releases Arts & the Economy Report
    http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/m...005e00100aRCRD

    Arts Policy in the New Administration
    http://www.nasaa-arts.org/nasaanews/...tatement08.pdf


    -----------

    A response template:

    Dear Senator,

    I am writing to ask your support for the $50 million funding for the NEA as part of the Economic Stimulus package.


    Public funding for The Arts is a timely investment for states and communities facing tough economic conditions. NEA funds to state Arts agencies will enable state support for The Arts to continue where a depressed economy has resulted in revenue shortfalls.

    The Arts generate jobs, tax revenues and consumer spending.
    Support for The Arts is an essential part of our nation's recovery and an investment in a creative economy.

    Studies have linked enhanced childhood brain development to participation in The Arts, and there are numerous other benefits to children, families
    and communities from vitality in The Arts.


    Please support this aspect of the budget.


    THE ARTS ARE NOT A LUXURY.


    Sincerely, _____

    (posted by Randy - rbowser)

  2. #2

    Re: URGENT! Jan. 28th vote on the National Endowment for The Arts

    --BUMP! --- Regardless of our political leanings, as artists I can't imagine there are any of us here who don't believe in the importance of The Arts.

    For the proposed NEA budget to be criticized as a prime example of "needless spending" is a classic example of the conservative non-comprehension of how important all Arts are to civilization. Backwards thinking like that is what killed theatre and music programs in schools all over the country. We cannot allow those kind of situations to deteriorate more - and they would in a climate that doesn't acknowledge The Arts as of primary importance in the national budget.

    Send those letters in! We have the guy in office who understands the importance of many lost ideals - we need to help him out.

    Randy B.

  3. #3

    Re: URGENT! Jan. 28th vote on the National Endowment for The Arts

    As if I need to point out to the members of THIS forum that a healthy interest in and demonstration of value placed on the Arts is a key indicator of the health/state of society/civilisation.

    I will be interested to see the response your letters receive!

    Particularly at this turbulent time, a time where investment in the Arts will yield major dividends and is unfortuantely likely to be seen as an unnecessary extravagance.

  4. #4

    Re: URGENT! Jan. 28th vote on the National Endowment for The Arts

    Not to be argumentative, but why in the world is it called an "endowment" when it requires funding from the treasury every year?

  5. #5

    Re: URGENT! Jan. 28th vote on the National Endowment for The Arts

    Quote Originally Posted by DarwinKopp View Post
    Not to be argumentative, but why in the world is it called an "endowment" when it requires funding from the treasury every year?
    It endows people with money. Such as when it endowed the guy to take pictures of himself pissing into a cup that had a crucifix in it.

    Randy

    I am all for endowing the arts. I just don't want the government to have anything to do with it. I know that as a libertarian with Jeffersonian leanings, that we have lost the fight over having a big government (which ultimately will be our downfall), so since we don't have any money to spend, why not spend more. I'd rather pay a guy to piss in a cup, then pay Chrysler's CEO millions of dollars to run his company even further into the red. Or give the money to banks that refuse to say what they will do with it. At least I can see where my money goes when they give it to a guy to put elephant crap on canvas.

    Ron
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

    http://composersforum.ning.com/profile/RonaldFerguson

  6. #6

    Re: URGENT! Jan. 28th vote on the National Endowment for The Arts

    Quote Originally Posted by rolifer View Post
    It endows people with money. Such as when it endowed the guy to take pictures of himself pissing into a cup that had a crucifix in it.
    Yikes!

    I was thinking more along the lines of the finance definition of an endowment: the property (as a fund) donated to an institution or organization that is invested and producing income.

    In other words a one-time, investable lump sum that continually produces income for a set purpose into perpetuity. If this were the case, the annual battle and grandstanding that occurs every budgeting cycle would disappear. Instead, they seem to run the "endowment" empty every year and then go back to the Treasury over and over again, subjecting arts support to being a political football.

    Instead of a National Endowment for the Arts, we have something more akin to a National Politically-Held-Hostage Annual Budget for the Arts.

    P.S. Has anyone here ever applied for and received any NEA funds? I never have and I don't personally know of anyone else who has either, but then, I lead a pretty sheltered life.

  7. #7

    Re: URGENT! Jan. 28th vote on the National Endowment for The Arts

    In this case the investment is in the ARTS

  8. #8

    Re: URGENT! Jan. 28th vote on the National Endowment for The Arts

    As I said, if you're a musician who believes in the importance of The Arts, I urge you to write to your senators.

    Here's today's New York Times article about the upcoming vote:


    And here are some quotes from that article:

    "...Much of the clamor arises from anticipation stirred by Mr. Obama’s campaign remarks about the importance of the arts. One of the few candidates with an arts platform, he called for a young “artist corps” to work in low-income schools and neighborhoods; affordable health care and tax benefits for artists; and efforts at cultural diplomacy, like dispatching artist-ambassadors to other countries...

    ...what arts executives are most eager for, they say, is additional direct financing and a president who sends the message that art is important. The country’s 100,000 nonprofit arts groups employ some six million people and contribute $167 billion to the economy annually, Mr. Lynch said. “I don’t think of this as a bailout for the arts,” he added. “It’s an economic investment in the arts.”...

    ...Arts groups said that they would seek to drive home the idea that culture is an economic engine. “Arts jobs are jobs,” said Marc A. Scorca, president and chief executive of Opera America. “We see opera companies cutting health care, administrative staff — these people are taxpayers and rent payers and mortgage payers, just like every other employee.”..."


    Randy B. - A musician who believes The Arts must be a high priority in every walk of life.

  9. #9

    Re: URGENT! Jan. 28th vote on the National Endowment for The Arts

    I have to agree at leat partially with Rolifer on this one, I'm afraid. Funding arts is not a legitimate function of government. Besides, ALL spending decisions made by the government are made for political reasons, and are therefore inherently inefficient.

    I'd rather see taxes reduced by the same amount and let the American consumer support the arts on their own. I long ago lost track of how many musical CD's I purchase each year. That is how the arts should be supported, not through taxation.

  10. #10

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