Frequently Asked Questions

If you don't see your question, please contact us.  You can also reach us via phone Monday – Friday from 9am – 6pm, at 213.225.7580.

Activities, Advocacy & Campaigns
Can you fund/promote my project, blog or event?

Can you pass this petition to your mailing list?
There is a crisis in my community/school district/city.  Can you help?

Does Arts for LA endorse candidates?
Can you tell me for whom I should vote?

Can my nonprofit organization engage in advocacy?
What is advocacy?
Is advocacy different from lobbying?

Is advocacy the same as fundraising?
Can you help my organization/program raise funds?

I work for a foundation, city, school district or the County.  Can I participate in advocacy?

Social Media, Emails, Website, & Privacy
Can I post about an event or fundraising campaign to your Facebook wall?  Will you retweet about my event or fundraiser?
How does Arts for LA use Twitter?  What's your tweeting policy?
How do I unsubscribe or change my email preferences?

I became a member/signed up for email/participated in a campaign.  Is my personal information safe?
There is a website problem and I am unable to sign up for an event/participate in a campaign/become a member/load a page.

Membership
How do I become a member of Arts for LA?
Can I send a membership check instead of joining online?

Did you receive/process my membership?
Additional membership questions

 

Can you fund/promote my project, blog, or event?

No. Arts for LA is not a funder and we do not promote or advertise arts events (we recommend ExperienceLA.com).  We will post advocacy or professional development events in our Forum, but we cannot help you publicize your arts event, share information on your organization, or cross-link to your blog.  We are a small nonprofit organization focused on advocacy and policy and do not provide funding for outside projects.  We do not participate in publicity exchanges or cross-promotion unless we are co-producing an advocacy or educational event.  Arts for LA receives requests to fund/promote various projects daily, and this is outside of the scope of our mission and organizational capacity. For more information on Arts for LA's policies and focus areas, please see our Basic Principles & Style Guide (PDF).

To learn the difference between advocacy and fundraising, check out that FAQ below.

 

Can you pass this petition to your mailing list?

Probably not, for two reasons. 

First, Arts for LA rarely uses petitions as a tactic.  In the age of internet/social networking, petitions do not hold weight unless they generate literally thousands of signatures.  We have seen much more success with individual letter-writing or phone campaigns, as each letter/email/postcard is counted separately (unlike a petition, which is presented once and often put aside).

We encourage you to contact us if you are working on an issue that involves policies or practices that affect arts and/or arts education in Los Angeles County.  However, because we want to create lasting relationships between the arts & cultural community and those who represent or fund them, we follow strict guidelines for messaging and campaign planning.  Everything we share with our constituents or otherwise engage in must be strategic, targeted, positive, and solutions-based.  For more information on Arts for LA's policies and focus areas, please see our Basic Principles & Style Guide (PDF).

 

There is a crisis in my community/school district/city.  Can you help?

Arts for LA does our best to glean and disseminate information promptly.  If it is an issue affecting arts and culture and you do not see any mention of the issue on our website (check the News section or use the search box), we want to hear from you

Please note that we have limited capacity and may be engaged in other campaigns or issues.  Arts for LA focuses on policy issues affecting communities, municipalities, groups of arts & cultural organizations, and school districts.  We are rarely able to help individual organizations.  Successful campaigns require the participation of local stakeholders such as organizations, parents, and community members.  Arts for LA can convene stakeholders and provide the web infrastructure and training for advocacy campaigns, but stakeholder participation helps a campaign "go viral" and be successful.

For more information on Arts for LA's policies and focus areas, please see our Basic Principles & Style Guide (PDF).

 

Does Arts for LA endorse candidates? 
Can you tell me for whom I should vote

No.  Arts for LA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  We do not endorse candidates.  We do sometimes conduct surveys of all candidates for a particular election or link to voting guides created by other 501(c)(3) nonprofits. 

Nonprofits may, however, endorse bills or pieces of legislation.  Arts for LA sometimes posts our positions on local and statewide legislation in our News section.

 

Can my nonprofit organization engage in advocacy?
What is advocacy?  Is it different from lobbying?

Yes, non-profits may engage in advocacy, although there are restrictions.  There is also a legal difference between advocacy and lobbying. 

Advocacy is voicing support for an issue or cause, such as telling the public about the benefits of arts education on your website. There are no limits to pure advocacy by nonprofits.

Lobbying (sometimes called “direct advocacy”) refers to advocacy efforts intended to influence legislation, such as writing to City Council to oppose a bill that affects arts education. Nonprofits may engage in a limited amount of lobbying; the percentage is dependent on budget size but is usually around 10% of an organization's annual budget. Visit the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest, CLPI.org, for complete information.

Engaging in significant advocacy/lobbying activities? If your organization is spending more than 10% of its expenditures on direct advocacy/lobbying, you should file a 501(h) provision form. The current 501(h) provision allows nonprofit arts organizations to allocate expenditures of up to 20% of the first $500,000 of their annual budget to direct advocacy and lobbying. If the organization exceeds $500,000 in annual income, only 15% of the next $500,000 can go to advocacy expenditures, and so on up to $1 million. To engage the 501(h) provision, an organization must complete the IRS Form 5768 (PDF form).

 

Is advocacy the same as fundraising?
Can you help my organization/program raise funds?

There is a difference between advocacy and fundraising.  Advocacy takes a broader view and has a deeper effect than fundraising, which is focused on one organization or program and relies on one-time allocations of money instead of policy decisions.

When advocating for policies that support the arts, we are promoting an expectation that our public infrastructure should include sustainable funding for the arts.  Arts for LA and its advocacy teams focus on increasing sustainable funding streams from public & private sources through shaping and supporting policy decisions, not through one-time fundraising campaigns. 

For more information on Arts for LA's policies and focus areas, please see our Basic Principles & Style Guide (PDF).

 

I work for a foundation, city, school district or the County.  Can I participate in advocacy?

It's up to you and your employer.  Individuals can legally participate in advocacy, but you may not want to put your employer in a difficult position.  Some people choose to send letters or spread the word about advocacy campaigns using their personal email accounts, without reference to their employers.

Click here to download a great PDF article from Grantmakers Forum of New York regarding advocacy/lobbying and private foundations.

 

Can I post about an event or fundraising campaign to your Facebook wall?  Will you retweet about my event or fundraiser?

Arts for LA focuses its work on communiating about issues and opportunities that affect the arts field.  As noted above, we are a small organization with a specific focus.  There are many existing resources you can use to get your information out.  However, we welcome and value interactions with people and organizations about issues relating to arts, culture, and arts education as long as they do not promote an event or fundraiser.  We recently updated our Facebook policy to reflect this:

Arts for LA values open discussion on issues facing our communities, neighborhoods, and school districts and we invite you to engage in a respectful and collaborative dialogue on these issues. 

By participating on this page, you are agreeing to our Facebook policy, outlined below.

We reserve the right to delete posts on our page containing any of the following elements:

- self-promotion and/or promotion of organization-specific or individual events
- profane language that may be offensive to some of our users
- misinformation
- spam
- off-topic / irrelevant posts

- personal attacks 

- promotion of violence

- promotion of illegal activities or activities inconsistent with the values of Arts for LA

.

We will contact you if something you post is interpreted to be in violation of this policy.  If you repeatedly violate this policy, Arts for LA will remove you from the page.

How does Arts for LA use Twitter? What's your tweeting policy?

Arts for LA uses Twitter to share good news, engage in direct conversation with our diverse communities, and to spread current knowledge and facts about arts, culture, and arts education. We invite you to follow our Tweets at @Arts4LA.

We also have an automatic feed of job, art, art education, and civic engagement opportunities direct from our website.  Follow @ArtsforLAForums to receive links to our Forums posts.

> Who is @Arts4LA?

@Arts4LA is collaboratively produced by the Arts for LA staff and managed directly by Charlie Jensen.  Tweets do not reflect the opinions, beliefs, or agendas of the organization or individual staff members (unless so noted) but are instead presented for discussion, edification, and engagement purposes.  Retweets are not endorsements.

> Why is @Arts4LA using Twitter?

Our aim is to inform constituents of what’s happening in arts, culture, and arts education in Los Angeles County and throughout the nation.

  • Twitter allows us to stay informed and current of trends, topics, and news related to our work.  We use Twitter to share these stories with our communities.
  • Our Twitter feed supplements the information we publish on our website.
  • We can remind you of important events and alert you to late-breaking news.
  • We can link to interesting and useful information about arts, culture, and arts education published by other people.

We’re aware of the changing nature of communication on the Internet and our use of this channel will be influenced by your participation and response to it.

> Will you respond to my replies or direct messages?

We reply as quickly as we can, although we only monitor the account during normal business hours at this time.

You should contact Arts for LA by email if you have:

  •      A complaint or concern about Tweeted content
  •      Private, confidential, or sensitive information inappropriate to share publicly on Twitter
  •      Interest in partnering or collaborating with us on a project that aligns with our mission

> Stop following me!

If @Arts4LA is following you and you’d rather we didn’t, please let us know.  We will unfollow you.  You may also block our account, which prevents us from seeing all your interactions on Twitter.

Be aware that Twitter is a public space on the Internet and all interaction is publicly viewable and searchable over time unless you make your feed private.

If you want to keep your Twitter feed private, you can protect your updates.

For further assistance, go to http://support.twitter.com

> Please ReTweet!

ReTweeting is done at the discretion of Arts for LA staff.  Requests to @Arts4LA to ReTweet cannot be honored if the Tweet constitutes advance promotion of a specific event, fundraiser, product, or service by a single user or organization.

Spam accounts

Each day, @Arts4LA is followed by spam Twitter accounts—accounts that Tweet out dangerous or unreliable links that may result in phishing or other data loss.  We are vigilant about removing these accounts and reporting them to Twitter so that no one is affected by their presence.  We typically identify as spam accounts that meet most or all of the following:

  •      Where the Twitter handle and username are identical
  •      Where there are significantly more users followed by the account than are following the account
  •      Where there are few Tweets of “substance” or where Tweets always contain links
  •      Where the user includes no biographical information
  •      Where the user’s profile refers to a sexually explicit website address

It is not our intention to report legitimate Twitter accounts as spam; we apologize if we misidentify your account as spam.

Privacy statement

As a general practice, Arts for LA does not collect or store personal information from our Twitter followers.  However, Twitter users whose work places them in the public sphere, such as journalists, visible community leaders, elected officials, and other policy makers, may receive contact from Arts for LA only when we wish to partner or collaborate with them.  Arts for LA has a strict privacy policy on our website; please review it for more information.

Please also note Twitter’s Privacy Policy.

Disclaimer

While Arts for LA strives to share only the most current and up to date information via Twitter, the ever-changing and fast-paced nature of the Internet and online communication makes this difficult.  Arts for LA encourages all of our followers to investigate and evaluate all claims made by any account on Twitter, even trusted sources of information. 

Links to external websites and Twitter accounts not owned by Arts for LA are provided for reference purposes only.  These referrals do not constitute endorsements, support, recommendations, or referrals unless explicitly stated within the Tweet.  Arts for LA is not responsible for the content or reliability of links, any losses or inconvenience associated with their use, or for objectionable/offensive content encountered by users in the course of investigating or evaluating the reliability of information contained therein.

 

How do I unsubscribe or change my email preferences?

There is an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email we send out.  You can also Contact Us and we will manually remove you immediately.

 

I am having a website problem, such as issues signing up for events, subscribing to the e-blast, participating in a campaign or becoming a member.

First, please try refreshing or restarting your browser.  If there is high traffic on our system, sometimes it just needs to reload the page.  If you continue having problems with the website, please email advocate - at - artsforla.org or call 213.225.7580.

 

I became a member/signed up for email/participated in a campaign.  Is my personal information safe?

In brief: yes.  We use a great, secure service called Democracy in Action for all of our online information collection.  Please see our Privacy Policy for details.  When you send a letter to an action target (i.e., school board members, City Council, etc.), they can see the information you choose to send.

 

How do I become a member?
Can I send a membership check instead of joining online?

Become a member online at artsforla.org/content/become-member or send a check made out to Arts for LA to:

Arts for LA
c/o KUSC
1149 S Hill Suite H-100
Los Angeles, CA 90015

 

Did you get/process my membership?

You will receive an error message instantly if your online membership did not process correctly.  Arts for LA sends out hard-copy acknowledgements within a month of receiving your membership check or online credit card transaction. 

Additional membership questions: Please contact advocate - at -  artsforla.org or call Charlie at 213.225.7580.