Advocacy Day Recap!

Arts Advocacy DayOnce again, Americans for the Arts' Advocacy Day was a resounding success. Advocates from across the country made the trip to our nation's capital to visit with our federal legislators and advocate for arts and arts education legislation. The two-day whirlwind included an inspiring Nancy Hanks lecture with jazz great Winston Marsalis and the Congressional Arts Breakfast, which featured remarks by key legislators as well as artists Linda Ronstadt and Josh Grobin. You can watch a video of Winston's lecture via the Americans for the Arts website:

Our meeting with congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard was warm and positive. Two inspired emerging arts leaders, Nicole Sutterfield and Rachel Bell joined Arts for LA for the visit. The Congresswoman affirmed her support for this legislative agenda. Roybal-Allard serves on the House Appropriations committee and her demonstrated commitment to the arts and arts education shows no sign of wavering. Check out her annual art show at the capital.
Advocates with Congresswoman Roybal-Allard
As a Member of the House Appropriations Committee, one of the most powerful and distinguished committees in Congress, she spends much of her time attending hearings and meetings. She is the first Latina in U.S. history to be appointed to the Appropriations Committee, which controls the purse strings of the federal government. The congresswoman serves on three influential subcommittees -- the Subcommittee on Homeland Security, the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies and the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. As a member of these subcommittees, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard oversees funding of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Here „¢s a recap of the federal legislation that we advocated in favor of during our annual visits on capital hill.

National Endowment for the Arts

Urge Congress to support a budget of $200 million for the NEA in the FY 2010 Interior Appropriations bill to restore funding for the creation, preservation and presentation of the arts in America through the NEA „¢s core programs.

National Endowment for the Humanities
Urge Congress to support a significant budget increase for the NEH in the FY 2010 Interior Appropriations bill.

Institute of Museum and Library Services
Urge Congress to support an appropriation of $50 million for the OMS within IMLS in the FY 2010 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill to promote and support lifelong learning and to protect our national heritage.

Arts Education
Urge Congress to appropriate $53 million for the Arts in Education programs in the FY 2010 Labor €œHHS-Education appropriations bill.

Encouraging Charitable Gifts to Arts and Culture
Urge Members of Congres to co-sponsor H.R. 1250 sponsored by Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-SD) and Wally Herger (R-CA) to make permanent the "IRA Rollover" provision of the Pension Protection Act.

Allow Artists a Tax Deduction for Gifts of the Their Own Work
Urge Members of Congress to co-sponsor S. 405, the "Artist-Museum Partnership Act," offered by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Robert Bennett (R-UT), or H.R. 1126 offered in the House of Reps. John Lewis (D-GA) and Todd Platts (R-PA).

Improving the Visa Process for International Artists
Urge Congress to enact legislation that will require U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reduce the total processing time for O and P petitions filed by, or on behalf of, nonprofit arts-related organizations to a maximum of 45 days.

Cultural Exchange Programs in the U.S. Department of State
Urge Congress to incrase funding by $10 million for the Cultural Programs Division of the State Department's Office of Citizen Exchanges in the FY 2010 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill.

National Service
Urge Members of Congress to: 1) support the Serve American Act (S. 277) and the GIVE Act (HR 1388), the reauthorization of the National & Community Service Trust Act, that will strengthen opportunities for national service through increased volunteers and competitive grant programs for nonprofit organizations to conduct community service programs; 2) amend the National & Community Service Trust Act to specifically include community arts projects and nonprofit cultural organizations as eligible national service programs; and 3) support the creation of a national Artists Corps consisting of young artists trained to work in low-income schools and communities.

For a complete list of each legislative issue brief visit: