College Art Association

CAA News Today

United States Small Business Administration (SBA) [http://www.sba.gov/index.html] Arts organizations currently can immediately pursue low-interest Physical Disaster Business Loans from SBA, which cover property losses that are not insured or are underinsured. Unfortunately, nonprofit groups are not allowed to apply for SBA Economic Injury loans, which provide working capital. A coalition led by the YMCA of the USA has been formed to try to change this policy. To learn more and to get talking points for writing your representatives please click here.

Katrina Relief Funding Update

posted by October 16, 2005

Congress has passed two very large emergency relief packages totaling $62 billion, most of which has gone to FEMA. Museums, nonprofit arts organizations that are located in historic buildings, and government agencies may be able to qualify for FEMA assistance. Congress is now working on a third “supplemental” package, which will have a broader range. Negotiations are currently under way to allocate up to $20 million of relief funding through the National Endowment for the Arts for grants. These supplemental bills are all for FY 2006 funding. Another possibility is that additional arts funding would be wrapped into a fourth package or, more remotely, could be included in appropriations for FY 2007.

In addition to Katrina relief appropriations, Congress has passed a tax relief package for disaster survivors along with a tax incentive package for charitable giving to all nonprofits. In order to help ensure that charitable giving to non-Katrina causes does not suffer, Congress passed an emergency tax bill that significantly raises the charitable deduction limits on individual gifts for the rest of this calendar year. Under previous law, individuals could deduct cash gifts up to 50 percent of their income. Now through December 31, 2005, individuals may deduct up to 100 percent of their income for both Katrina and non-Katrina causes. Obviously, this affects only people who are wealthy enough to give away so much of their annual income. Nevertheless, the bill should result in increased giving, both to hurricane-related and to other causes.

Source: Americans for the Arts

Please contact your Senators and Representatives to tell their party leadership and the chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to support the $37.4 million for IMLS approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee in H.R. 3010. A funding increase for IMLS is in the works as the House approved an additional $1 million and the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $3 million increase over the agency’s FY 2005 funds. The House and Senate will need to negotiate these differences before sending a final version to the President for approval. If approved, these modest gains in funding will enable the agency to support more grants to help deliver museum services to the public. Tell your representatives that the people in your community benefit from the support IMLS offers our nation’s museums. To contact your Senators and Representatives please click here.

The Heritage Emergency Task Force is encouraging museums hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to fill out FEMA’s Request for Public Assistance Form (FEMA Form 90-49) as soon as possible so they can be assigned a case number. The one-page form does not require specific damages so institutions may file even if staff have not been able to perform a damage assessment.

Library of Congress FY 2006 Budget

posted by October 16, 2005

Congress has approved and the President has signed a FY 2006 legislative branch spending bill that includes funding for two major conservation projects for the Library of Congress and completion of a six-year effort to reengineer the Copyright Office for the digital age.

The bill (H.R. 2985) includes a 2006 Library budget that totals $602.9 million, consisting of a net appropriation of $560.6 million plus authority to spend off-setting collections of $42.3 million.

In addition, Congress approved the Library’s requested $40.7 million in a FY 2006 budget for the Architect of the Capitol to begin construction of materials storage Modules 3 and 4 at Ft. Meade, Maryland, and $5.5 million to renovate Madison Building space to accommodate new information technology infrastructure, more efficient work flows and new job roles for the Copyright Office.

The President signed the bill into law on August 2.

Source: National Humanities Alliance

Library of Congress FY 2006 Budget

posted by October 16, 2005

Congress has approved and the President has signed a FY 2006 legislative branch spending bill that includes funding for two major conservation projects for the Library of Congress and completion of a six-year effort to reengineer the Copyright Office for the digital age.

The bill (H.R. 2985) includes a 2006 Library budget that totals $602.9 million, consisting of a net appropriation of $560.6 million plus authority to spend off-setting collections of $42.3 million.

In addition, Congress approved the Library’s requested $40.7 million in a FY 2006 budget for the Architect of the Capitol to begin construction of materials storage Modules 3 and 4 at Ft. Meade, Maryland, and $5.5 million to renovate Madison Building space to accommodate new information technology infrastructure, more efficient work flows and new job roles for the Copyright Office.

The President signed the bill into law on August 2.

Source: National Humanities Alliance

HEA-Title VI International Education Programs

posted by October 16, 2005

Senate legislation reauthorizing HEA-Title VI International Education programs is moving closer to a vote. The bill, (S. 1614) “Higher Education Amendments of 2005,” differs significantly from its House counterpart, HR 609, in that it does not call for creation of an International Advisory Board to oversee foreign language and area studies programs supported by the Department of Education. The advisory board proposed by the House’s education committee has caused extensive controversy since it was first introduced in the previous Congress.

While supporters of Title VI programs are pleased by many aspects of the bill, several provisions in the Senate legislation have caused alarm in the higher education and humanities communities. These include introduction of a new complaint process in conjunction with curriculum requirements which mandate that grantees demonstrate that programs will reflect “diverse and balanced perspectives” or “diverse perspectives and a full range of views.”

Grant applications must outline a process by which complaints regarding proposed activities may be resolved, and new authority is provided to the Secretary of Education to suspend federal funds for up to 60 days in the case of unresolved disputes. Title VI advocates fear that the process could open the door for frivolous or politically motivated complaints, and jeopardize the long-standing academic independence of the programs.

The Senate bill may be tied to budget reconciliation legislation when Congress returns from the Columbus Day recess.

Source: National Humanities Alliance