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CAA Arts and Humanities Advocacy Toolkit

posted by admin — Mar 02, 2017

“The phone calls and emails began coming in a few weeks ago to the Nebraska congressional delegation — all Republicans, and all potentially crucial to an expected fight over the very existence of the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities under President Trump.” –“How to Block Trump Arts Cuts? Groups Look for G.O.P. Help,” The New York Times, February 28, 2017

Arts and Humanities Advocates are already taking action. CAA encourages its members and all advocates of the arts and humanities to be persistent and do more.

On January 23, 2017, CAA released a statement condemning the proposed budget cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other federal agencies.

“For more than a century, the College Art Association (CAA) has represented art historians, artists, museum professionals, designers, and others who think and care about the visual arts and its impact on our culture. We do this in part through direct advocacy for artistic and academic freedom.

Like many other Americans, we have closely watched the proposed changes to the federal government. Recent news reports reveal that the US President intends to propose the elimination of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This proposal is reportedly based in part on a recommendation by the Heritage Foundation that states, ‘As the U.S. Congress struggles to balance the federal budget and end the decades-long spiral of deficit spending, few programs seem more worthy of outright elimination than the National Endowment for the Arts.’

We offer our complete and total opposition to these efforts.”

Read the full CAA statement.

 

The current administration’s proposal to cut funding for the NEA and NEH is based on a 1997 Heritage Foundation report, titled “Ten Good Reasons to Eliminate Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.”

To support our statement, CAA has put together an Arts and Humanities Advocacy Tool Kit to help our members and anyone who wants to advocate for the arts and humanities. Information is power, after all. The Tool Kit information is pulled from a variety of sources that aid in forging partnerships, obtaining accurate data on the impact of the arts and humanities, and actions one can take in order to use your voice effectively.

We encourage you to contact us at CAA also. CAA staff will attend both Arts Advocacy Day and Humanities Advocacy Day. The more stories we can share as we meet with colleagues and representatives, the more influence we collectively bring to the table.

 

Locate and Call

Call your representatives about any and all pressing issues.

Find your local representative

This is a helpful guide on how to contact your local representative:

The How-to Guide to Contacting your Local Official

 

Face-to-Face

Face-to-face meetings with representatives are the most effective way to deliver your message. Hand your representative a physical document with facts and figures and be sure to explain who you are and how the group you represent relates to your local politician’s constituency.

Town Halls are one good way to voice your opinion to your local representative in person. The Federation for American Immigration Reform has a guide on how to attend Town Hall meetings.

You can also organize and request an appointment at the offices of your representative. The National Priorities Project has a good guide to setting up office appointments.

 

Sign Petitions

There are myriad petitions floating around these days, addressing vast numbers of topics. It can be hard to keep track or know which petitions to sign.

Change.org remains one of the best places to find a database of petitions by topic. The site also provides explanations and background information for each petition.

To sign the petition to support the NEA and NEH you can sign the White House created petition, the Change.org petition, and the Arts Action Fund petition.

Advocates can also send postcards directly to members of Congress that are customized with their artwork or other artworks, thanks to the #savethearts Postcard Project.

 

Arm Thyself with Data and Information

There is lots of good data about the impact of the arts and humanities on people and places. The National Humanities Alliance is working on several data gathering and mapping projects.

Americans for the Arts is also a hub for data and information about various federal arts agencies and arts education in America.

Data on the arts and humanities can also be found on the National Endowment for the Arts Facts & Figures page and the National Endowment for the Humanities Impact Reports.

This nifty website is a running tally of all the programs that the NEA funded in 2016.

You can also search the NEA website to see all grants they have awarded since 1996. Check to see what organizations in your local area are funded by the NEA.

The same search for grants can be done on the NEH website.