College Art Association

CAA News Today

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has given $700,000 in grants to support arts organizations in the Gulf Coast region that were affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year. These grants include $500,000 in support of individual organizations and state and local arts agencies in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas. Additionally, the NEA is funding $200,000 for regional participation in the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and Your Town, two of the country’s most established city planning and design programs.

NEH Dear Colleague Letter

posted by July 16, 2006

On April 6, 2006, Congressmen David Price (D-NC) and Jim Leach (R-IA) submitted a “Dear Colleague” letter in support of increased funding for National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) with the signatures of 117 representatives to Chairman Charles Taylor and Ranking Member Norman Dicks of the House Appropriations Subcommittee. The letter requests an additional $15 million for the NEH in fiscal year 2007. This would bring total funding for the agency to $156 million. Price and Leach expressed concern about the erosion of funding for core programs and commended the state humanities councils and the agency’s We the People initiative. Humanities advocates were integral in gaining the impressive amount of signatures (an increase of nine signatories from the previous year) through phone calls and letters to representatives via the Humanities Advocacy Network.

Action Alert

posted by May 16, 2006

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to consider an Interior Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2007 on Thursday, May 18. The Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which marked up the bill on May 4, recommends level funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) at $142 million and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $124 million. These amounts remained in the bill through the full committee mark-up.

When the bill comes to the House floor, CAA expects the bipartisan leadership of the Congressional Humanities Caucus and the Congressional Arts Caucus to introduce an amendment to increase funding for the NEH and NEA by $10 to $15 million, evenly divided between the two endowments. The Congressional Arts Caucus has successfully offered a similar amendment for the past six years.

Action Needed

We ask that you call, e-mail, or fax your representative, urging him or her to vote in favor of this amendment when the bill comes to the floor. Let your elected official know that the NEA and NEH make a difference in your state!

Sample Letter

[DATE]

The Honorable [FULL NAME]
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative [LAST NAME]:

Public encouragement and financial assistance for arts and humanities programs are very much in the hearts and minds of the citizens of this country. I am writing you today to ask you to support an expected amendment asking for an increase for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) when the House votes on the fiscal year 2007 Interior Appropriations bill, scheduled for consideration on May 18.

As you know, with a relatively small investment from Congress, the NEH and NEA provide access to high-quality educational programs and resources that reach millions of Americans each year. To this end, it is critical that we continue to strengthen funding for the arts and for scholarly research through increased appropriations for the NEH and NEA.

Thank you for your consideration of my request, and for your support of arts funding.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR ORGANIZATION OR MEMBER OF CAA]

One Percent Rescissions for NEA and NEH

posted by April 16, 2006

As part of hurricane relief efforts, Congress has approved a 1 percent across-the-board rescission (or reduction) to all fiscal year 2006 appropriations, except for emergency spending and veterans programs. Thus, programs with approved budgets, such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, will see a retroactive budget cut of 1 percent.

Hurricane Katrina Federal Funding Update

posted by March 16, 2006

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Congress approved legislation that redirects funds not used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to other agencies. About $11.5 billion of the unused funds were devoted to Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for affected states. CDBG can be a source of funding for arts institutions and programming, at the discretion of local mayors and planning authorities.

So far, Mississippi announced that they will use its portion to give financial assistance to citizens whose homes were destroyed or damaged. Louisiana, with far more people affected, has not yet decided how it will spend its CDBG funding. Due to the size and scale of the destruction, it is unlikely that any big portion of CDBG money will be used as a source of funding for the arts.

Two “Dear Colleague” letters are being circulated in the House of Representatives.

The co-chairs of the Congressional Humanities Caucus, Representatives Jim Leach (R-IA) and David Price (D-NC), have prepared a Dear Colleague letter in support of a $15 million increase for the National Endowment for the Humanities in fiscal year 2007, which they have begun to circulate in the House of Representatives. The deadline for signing onto this letter is Wednesday, March 29, which gives us a very small window for encouraging CAA members to send.

The second letter, prepared by the cochairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Representatives Chris Shays (R-CT) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY), is asking members of the House to sign onto a letter that would then be sent to leaders of the House Interior Appropriations committee, which has jurisdiction over funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The letter requests a funding level of $170 million in FY 2007, an increase of $45 million over current funding. The deadline for signing this letter is April 7.

ACTION NEEDED

We ask that you call, e-mail, or fax your representative and ask them to sign onto these letters today. For a sample letters asking your representative to sign on to the Dear Colleague letters below. A large number of signatures on the letters, particularly if they represent both sides of the aisle, will send an important message to the leadership of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee as it begins to work on the mark-up of the FY 2007 spending bill.

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SAMPLE LETTER RE: NEH DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTERS

[DATE]

The Honorable [FULL NAME]
United States House of Representative / United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515 (House) 20510 (Senate)

Dear Representative [LAST NAME]:

Public encouragement and financial assistance for arts and humanities programs are very much in the hearts and minds of the citizens of this country. I urge you to support these programs in discussions with other members of Congress and the general public. I am writing you today to ask that you sign onto a Dear Colleague letter now being circulated by Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) and Rep. David Price (D-NC), requesting $156 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities in fiscal year 2007, an increase of $15 million above the FY 2006 enacted level and the president’s FY 2007 request. This modest increase for the NEH will provide crucial support for humanities programs that educate the public, provide resources for teachers, increase literacy, facilitate scholarly research, and preserve historical documents and collections.

With a relatively small investment from Congress, the NEH provides access to high-quality educational programs and resources that reach millions of Americans each year. To this end, it is critical that we continue to strengthen funding for the arts and scholarly research through increased appropriations for the NEH.

For more information or to sign onto the letter, please contact Susan Howard with Rep. David Price at 225-1784 or Naomi Zeff with Rep. James Leach at 225-6576. The deadline to sign onto the letter is COB, Wednesday, March 29.

As an individual who is passionate about our nation’s arts programs and a member of the College Art Association, I look forward to your powerful recognition concerning arts and humanities funding. If ever I can be of assistance to you in this endeavor, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your consideration of my request, and for your support of arts funding.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR ORGANIZATION OR MEMBER OF CAA]

————-

SAMPLE LETTER RE: NEA DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTERS

[DATE]

The Honorable [FULL NAME]
United States House of Representative / United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515 (House) 20510 (Senate)

Dear Representative [LAST NAME]:

Public encouragement and financial assistance for arts and humanities programs are very much in the hearts and minds of the citizens of this country. I urge you to support these programs in discussions with other members of Congress and the general public. I am writing you today to ask that you sign onto a Dear Colleague letter now being circulated by the Congressional Arts Caucus to the chairman and ranking member of the Interior Appropriations Committee. The letter requests a funding level of $170 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in fiscal year 2007. I heartily request that you sign onto this important letter to increase NEA funding.

To sign onto the letter, please contact Sarah Moore in Representative Chris Shays’s office at 225-5541, or sarah.moore@mail.house.gov, or Michelle Adams in Representative Louise Slaughter’s office at 225-3615, or michelle.adams@mail.house.gov. The deadline for signatures is Friday, April 7, so please sign on to this important letter as soon as possible.

With a relatively small investment from Congress, the NEA provide access to high-quality educational programs and resources that reach millions of Americans each year. To this end, it is critical that we continue to strengthen funding for the arts and scholarly research through increased appropriations for the NEH.

For more information or to sign onto the letter, please contact Susan Howard with Representative David Price at 225-1784 or Naomi Zeff with Representative James Leach at 225-6576. The deadline to sign the letter is COB, Wednesday, March 29.

As an individual who is passionate about our nation’s arts programs and a member of the College Art Association, I look forward to your powerful recognition concerning arts and humanities funding. If ever I can be of assistance to you in this endeavor, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR ORGANIZATION OR MEMBER OF CAA]

2005 Election Impact on the Arts

posted by January 16, 2006

The Americans for the Arts Action Fund has completed its preliminary report of the “2005 Election Impact on the Arts.” The report shows that citizens voted overwhelmingly for proarts ballot initiatives and candidates throughout the country. While 2005 is considered an off year for national and most statewide elections, hundreds of local elections took place in communities across the country; two statewide elections in New Jersey and Virginia were also notable exceptions.

Four local ballot initiatives having a positive direct impact on the arts and arts education passed by large margins, as well as one statewide ballot that could potentially benefit the arts. “2005 Election Impact on the Arts” contains details of these ballots initiatives as well as highlights of the arts policy positions of Governor-Elect Jon Corzine of New Jersey and Governor-Elect Tim Kaine of Virginia, as well as top city mayors across the country.

Arts Advocacy Day and Humanities Advocacy Day

posted by January 16, 2006

CAA is a national cosponsor of Arts Advocacy Day and Humanities Advocacy Day. We encourage all members to participate in both events.

Humanities Advocacy Day takes place March 1-2, 2006. Held in Washington, D.C., this event provides a unique opportunity for concerned citizens to communicate to Congress the vital importance of federal support for research and education in the humanities.

Arts Advocacy Day takes place March 13-14, 2006. Also held in Washington, D.C., this event brings together a broad cross-section of America’s national cultural organizations to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts, the humanities, and arts education, as well as other programs within the federal government that have an impact on the visual and performing arts.

NEH FY 2006 Budget

posted by November 16, 2005

Congress approved the final FY 2006 Interior appropriations bill on July 29th, and the President signed it into law on August 2. The bill (H.R. 2361), which supports a number of cultural programs, was passed with an internal 0.476 percent across-the-board rescission. The National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts each received a $5 million increase on the House and Senate floors , which was reduced to a net increase of $4.4 million for the NEA and $4.3 million for the NEH after the rescission. Total FY 2006 funding for NEA currently stands at $125,660,000 and the NEH at $142,373,000. Should additional government-wide rescissions be imposed, these would almost certainly be applied to the Interior bill, further reducing funding for NEA, NEH and other programs.

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.