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On January 21, 2010, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman gave a policy address at the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors. In his speech, he addressed the role of smart design and artists and arts organizations as place-makers and announced the NEA Mayors’ Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative. This funding program builds on the accomplishments of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) over its twenty-five-year history and reflects the program’s tenets of transforming communities through design.

Landesman said, “Artists are entrepreneurs, small businessmen all, great place-makers and community builders. Bring artists into the center of town and that town changes profoundly. We know now that people do not migrate to businesses. It is businesses that will move to where they can find a skilled, motivated, educated workforce. And what does that workforce look for? In survey after survey, the answer is education and culture.”

“Mayors understand that the arts mean business,” stated Conference of Mayors President Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth B. Kautz. “The nonprofit arts sector alone generates over $166 billion annually in economic activity. An important element to making our cities places to attract and grow businesses, tourism, and jobs is for a community to maintain good urban design. The initiatives announced today by Chairman Landesman will help mayors to implement projects and programs locally to ensure that their communities maintain design standards that will promote business and jobs.”

Application to MICD 25 is open to the six hundred cities (or their designees) that have participated in the MICD since 1986 or are committed to participate in an institute in 2010. All phases of a project—planning, development, design, implementation, and related innovative arts activities—are eligible for support. The NEA encourages partnerships which can further the success of MICD projects, especially when involving public and private sector resources.

The NEA anticipates awarding up to fifteen grants ranging from $25,000 to $250,000. Guidelines and application materials are now available on the NEA website.

Since its inception in 1986, more than eight hundred mayors from six hundred cities—from small town to metropolises—have participated in a MICD session. These mayors learn that through design and the engagement of arts and cultural activities, communities experience a celebration of place that can have a powerful impact on community sustainability and vitality. This place-making is accomplished by providing opportunities for creativity, building social networks, facilitating connections across geographic boundaries, and serving as magnets for attracting a vibrant workforce.

Please see Landesman’s complete speech.

In 2008 the National Arts Index fell 4.2 points to a score of 98.4, reveals Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit arts group. This means, among other things, that charitable giving and attendance at larger cultural institutions have declined, even as the number of artists and arts-related businesses grew.

Other findings from the index tell us that nonprofit arts organizations expanded from 73,000 to 104,000 between 1998 and 2008, but a third of them failed to balance their budgets. Also, demand for the arts has been mixed. Although millions of Americans attended concerts, plays, and museum exhibitions last year, the overall percentage of those who participate in such activities, compared to the total population, is decreasing. The good news is that those who create art, whether that’s making music, taking photographs, or drawing, is up. The demand for arts education is also strong.

Those involved in the National Arts Index herald its usefulness in shaping the future of the arts in the United States. “As with key business measures like the Dow or the GDP, we now have a way to measure the health of the arts in America,” said Albert Chao, a member of the Business Committee for the Arts, a business leadership program of Americans for the Arts. To that end, the Kresge Foundation has awarded a $1.2 million grant to Americans for the Arts to support that vision.

Read more about the index on the PR Newswire. The Americans for the Arts website has more detailed information, as well as PDF downloads of a detailed summary and the full report. There is also discussion and opinions on the organization’s blog.

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Greetings:

It has been a difficult night. Many of us are in a state of shock or more fittingly in disbelief. As a business that prides itself in keeping the rich culture of Haiti alive in Philadelphia, I and the Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia (HPP) send our deepest and most sincere condolences to our Haitian family in our area and around the world.

We have secured a private jumbo jet to transport supplies to Haiti, which is leaving in the next 24–48 hours. We are in need of doctors, nurses, and donations to go to Haiti in order to provide medical care. Vivant Art Collection and HPP is currently coordinating with the Haitian Coalition of Philadelphia, the Haitian Clergy of Philadelphia, Beyond Borders, the Mayor’s Office, the Temple Haitian Student Association, the University of Pennsylvania Haitian Student Association, Congressman Brady’s office, the Philadelphia Young Democrats, political officials, and other Haitian organizations in the surrounding area to devise a plan to provide assistance to Haiti. Frequent updates will be made to www.hphilly.org and www.vivantartcollection.com/events, so please check back often. In the meantime, if you wish to provide assistance we urge you to do the following:

  • Make a monetary donation to Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia to the Haitian Relief Fund via Paypal. All funds will go toward purchasing items that must be bought in Haiti to defray shipping cost, as well as medical supplies
  • Purchase or bring cots and tents that will be instrumental in providing temporary shelter to those who have been displaced
  • Medical supplies such as band aids, alcohol, peroxide, etc.
  • Water and nonperishable food items
  • Generators and industrial supplies for building will be needed for rebuilding
  • Supplies for children such as diapers, baby clothes, wipes, and bottles are greatly need as well
  • Call elected officials in your area and ask them to partner with HPP

Current Drop Off Sites

The Office of State Senator Leanna M. Washington
1555-A Wadsworth Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19150

The Office of State Representative Vanessa Brown
4706 Westminster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Vivant Art Collections (monetary donations and medical supplies only)
60 North 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

For further information on how to help, please call Yve-Car Momperousse, board chair, at 973-280-2307 or Florcy Morisset, community development chair, at 310-612-4636. You can also send an email to vivantartcollection@gmail.com or yvecar@hpphilly.org.

Press contact: Please call Alain Joinville, public-relations chair, at 215-287-7373 to coordinate interviews.

Moving forward,

Florcy Morisset
Vivant Art Collection
vivantartcollection@gmail.com
310-612-4636

American audiences for the arts are getting older and their numbers are declining, according to new research released yesterday by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Arts Participation 2008: Highlights from a National Survey, which can be ordered or downloaded from the NEA website, features top findings from the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, the nation’s largest and most representative periodic study of adult participation in arts events and activities, conducted by the NEA in partnership with the US Census Bureau.

Five times since 1982, the survey has asked US adults eighteen and older about their patterns of arts participation over a twelve-month period. The 2008 survey reveals dwindling audiences for many art forms, but it also captures new data on internet use and other forms of arts participation. Although the 2008 recession likely affected survey responses, long-term trend analysis indicates that other factors also may have contributed to lower arts participation rates.

There are persistent patterns of decline in participation for most art forms. Although nearly 35 percent of US adults—an estimated 78 million—attended an art museum or an arts performance in the 2008 survey period, the figure is a decline from 40 percent reported in 1982, 1992, and 2002.

Attendance at the most popular types of arts events—such as art museums and craft or visual-arts festivals—saw notable declines. The US rate of attendance for art museums fell slightly from a high of 26 percent in 1992–2002 to 23 percent in 2008, comparable to the 1982 level.

Further, fewer adults are creating and performing art. Weaving and sewing remain popular as crafts, but the percentage of adults who do those activities has declined by 12 points. Only the number of adults doing photography has increased—from 12 percent in 1992 to 15 percent in 2008.

Historically the most dependable arts participants, forty-five to fifty-four-year-olds, showed the steepest declines in attendance for most art events, compared with other age groups. Educated Americans—the most likely to attend or participate in the arts—are doing so less than before, and less-educated adults have significantly reduced their already low levels of attendance.

In a positive trend, the internet and mass media are reaching substantial audiences for the arts. Consider these findings:

  • About 70 percent of US adults went online for any purpose in 2008 survey, and of those adults, nearly 40 percent used the web to view, listen to, download, or post artworks or performances
  • Thirty percent of internet-using adults download, watch, or listen to music, theater, or dance performances online at least once a week. More than 20 percent of them view paintings, sculpture, or photography at least once a week
  • More Americans view or listen to broadcasts and recordings of arts events than attend them live (live theater being the sole exception). Classical and Latin or salsa music were the most popular music categories (with 40 and 33.5 million viewers/listeners, respectively), and 33.7 million adults reported listening to, or viewing programs or recordings about books and writers. The same number (33.7 million) enjoyed broadcasts or recordings about the visual arts.

The entire survey questionnaire, the raw data, and a user’s guide are available both on the NEA website and from Princeton University’s Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA). More detailed study results will be available later this year.

Andrea Kirsh, an independent art historian based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a member of the CAA Board of Directors, was one of several CAA delegates who attended Humanities Advocacy Day and Arts Advocacy Day, both of which took place in March 2009 in Washington, DC.

In an article for the forthcoming May issue of CAA News that is also posted online, she writes about her experiences advocating for increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, among other government programs and legislation.

Photo: The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Josh Groban (center) advocates for the arts with CAA board member Judith Thorpe (left) and Jean Miller at the Congressional Breakfast during Arts Advocacy Day

President Barrack Obama has released his budget recommendations for fiscal year 2010, which includes $161 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts—$11 million over the previous year’s budget and the largest increase in fifteen years. Obama’s administration also requested $38.16 million for the Arts in Education program at the US Department of Education.

CAA encourages you to contact your legislators to voice your support for these increases in arts and cultural funding through the Arts Action Center, sponsored by Americans for the Arts. You can use or modify existing letter templates to tell Congress to support Arts in Education and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Two nonprofit arts-advocacy groups, Americans for the Arts and Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), announced yesterday that they will merge their operations, creating the largest-ever advocacy group for the arts in the private sector. The partnership will further enable the organization to generate increased private-sector support for the arts and arts education by engaging and educating business leaders nationwide on the economic impact and value of the arts in business and community settings.

Americans for the Arts has issued a press release on the merger and also published two lists of frequently asked questions for its members and the general public.

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Interested in receiving the latest policy-relevant arts and culture news, sent directly to your email inbox? The Cultural Policy listserv, operated by Americans for the Arts, is the ideal way to spot emerging trends, track ongoing issues, and connect to a world of news and ideas. In each weekly update you’ll also get information on upcoming conferences, events, and news from colleague organizations.

Just click on the listserv link above, provide your name and email address, then click the “Join now” button. You can unsubscribe at any time, and Americans for the Arts promises not to give your name or contact information to other organizations.

Based in Washington, DC, and New York, Americans for the Arts is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for promoting and advancing the arts in America. With forty-five years of service, it is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.

Filed under: Advocacy — Tags:

Interested in receiving the latest policy-relevant arts and culture news, sent directly to your e-mail inbox? The Cultural Policy listserv, operated by Americans for the Arts, is the ideal way to spot emerging trends, track ongoing issues, and connect to a world of news and ideas. In each weekly update you’ll also get information on upcoming conferences, events, and news from colleague organizations.

Just click on the listserv link above, provide your name and e-mail address, then click the “Join now” button. You can unsubscribe at any time, and Americans for the Arts promises not to give your name or contact information to other organizations.

Based in Washington, DC, and New York, Americans for the Arts is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for promoting and advancing the arts in America. With forty-five years of service, it is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.

Filed under: Advocacy — Tags:

Capwiz E-Advocacy

posted by August 25, 2007

Americans for the Arts, a national organization that supports the arts through private and public resource development, maintains Capwiz, an online tool that makes it easy for you to play an active role in arts-advocacy efforts at the state, local, and federal levels. E-advocacy is an easy, timely, and efficient way to communicate your views to legislators at all levels of government, and Capwiz provides the information you need to take action. Use it, and use it often–elected officials respect and respond to the input of their constituents.

Capwiz offers you extensive opportunities to:

• Explore current issues and legislation that affect the arts on both federal and state levels of government

• Send timely messages to your elected officials at the state, local, and federal levels

• Browse your legislators’ biographies, committee assignments, staff directories, and the list of contributions made to them by political action committees

• View the arts voting records of your federal representatives

• Browse a complete media guide to newspaper, television, and radio outlets in your area or state

• Find complete, up-to-the-minute election and candidate information on state, congressional, and presidential races, including candidate biographies and position statements

• Download voter registration forms and stay abreast of key dates for primary and general elections

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