Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA). is a statewide arts advocacy organization, founded in 1977 to represent all Maryland artists and arts organizations of all disciplines.MCA works to increase public recognition and support of the Arts and the role they play in the quality of life and economic vitality of Maryland. MCA achieves this goal by advocating for the arts across the state and by promoting adequate public funding at the local, state and federal levels.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2010, Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. From offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it serves more than 150,000 organizational and individual members and stakeholders.
With the 2014 General Assembly Session in full swing, it's challenging to focus on anything other than securing Governor O'Malley's 8th and finalBudget request for the arts. In this budget, the Governor has put forth a 5.1% increase in the General Fund appropriation for the Maryland State Arts Council. This follows last year's increase of over 15%! In addition, for the first time since its creation and passage, the Governor fully funded the Special Fund for the Preservation of Cultural Arts at $2 million! If secured, these two budget requests would raise arts funding in Maryland to an all time high.
Naturally, we need your help! So before you read anything else....REGISTER for the 2014 Maryland Arts Day on Wednesday,February 12th. in Annapolis. Join us as we honor Governor O'Malley, celebrate the Sue Hess Maryland Arts Advocate of the year Fred Lazarus IV, and hear from a national arts leader, Ben Cameron. The message is clear. The Arts are a $1 billion industry in Maryland (according to the most recent economic impact report created by the Department of Business and Economic Development - view HERE.) Beyond this, the arts are supporting hundreds of small businesses across the state from florists and caterers to lumber yards, web designers and printers. Also, each year, there is more and more research about the importance of arts education. The Governor's P20 Task Force on Arts Education further demonstrates his understanding of the role of the arts.
So now's the time! Let's make this happen. Take a moment to again be sure that your representatives in Annapolis are on your mailing lists, are connected via social media, and are hearing directly from you, your board, your patrons, etc. about the impact of the state's investment in your organization.
John Schratwieser Executive Director Maryland Citizens for the Arts
5/17/12 - Update: Annapolis Special Session Ends. Arts Advocacy Never Ends.
Greetings Arts Advocates! Yesterday the General Assembly adjourned its Special Session, with both houses passing the governor’s bill package with no changes. This confirms that the so called “Doomsday” budget is no longer, and it also confirms that the LEVEL FUNDING for which you all fought so hard this year, is secure. In addition, the renewed Special Fund for the Preservation of the Cultural Arts is also secure. This culminates a long and difficult legislative season where more than $1 billion in cuts needed to be made to balance the budget. Thanks to all of you for your active participation in the advocacy process, the arts sector comes out of this session with a victory! Our colleagues around the country continue to see deep cuts and threatened vetoes to arts funding. It is our collaborative, state-wide, and consistent messaging that keeps Maryland at the forefront of public investment in the arts.
The Special Fund renews in FY 2013 (No funds remained for FY 12.) The State Arts Council is working to develop guidelines and processes related to potential grants from this fund to support organizational capacity and fiscal stability in arts organizations and county arts councils. MCA has worked closely with key lawmakers in both houses to ensure the continuation of this fund. We are grateful to all who helped us secure its renewal.
Now would be a great time to write your representatives in Annapolis and thank them for level funding the arts. Click HERE to go to our Art Action Center to connect with your lawmaker and send them a quick note of thanks. Once there, click the "Take Action" button under the Alert Headline. (For best results, know your zip+4 – find it HERE.) We’ve drafted a thank you note for you to use.
The General Assembly may have adjourned but ARTS ADVOCACY does not end here. Now, more than ever, your direct communication with your representatives, about the programs and services you are providing in your communities is critical. With summer arts festivals in every corner of the state, summer arts camps for children and adults, and major arts initiatives being planned across Maryland, we must keep up the effort. Call, write, visit your representative – or better yet, INVITE them to a show, rehearsal, opening, recital, etc! Get them involved and show them the direct benefits of their support of public arts funding!
We are very grateful to all who support MCA financially either through organizational membership or donations. Arts funding can never be taken for granted. But MCA has your back! We are constantly on guard for updates, changes and threats to funding.
We do it for you, but we cannot do it without you. If you are an organization receiving a grant – PLEASE renew your membership for FY 2012 before June 30. If you are an artist, patron, volunteer, advocate, please consider making a gift of any size to support our work. Click HEREto make a donation. To renew your organizational member, please call me directly at 410-467-6700 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
Thank you. Be on the look at for more updates and opportunities from MCA soon. Enjoy the weather, make great art – SHARE IT… with us, with your lawmakers, and with each other!
Sincerely, John SchratwieserExecutive Director
April 17, 2012 Update from Americans for the Arts
Today, hundreds of dedicated arts supporters from across the country have come together in Washington, DC for National Arts Advocacy Day, a united effort to tell Capitol Hill how important culture is to our communities, how much arts education means to our children, and how much the arts improve our daily lives. 87 National CoSponsors have helped us shape this united arts message to Congress. The 25th annual Arts Advocacy Day is organized by Americans for the Arts and is presented this year in partnership with Ovation, the only muti-platform network celebrating all forms of artistic expression.
Arts Advocacy Day begins with a Kickoff event at the U.S. House of Representatives. We are very pleased that Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert Lynch will be joined by several other national leaders in the arts, including Alec Baldwin, Hill Harper, Nigel Lythgoe, Ben Folds, Clay Walker, Tiffani Thiessen, Pierre Dulaine, Melina Kanakaredes, Omar Benson Miller, and Jonathan Schaech.
Even if you’re not able to join us in Washington, you can still participate in Arts Advocacy Day by asking your Members of Congress to support the arts. Visit our E-Advocacy Center, and you’ll be able tosend a message in less than two minutes directly to your Representative and Senators telling them why the arts are important to you and your community. We urge you to send your message to Congress today to coincide with our office visits to the Hill. Need more information? Browse the 2012 Congressional Arts Handbook for issue briefs, voting records, latest arts research and trends, relevant Congressional committees, and Congressional contact lists.
On Twitter? Follow @Americans4Arts and track all the action in Washington, DC at #AAD12!
April 11 - Update from Maryland Citizens for the Arts
_ The 2012 General Assembly
adjourned on Monday night. Unfortunately, the two houses could not
agree on a revenue package before the midnight deadline, and as such,
lawmakers adopted what is being referred to as the “Doomsday” Budget for
FY 2013. It includes $512 million in additional cuts. One of the cost
saving measures of the approved budget is an across the board 8% cut to
state agency operating expenses. In order to avoid these cuts, a special
session would be necessary. MCA will stay informed about post-session
budget news and we’ll let you know when there are developments.
evening’s vote, the General Assembly did approve the Governor’s
recommendation to fund the arts at the same level as last year. This is
a significant achievement and you should be very proud—this funding is
secure because of you! By attending Maryland Arts Day, writing, calling
or visiting your representatives in Annapolis, you join in a strong,
state-wide network of grassroots advocates who are committed to the arts
for all they do for Maryland. And, although the Budget Reconciliation
and Financing Act of 2012 (BRFA) did not result in a small increase for
the arts, lawmakers did remove the five year “mandate relief”
provision. This means that as the economy continues to recover, the
Arts sector would not have to wait until FY 2017 for its
next mandated increase. Congratulations all around.
is another piece of good
news. Lawmakers did pass a bill renewing the Special Fund for the
Preservation of Cultural Arts (created in 2009 and originally scheduled
to sunset on June 30, 2012.) Grants from this Fund are designed to help
arts institutions build organizational capacity and fiscal stability.
The fund is renewed without a sunset date. Grants will be processed and
distributed by the Maryland State Arts Council. MCA worked closely
with Senate and House leaders to ensure the renewal of this Special Fund
and to better define its purpose.
So, stay tuned! “It ain’t over till it’s over.” In the meantime, watch your inbox for our spring MCA E-News Letter,
coming out later this week, and continue your great work in the arts, because you are making Maryland great!
Sincerely, John Schratwieser, Executive Director
A Message from Maryland Citizens for the Arts Executive Director: John Schratwieser
I wanted to take a moment to update you on the status of arts funding in Maryland for FY 2013. As you know the General Assembly is still in session, and they are dealing with a very difficult budget situation. There is a $1 billion short fall, and there have been multiple levels of revenue proposals and spending cuts to make up the difference.
Thanks to all who came out for Maryland Arts Day. This day is a critical component of our annual advocacy work. Since Arts Day, MCA members have been keeping the pressure on in Annapolis using e-mails, phone calls and visits to communicate with legislators. MCA coordinated multiple small group constituent meetings with individual members of the House and Senate subcommittees. Each meeting featured two or three constituent arts organizations. MCA also pulled together panels of arts advocates from all over the state for both the House and Senate sub-committee budget hearings, as well as the House and Senate hearings for the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2012 (BRFA.)
We are a few weeks away from the end of session and the Senate has already voted on a budget bill. The senate approved Gov. O’Malley’s recommendation for level funding for FY 2013. The House will vote next, they are making final budget adjustments now. Currently, the House Appropriations Committee has approved the same language as the Senate. The full House of Delegates has not yet voted on its version of the budget bill. We will monitor final budget negotiations closely.
There is also the potential for more good news. The Special Fund for the Preservation of Cultural Arts, created by the General Assembly in 2009, was to sunset at the end of FY 2012. A bill seeking the renewal of this fund is moving through the legislature. If this bill passes, money should be available in the fund in FY 2013, for the purpose of providing supplemental grants to arts organizations seeking to strengthen their organizational capacity and/or fiscal stability. The funds will be dispersed through the Maryland State Arts Council. MCA coordinated additional testimony panels for the hearings on this bill in the Senate Budget & Taxation and House Ways and Means Committees.
As I mentioned it has been a busy session for Maryland Lawmakers. Your continued support and communication helps us ensure consistent funding year after year.
There is also some positive movement at the national level. President Obama has increased the National Endowment for the Arts’ appropriation by $8 million (from $146 million in FY 2012 to $154 million for FY 2013.) Americans for the Arts will host National Arts Advocacy Day on April 16 and 17 in Washington, DC. MCA will be coordinating congressional visits for all Maryland residents who attend. Please see the link below to register.
A Message from Americans for the Arts: President Obama Proposes Increase for NEA
The Obama Administration has released the much anticipated FY 2013 budget request to Congress, which includes funding for the nation's cultural agencies and programs, such as the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS), and the Department of Education's Arts in Education program.
As Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert Lynch noted in a statement:
"The administration request of $154 million for the National Endowment for the Arts marks a greatly needed increase. Since 2010 the NEA has been cut $22 million, reducing it to $146 million last year, which threatens its ability to make critical grants throughout the country. By boosting specific funding for programmatic grants by $6.75 million, the White House is sending a clear message that it understands the importance of the creative sector to our communities and economy and the incredible return on investment those funds generate to federal, state and local treasuries."
WHAT COMES NEXT The President's Request is just the first step in the legislative process. Soon the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate will offer competing proposals that will reflect their particular priorities. We ask that advocates remain vigilant in the months ahead as the congressional appropriations committees work to pass their spending plans. Last year, the NEA was twicetargeted for reduced funding through the amendment process on the House Floor. Thanks to your messages to Congress, the nation's signature cultural agency was spared drastic cuts after an outpouring of bipartisan support that turned back the harmful amendment. We hope to count on your advocacy again this year should the need arise.
Our kickoff advocacy effort will launch at our National Arts Advocacy Day conference on April 16-17, the only national event that brings together a broad cross section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country. We encourage you to register for this national conference and join us on Capitol Hill.
Governor Martin O’Malley released his proposed budget for FY 2013. In spite of facing a projected $1.1 billion shortfall, the Governor has recommended LEVEL FUNDING for the Arts for the coming fiscal year! This is indeed good news for Maryland Arts Organizations and it is a direct result of the great work each of you has done over the last year, to ensure that the Governor and our Lawmakers know and understand the value of a strong arts sector in our state. THANK YOU for all you do!
We have, as the song goes, “only just begun.” There is much work to be done with our representatives in Annapolis to ensure this level funding survives the Session. We’ll be communicating directly with you all about Action Items that are needed as the Session progresses. Stay tuned for more details, budget hearing dates, etc., and forward this message to a friend. Get your circle of friends signed up as E-Advocates with Maryland Citizens for the Arts so that we can raise thousands of voices, from Oakland to Ocean City, in support of public funding for the Arts.
National Endowments Cut as Congress Reaches Appropriations Deal
December 16, 2011: Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the final budget agreement for FY 2012, which includes $146.255 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts(NEA). This is identical to President Obama's proposed budget, a cut of nearly $9 million less than FY 2011, and is a compromise between the House of Representatives number of $135 million and the Senate number of $155 million as previously considered by their respective subcommittees. Also included in this bill is $24.596 million in funding for the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, which had been zeroed-out in a previous proposal in the House.
A breakdown of the final FY 2012 appropriations is as follows:
Key Federally Funded Arts Program FY 11 Enacted Appropriations FY 12 President's Budget Request FY 12 Enacted Appropriations (in millions)(in millions)(in millions)
*National Endowment for the Arts $155 $146.255 $146.255
National Endowment for the Humanities $155 $146.255 $146.255
Office of Museum Services (IMLS) $ 31.5 $ 32.3 $ 30.918
U.S. Dept. of Education's Arts in Education $ 25.5 $ 0 $ 24.596
Corporation for Public Broadcasting $430 $451 (FY14) $445 (FY14)
*All programs are subject to a .189% across the board reduction
A short term continuing resolution was also passed today so that the Senate can complete work on the budget agreement over the weekend. Once passed, it will be ready for the president to sign into law. This concludes the prolonged Congressional negotiations for the FY 2012 budget and prevents a government shutdown. After the New Year, Congress will begin considering the FY 2013 budget. Join us in Washington, DC for National Arts Advocacy Day 2012 on April 16 - 17, 2012 to let your members of Congress know the arts are important to you and your communities! Thank you for your support of the arts! Please help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today -- it's free and easy to join.
Pre-Legislative Briefing Session with Maryland Citizens for the Arts
Dec. 9 MEETING CANCELED... hope to reschedule an evening meeting that will be more beneficial to a greater number of people... Stay tuned!
As part of its continual efforts to keep the public informed, MCA is organizing four Pre-Legislative Session Briefings in December at locations all across the state. At these one-hour meetings, MCA staff and Board members will present their arts advocacy strategy for the 2012 Maryland Legislative Session (which runs from mid-January until mid-April). There will also be time for your questions. MCA recommends that all interested members of the arts community and the general public attend one of the briefings!
The Southern Maryland Briefing will take place Friday, December 9, 2011 at 10 a.m. at the CalvART Gallery, 110 Solomons Island Road, Prince Frederick, MD.
These briefings are free of charge, and attendees are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy coffee, refreshments, and networking with other arts supporters in your region! For planning purposes, an RSVP is required. Either Call MCA at 410-467-6700 and ask for Brian, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryland Arts Day, February 8, 2012: Many Voices, One Song
The date for Maryland Arts Day 2012 is set for Wednesday, February 8th, in Annapolis!
Save the date NOW for the most important arts advocacy event of the year. Join the chorus of voices with allies from ALL over the state that will make the case for public funding for the arts to Maryland lawmakers.
In addition to enjoying performances and speakers, Maryland Arts Day affords enthusiasts, artists and cultural workers alike the chance to explore topics important to the arts community via sessions that will focus on professional development and creative conversations.
National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast celebration of culture in America. Held every October and coordinated by Americans for the Arts, NAHM is the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation. President Obama has issued a White House proclamation that recognizes the value of the arts and humanities and kicks off this month’s celebrations. Within the proclamation, President Obama states:
"Millions of Americans earn a living in the arts and humanities, and the non-profit and for-profit arts industries are important parts of both our cultural heritage and our economy...We must recognize the contributions of the arts and humanities not only by supporting the artists of today, but also by giving opportunities to the creative thinkers of tomorrow. Educators across our country are opening young minds, fostering innovation, and developing imaginations through arts education." PARTICIPATE LOCALLYNational Arts and Humanities Month Events Map: Learn more about the NAHM events happening nationwide this October.
A Message from AMERICANS for the ARTS, July 29, 2011
Good News! Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives successfully voted down an amendment proposed by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) that would have cut an additional $10.6 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts from the FY 2012 Interior Appropriations bill. Thanks to the efforts of arts advocates like you across the country, more than 35,000 messages were sent in the last month to Capitol Hill in support of NEA funding. It made a difference! The amendment was defeated soundly by a vote of 240 to 181. You can see how your representative voted on the amendment here.
Through our E-Advocacy Center, you can easily write your representative about this vote. We've made it easy by automatically matching up a letter of thanks for you to send to those House members who voted against the Walberg Amendment. For those House members who voted for the Walberg Amendment, you can send a letter expressing your disappointment.
What’s Next As Congress continues to debate a debt ceiling resolution, final consideration of the full Interior Appropriations bill has been delayed. The House of Representatives hopes to finish this legislation before they break for the proposed August recess. It is unclear when the Senate will begin work on their version of this appropriations bill and negotiate a final compromise with the House – but it would most likely take place later in the fall.
A Message from MD Citizens for the Arts, July 15, 2011
All of us at MCA are grateful for your hard work and dedication during the 2011 General Assembly Session. The outcome - level funding for the State Arts Council in difficult economic times - is proof that community wide arts advocacy works.
Summertime presents some unique opportunities to continue to advocate. With all the great outdoor arts festivals, music and dance concerts and theatre "in the park", more Marylanders than ever are getting to experience the value of the arts in their own communities. Your legislators are home in their communities too. So tell them about what you are doing, and how their support of state arts funding is impacting your cities and towns. Take a moment to write your Delegate and Senator and invite them to attend a summer arts event like a "Plein Air" day or even a childrens' arts camp program. Click here to find out how to contact your Delegate or Senator. It is important for each legislator to experience the wide range of benefits a strong arts community brings to their district.
It just takes a moment to let them know the great work that state arts funding is supporting all year long.
Thank you for continuing to play your part in this ongoing process. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
John Schratwieser Executive Director
P.S. Please continue to follow developing National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Education funding issues at the federal level. Click Hereto find out more.
A Message from Americans for the Arts, July 7, 2011
Once again, the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is facing cuts. This morning, a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee began the funding cycle for Fiscal Year 2012 by approving legislation to fund the NEA at $135.2 million, which is a reduction of $20 million from the current year. If enacted, it would be the deepest cut to the NEA in 16 years.Please take two minutes to send a customizable message to your member of Congress calling on them to reject these funding cuts.
This budget proposal is disappointing, represents a disproportionate cut, and appears counter-productive to the stated objectives of growing American jobs.
This proposed cut to the NEA is 13 percent below the current funding level, while overall funding in the bill, which includes agencies like the EPA, Interior Department and the U.S. Forest Service, is reduced by only 7 percent. As Americans for the Arts stated during the contentious FY 2011 budget consideration earlier this year, the arts community recognizes the shared sacrifice being asked of all federal agencies to help reduce our national debt and it is willing to do its part.
The arts sector has proven to be resilient as a growth industry and a strong contributor to the economy. NEA dollars are a critical lifeline in helping state and local budgets survive as philanthropic dollars are dwindling. This drastic reduction does not take into account the incredible return on investment those funds generate to federal, state and local treasuries.
It is expected that the House Appropriations Committee will consider this legislation next week, and the full House of Representatives may consider it before the August recess. A message from you now registering your concerns with your member of Congress would be well-timed to arrive prior to these next steps in the appropriations process.
Critical Federal Support for ARTS EDUCATION May Be Terminated!
New from AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS:
Last month, a piece of federal legislation named “Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act” (HR 1891) was introduced for the purpose of terminating 43 existing federal education programs, including Arts in Education. The Arts in Education program currently funds 57 active education projects around the country, and to date has supported more than 210 competitive grants serving students in high-need schools, as well as the affiliates of the Kennedy Center and VSA arts education programs.
The Arts in Education program also provides critical federal leadership in supporting a well-rounded curriculum throughout our nation’s public schools.
On May 25, the House Education & Workforce Committee approved HR 1891 by a party-line vote of 23 Republicans to 16 Democrats. Americans for the Arts worked with Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and other members of that committee who offered an amendment that sought to restore some of these education programs, including arts education, but that amendment failed to pass.
The full House of Representatives may vote on HR 1891 prior to their August Congressional Recess. The Senate education committee, however, is not expected to consider HR 1891 as Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) plans on offering a separate, more comprehensive bill to reauthorize the Elementary & Secondary Education Act.
We call on arts advocates to contact their House Representative through our customizable e-alert and request that they oppose HR 1891 because it seeks to terminate the critical federal support directed to arts education. Don’t let this bill narrow the curriculum of our students.
Maryland FY2012 Budget News: Level Funding for Arts Council, No Preservation Funds
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Monday night was "SINE DIE" - the official end to the 2011 General Assembly session. We are very pleased to have helped secure level funding for the general fund appropriation to the Maryland State Arts Council - $13.3 Million!! Having spent Sunday, April 3rd with my counterparts from about 30 other states at our SAAN (State Arts Action Network) meeting, I can tell you that we are in very good shape by comparison to many other states.
Unfortunately, the conference committee did not fund the additional appropriation of $500,000 (half of the $1 million proposed for the Arts Preservation Fund by Governor O'Malley). These funds have been returned to the General Fund.
We know that for so many of you [nonprofit arts organizations], your State Arts Council grant is the largest single general operating grant you get each year. This is why MCA fights to protect public funding in Maryland. And the work doesn't stop here. We will be working with you to continue to raise the level of awareness of the need for public funding and increasing our base of nearly 10,000 E-Advocates [Become a Maryland Arts E-Advocate] to call upon when the General Assembly needs to hear from the Arts community.
Thank you for your good work...
John Schratwieser Executive Director
March 25, 2011 Update from Maryland Citizens for the Arts
Hello Arts Advocate:
The Maryland General Assembly is nearing the end of its term. There is some good news, and also some work still to be done.
The good news is that both the House and the Senate have voted to adopt the Governor’s recommendation for level funding for the Maryland State Arts Council, at $13.3 million for FY 2012. We are very grateful to the Senators and Delegates who approved this appropriation. Once both house passes their versions of the budget bill, the allocation will be set for FY 2012. This is a great victory for the arts!
However, the two houses took different actions regarding the Govenor's proposal of allocating $1 million to the Special Fund for the Preservation of Cultural Arts. The House Appropriations Committee voted to move the entire $1 million into to the general fund. Alternatively, the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee adopted new language regarding the Special Fund that would provide $500,000 of this money as a direct appropriation to the Maryland State Arts Council.
The House passed their budget bill yesterday. Once the Senate passes their version, the discrepency in this portion of the budget will be decided by a conference committee including members from both houses.
MCA will be taking multiple steps to persuade the House members for the conference committee to support the Senate position on the Special Fund. One of these steps will be to prepare a letter-writing campaign to key members of the House leadership and Appropriations Committee. If you live in the district of one of these lawmakers, you will be hearing from us shortly – when you do, please act quickly and call or write your delegate. We will prepare language for you. MCA will be managing the direct advocacy efforts to preserve this $500,000 for the arts and will keep you informed as there are further developments.
Through attending Maryland Arts Day, sending emails, or making legislative visits, you have helped arts organizations and artists all across the state. Thank you for your great support!
Sincerely, John Schratwieser MCA Executive Director
Feb. 15, 2011 Update from Americans for the Arts
We've just learned that two members of Congress have introduced amendments to further cut, and terminate, funding from the National Endowment for the Arts during consideration of the FY 2011 appropriations measure.
As you may recall from our E-Alerts last week, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering major cuts to federal programs this week. In the bill they're considering, the NEA will be reduced from $167.5 million to $145 million. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) has introduced an amendment to further cut that amount by $20.5 milllion from the NEA budget. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) has introduced an amendment to terminate funding to the NEA immediately in this fiscal year. Both amendments are in line to be considered this week.
PLEASE take two minutes right now to contact Rep. Steny H. Hoyer and request a vote against those amendments -- you can use our customized E-Advocacy Center to send that message.
Thank you for your arts advocacy!
Feb. 14, 2011 Update from Americans for the Arts
The Obama Administration released today the FY 2012 budget request to Congress which includes the nation's cultural agencies and programs, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS), and the Department of Education's Arts in Education program.
As Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert Lynch noted in a press statement:
"The administration request of $146 million for the National Endowment for the Arts is a decrease of $21 million from the $167.5 million that Congress appropriated last year. The arts community recognizes the shared sacrifice being asked of all federal agencies to help reduce our national debt and is willing to do its part. President Obama had acknowledged in his State of the Union that it was time to prioritize and identify the programs and agencies that work and invest in them to 'win the future.' The NEA is one of those agencies. It helps create jobs and drive economic activity by leveraging modest but critical funds at the state and local level and is part of the solution to returning our economic vitality.
At a time when NEA dollars are the critical lifeline helping state and local budgets survive as philanthropic dollars are dwindling, this drastic reduction does not take into account the incredible return on investment those funds generate to federal, state and local treasuries. While we are pleased that cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian received additional funds and that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting saw continued support from the president, we believe the administration has missed the mark with such a deep cut to the primary federal source for leveraging support for cultural programs and public and private funding to every state and community in our country.
It is our hope that Congress and President Obama will work together to come to a compromise that understands the importance of the creative sector to our communities and economy."
A breakdown of the president's FY 2012 budget request is as follows:
Key Federally Funded Arts Program FY 2010 Enacted Appropriations(in millions) FY 2012 President's Budget Request (in millions) National Endowment for the Arts $167.5 $146 National Endowment for the Humanities $167.5 $146 Institute of Museum and Library Services $32* $32 U.S. Dept. of Education's Arts in Education $40 $0** Corporation for Public Broadcasting $460 $451
* The FY10 Office of Museum Services (IMLS) budget also included $16.3 million in congressional earmarks, not included in our figure. ** Similar to last year's administration budget proposal, the Arts in Education program is consolidated with six non-arts programs. It is unclear at what level grants in arts education will be supported.
A Complicated Budget Situation President Obama's budget announcement today is complicated by the fact that Congress has yet to complete consideration of the previous year's budget (FY 2011). As you may know from our email alerts to you last week, we are working to prevent deep cuts to, or possible termination of, the NEA from taking place in the U.S. House of Representatives later this week. We will be monitoring action in the House and reporting back to our grassroots advocates as soon as possible.
Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will bring to the House floor, a Continuing Resolution (CR) appropriations package that proposes to cut dozens of federal agencies and programs for the balance of the current 2011 fiscal year (March 5 through September 30). Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee revealed details of what some of the cuts will be in this CR package and they include cutting the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) budget to $155 million this year. That’s a substantial cut from its currently funded level of $167.5 million.
The battle begins next week when the House CR appropriations package comes to the floor. Each and every one of your Representatives will be voting on possible amendments attempting to make even deeper cuts to the NEA’s budget, beyond the $155 million level. It is quite possible members of the Republican Study Committee will offer amendments to fully eliminate the NEA during floor consideration. We need you to send a message to your Members to vote against any amendments to further cut the NEA.
Because of these threats in the House, we are simultaneously working on the Senate strategy; where there may be a better chance to approve a higher funding level for the NEA and counter the cuts in the House version of this bill. By taking two minutes today to send a customizable message via our E-Advocacy Center, we will automatically send letters on your behalf to both your Senators and your House Representative. This will ensure that your voice will be heard by Members of Congress (especially freshmen members), who are now assessing their constituents’ viewpoints on these budget cuts.
Also be on the lookout for our alert on President Obama’s official FY 2012 budget submission to Congress on Monday, February 14. While that budget is for a different fiscal year than the CR that we’ll be dealing with next week, it will signal to the House and Senate the President’s funding intentions for the very same agencies that Congress is considering cutting.
Details of Governor's Budget: Next Steps and Conference Call
January 26, 2011 Email from Executive Director of Maryland Citizens for the Arts, John Schratwieser
On Friday, Governor O'Malley released his administration's budget proposal for fiscal year 2012 (which begins on July 1, 2011). In it, he proposes level funding of the Maryland State Arts Council, giving it the same budget as it had in 2011 and 2010 ($13.3 million).
All of this is very good news for the arts community in Maryland. However, the process is not over. The General Assembly will come under tremendous pressure to make cuts in this budget, and the Arts must do all we can to ensure that those cuts do not fall on the State Arts Council.
So, what can we do? What can you and your organization do?
First, mail a letter to the Governor, thanking him for his support. We have included sample text below. Please use it or personalize it as you see fit. (MCA would appreciate if you could send us a copy of the letter by e-mail or fax [410-467-6400]) MCA will be sending an email later today to our thousands of e-advocates, asking them to email the Governor, but mailed letters from organizations will make a big impact.
Second, call into our Conference Call with the Field, scheduled for this Thursday, January 27th at 10am. See details below or on our website.
Third, attend Maryland Arts Day and/or send other representatives from your organization and your community. Employees, Board Members, Volunteers, Artists, Teachers, Parents...anyone from your community who cares passionately about the arts, is a welcome addition to our numbers at Maryland Arts Day.
John Schratwieser Executive Director
Sample Thank You Letter:
The Honorable Martin O'Malley Governor State House 100 State Circle Annapolis, MD 21401-1925
Dear Governor O'Malley:
On behalf of everyone involved with [Your Arts Organization], I want to convey our sincere thanks for your unflinching support of public funding for the arts in Maryland. We understand the challenges involved in balancing the state budget and are very grateful for your support.
By level funding the Maryland State Arts Council you have shown us all that you understand the importance of the arts for Maryland's economy, Maryland's communities, and Maryland's future, and for that we are truly grateful. We will be participating in Maryland Arts Day on February 9 to meet with our delegation to the general assembly and help them understand why supporting your recommendation for level funding is so critical this year.
We are grateful for your leadership and we will work with you as we move Maryland forward to a new innovative economy.
CC: Matthew Gallagher, Chief of Staff, Governor's Office
Advocacy Conference Call with the Field Thursday, January 27th, 10am
Join MCA on a conference call to discuss the current state of Arts funding. Find out the details of the Governor's budget proposal and MCA's advocacy strategy.
This is the first in a series of calls MCA hosts each year to help keep the public informed about the progress and the needs of our arts advocacy efforts in Annapolis. Please join us on the call to learn what has been happening and to ask questions of MCA Executive Director John Schratwieser, Board Chair Doug Mann, and other MCA representatives.
Please contact MCA for more information and to get instructions on how to call in (it is a toll-free number).
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