Arts Alert: Huge Arts Advocacy Days Push Back on Proposed Cuts

In the past month Arts Advocacy Days have been held in both Minnesota and in Washington D.C. to push for support of the arts. Over 1000 advocates joined us in St. Paul for MCA’s Arts Advocacy Day, asking legislators to support Legacy and General Funding for the Arts in Minnesota. Over 700 went to DC to oppose the Trump administration’s proposal to delete the National Endowment for the Arts and other cultural agencies. See pics below.

You can take action on both the National Endowment for the Arts and state arts funding now at www.artsMN.org/issues.

MINNESOTA ARTS ADVOCATES

OVERFLOW CAPACITY ON CAPITOL HILL

(Many more photos available on MCA’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mncitizensforthearts)

Just half of the 1000 arts advocates would fit into the MHS auditorium!

Advocates overflowed capacity at the Minnesota Historical Society auditorium. While Sheila Smith, MCA’s Executive Director, led the rally and orientation in the auditorium, MCA’s lobbyist Larry Redmond, board member Michael-jon Pease and Senator Richard Cohen held a second orientation out in the lobby for the overflow crowd! At the morning rally, spoken word artist Tish Jones kicked off the Creative Minnesota study release led by Ben Cameron of the Jerome Foundation. Following a presentation of the data by Sheila Smith, Jennifer Pennington of Can Can Wonderland talked about artist-led businesses. Maxine Adams, Executive Director of the Lake Region Arts Council, received the “Larry Award” from MCA’s Board Chair David Marty for her work as an unsung hero of arts advocacy. Senator Carrie Ruud, Chair of the Senate Legacy Committee, said, “The arts are our hearts made real.” Senator Richard Cohen, a member of the Senate Finance Committee and original author of the Legacy Amendment, talked about the importance of letting your elected officials know you want them to support the arts.

After the rally and orientation, the 1000 advocates split into teams and headed to legislator offices for one on one meetings with their representatives. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK PART. Your efforts are making a difference!

We will report soon on action at the State Capitol on Legacy and arts funding. Committees will start making recommendations soon.

  

 

From top left to bottom right: Tish Jones, St. Cloud advocates, David Marty and Maxine Adams, Amy Crawford leads a meeting with legislators, a team assembles at MHS.

CREATIVE MINNESOTA STUDY SHOWS HUGE IMPACT OF THE ARTS IN MN

The day began with a release of the Creative Minnesota 2017 report, which found over $2 billion in economic impact from artists and creative workers, nonprofit arts and culture organizations, and their audiences. The study looks in depth at the impact and needs of Minnesota’s artists, public opinion polling about the arts in Minnesota, and other issues. Download the report and 11 regional summaries at www.CreativeMN.org.

NATIONAL ARTS ADVOCACY DAY MEETINGS SHOWS SUPPORT AMONG MINNESOTA’S MEMBERS OF CONGRESS FOR THE NEA AND OTHER CULTURAL AGENCIES

Nine Minnesotans joined 700 other advocates in DC to #SAVEtheNEA at an event organized by Americans for the Arts. It was clear from our meetings that most of the Minnesota delegation is in support of the cultural agencies.

Rep. Betty McCollum (CD4, St. Paul) is actively organizing the resistance to the administration’s proposal to get rid of the NEA and NEH. Rep. Keith Ellison (CD5, Minneapolis) spoke about the importance and the power of the arts to bring us together, and Rep. Rick Nolan (CD8, Northern MN), is an enthuastic backer of the arts who understands their importance to Minnesota. Rep. Walz, along with Reps. Ellison, Peterson, Nolan and Sen. Franken signed on to a “Dear Colleague” letter supporting increased funding for the NEA to $155M, with potentially more Minnesota representatives to sign on soon.

All of them said they are hearing loud and clear from their constituents that the arts are important to Minnesota and that the cultural agencies should be protected.

While we were making Congress secure for the arts, the President has since come out with a second proposal to cut the arts. In addition to asking to get rid of the cultural agencies in FY18, he has asked that the FY17 budget be slashed by $15M.

Respond now with a special letter on Americans for the Arts’ website here:

https://www.votervoice.net/ARTSUSA/campaigns

   

Above: Minnesota’s arts advocates posed in fron of the U.S. Capitol with jazz hands. 🙂  Pictured are Sue Gens, Uri Camarena, Kathleen Spehar, David Marty, Ian Vaver, Rebecca Davis, Sheila Smith, Mike Charron, and Amy Crawford. Below: From left to right: Advocates with Rep. Ellison, Rep. McCollum, and Rep. Nolan.

Unbelievably, while we were making Congress secure for the arts, the President has since come out with a second proposal to cut the arts. In addition to asking to get rid of the cultural agencies in FY18, he has asked that the FY17 budget be slashed by $15M.

Respond now with a special letter on

Americans for the Arts’ website here:

www.votervoice.net/ARTSUSA/campaigns