Take Action for the Arts

6/15/04

1. TAKE ACTION to Help the Arts in Congress.

2. Minnesota’s Special Session Still on Hold

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1. TAKE ACTION to Help the Arts in Congress.

Overview:

In Washington D.C., the U.S. House of Representatives will begin hearing the FY 2005 Interior Appropriations bill this week, possibly as early as Wednesday evening. The bill includes funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). During floor debate, Members of the Congressional Arts Caucus will offer a bipartisan amendment to increase NEA and NEH funding, as they have done successfully for each of the past four years.

The amendment will be sponsored jointly by Democrats and Republicans, and will likely seek an additional $15 million for the NEA and $5 million for the NEH. Minnesota will benefit from the increase in two ways: First, the block grant that comes to Minnesota will increase, and second, there will be more funds available for direct grants to arts organizations across the state of Minnesota.

If this amendment is not passed, the NEA will be flat-funded at last year’s level of just over $120 million. In order to pass this amendment we must rely on you, our grassroots advocates, to contact your Representatives this week. By contacting your Representatives and urging them to support the arts, you’ll illustrate to them how important the arts are to your community and to their constituency. Last year’s amendment passed by a narrow vote of 225-200, and this year’s vote is expected to be just as close. It is therefore very important that your Representative hear from as many arts advocates as possible.

The good news is that we’ve made it very easy for you to send a quick and customized electronic message to your Representative by using our DESKTOP LOBBYIST! By clicking the link below you can easily send electronic messages tailored to how your House member voted on last year’s Congressional Arts Caucus Amendment. (In other words, if your Member voted Against increased NEA funding last year, we’ll automatically supply you with talking points which encourage them to support the amendment this year; if your Member voted For increased funding last year, your talking points will thank them for their previous efforts and encourage them to support the Arts Caucus Amendment again this year).

Follow this link to contact your Representative and urge them to vote for the Congressional Arts Caucus Amendment! It only takes two minutes to make a difference! Go to the DESKTOP LOBBYIST.

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2. Special Session Still on Hold

In Minnesota, the Governor, House and Senate have still not agreed upon terms for a Special Session. This means that our Arts and Culture Amendment may not have any other chances to come back to life this year. We’ll let you know if the Special Session shows any signs of life. In the meantime, it’s at the federal level that we can currently make the most headway for the arts. Please follow the link to our Desktop Lobbyist above and let your voice be heard!

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http://www.mtn.org/mca
Look to our website for an archive of arts alerts, information about Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and how you can get involved. The latest facts and figures about the arts community can be found in the Arts Facts section of the website.