arts alert: Which Presidential Candidate Supports the Arts?

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Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
2233 University Ave. W. #355
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-251-0868 fax 651-917-3561
staff at
Arts Action Center

October 16, 2012

1. Which Presidential Candidate Supports the Arts?
2. MCA Named Top Nonprofit by Guidestar and Philanthropedia
3. Saying Farewell to a Friend of the Arts, George Pillsbury
4. You Are Invited to MCA’s Post-Election Annual Meeting:How Will the Election Affect the Arts?
5. Rural Arts Management Institute Begins in November 
1. Which Presidential Candidate Supports the Arts?

President Barack Obama, Democratic Candidate:

As President, Barack Obama has proposed two increases in NEA and NEH funding and one decrease. At one point funding for the NEA reached a high of $167.5 million. In addition, Congress approved $50 million for the NEA in the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.  President Obama also supported the creation of an “Artist Corps” of young artists who are trained to work in low income schools and communities and helped to promote cultural diplomacy by increasing funding for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

From President Obama’s website:

“Our nation’s creativity has filled the world’s libraries, museums, recital halls, movie houses and marketplaces with works of genius. The arts embody the American spirit of self-definition. As the author of two best-selling works – Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope – President Obama uniquely appreciates the role and value of creative expression.”

Mitt Romney, Republican Candidate

According to an article in the LA Times, as Massachusetts governor, Mr. Romney tried to restrain but not eliminate arts spending. He did not succeed: the State Legislature voted additional money each year. The most important arts legislation during his tenure was the 2006 creation of a Cultural Facilities Fund, which provides for annual grants to help nonprofit arts, historical and scientific organizations pay for construction projects. Romney vetoed the fund, but the legislature overrode him.

Reports vary on whether his intention is to cut national arts funding by half or eliminate it altogether as President. However, during a recent interview with Fortune, Republican candidate Mitt Romney said the following regarding federal funding for the arts, humanities and public television:

“Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS, I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases…But I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf.”


2. MCA Named Top Nonprofit by Guidestar and Philanthropedia
We are proud to announce that Minnesota Citizens for the Arts has been designated as a Top Nonprofit providing access to arts and culture in Minnesota. Of the 18 nonprofits recognized, Springboard for the Arts was number one and MCA was number two. Congratulations to everyone!

Philanthropedia, a division of GuideStar, and Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, which supports The Saint Paul Foundation, Minnesota Community Foundation and 1,600 other affiliates across Minnesota, announced the results of custom research that identifies high-impact nonprofits improving access to arts and culture in the state of Minnesota. The research was commissioned to help donors learn about and support high-impact nonprofits in Minnesota. Some 123 sector experts participated in the research, which resulted in recognizing 18 nonprofits as high-impact organizations in the field of access to arts and culture.

Minnesota Philanthropy Partners has also commissioned research to identify high-impact environmental nonprofits (released in October 2011), workforce development nonprofits (released April 2012), and those improving access to healthy food (yet to be released).

The expert-identified nonprofits will be highlighted on Philanthropedia’s website, GuideStar’s Take Action website, and MNSights magazine, a free bi-annual magazine published by Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. To see the results, please visit:

3. Saying Farewell to a Friend of the Arts, George Pillsbury

We are mourning the loss of a friend of the arts, George Pillsbury. George and his wife Sally have been long time supporters of MCA, the Guthrie Theatre, and many, many other arts organizations across the state. We have lost not just a friend but a civic leader who loved Minnesota and worked hard to make it a better place.

More here:

4. You Are Invited to MCA’s Post-Election Annual Meeting:

    How Will the Election Affect the Arts?

This election may mean big changes for the arts in the legislature and congress. Find out what the election results mean at MCA’s Post-Election Annual Meeting on November 9 at the Illusion Theatre in Minneapolis. You are invited! Just RSVP to Or call us at 651-251-0868. See you there!

5. Rural Arts Management Institute Begins in November

Are you an artist, performer, entrepreneur, administrator, volunteer and/or leader who makes the arts happen in a small town or rural area?  And are you looking for inspiration, training, colleagues and inspiration to do this work?

If so, you should sign up for Arts Wisconsin’s Rural Arts Management Institute, an essential, training and educational program that brings together a learning community to benefit artists, performers, organizational representatives and creative entrepreneurs in rural communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota and throughout the Upper Midwest.

Arts Wisconsin, Wisconsin’s statewide arts service, advocacy, and development organization, invites applicants for the sixth annual Rural Arts Management Institute, to be held at the nationally-acclaimed Northern Lakes Center for the Arts in Amery, Wisconsin, November 2012 through May 2013. More here: