Be a Part of a Glorious Arts Future

June 15, 2007

1. Be a Part of a Glorious Arts Future.

2. You Are Invited to a Reception to Welcome Tom Proehl

3. What is the Economic Impact of Your Arts Organization?

4. New Economic Impact Studies Released of St. Croix Valley and Fargo-Moorhead

5. Other bills of Interest from this Legislative Session


1. Be a Part of a Glorious Arts Future

In my last alert I listed all of the “wins” for the arts community at the legislature this year as a result of your activism. But did you realize that without MCA organizing all of the advocacy, none of these important things would have happened? MCA is a small but mighty organization with only two full fime employees and a hard working board of 36 members of the arts community. Our work on your behalf would not be possible without the membership support of the great arts advocates like you. We need your help! Our fiscal year is about to end and we haven’t reached our membership goal. Please join MCA by June 31…a household membership is just $40.

Help us forge ahead into a glorious future for the arts.

Join now on our website at


2. You Are Invited to a Reception to Welcome Tom Proehl

On June 22 at 3:30 p.m., Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and the Textile Center will co-host a reception to welcome new Minnesota State Arts Board Director Executive Director Thomas Proehl. Attendees at the reception will get to preview the “Nothing New: Fiber Art From Recyled Materials” show which opens that evening at 6:00 pm.

Tom was elevated from Interim Director to the permanent position at the MSAB in March. He previously served as managing director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, overseeing the construction of the new $125 million Guthrie Theater complex on the Missisippi river. During the 1990s, Proehl lived and worked in New York and was a founding member and managing director of the Signature Theatre Company. Prior to that, he was general manager of the Dramatists Guild. He is a native of Moorhead, MN.

Please RSVP for the reception to MCA at 651-251-0868 or The Textile Center is located at 3000 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis, just west of the intersection of University Avenue and Hwy 280.


3. What is the Economic Impact of Your Arts Organization?

Last week Americans for the Arts (AFTA) released yet another of a series of economic impact studies of the non-profit arts and their audiences in America. The new study shows that, nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture generate $166.2 billion in economic impact every year — $63.1 billion in spending by organizations and $103.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences. This activity supports 5.7 million American jobs and generates $29.6 billion in government revenue.

Compared to a similar study conducted by AFTA in 2000, the nonprofit arts and culture grew 24 percent, and event-related spending by audiences grew 28 percent in the past five years. The results were based on participation of 156 communities and regions from all 50 states, and incorporate the previous studies conducted in Minnesota by MCA and various partners, including the Regional Arts Councils, that covered the state, eleven regional arts council regions, and the cities of MInneapolis, St. Paul and St. Cloud in 2006.

From major metropolitan areas to small rural towns, this research shows that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economically sound investment. It attracts audiences, spurs business development, supports jobs, and generates government revenue. Locally, as well as nationally, the arts mean business.

For more information on the national study, go to

AFTA has created, on their website, the Arts & Economic Prosperity III Calculator, a free and simple tool that makes it possible for you to estimate the economic impact of your nonprofit arts and culture organization – or even your entire nonprofit arts community – on your local economy. You can access it here:


4. New Economic Impact Studies Released of St. Croix Valley and Fargo-Moorhead

As part of the release of the national data from Americans for the Arts, two regional studies were presented that are each partially in Minnesota:

St. Croix Valley Region

The St. Croix Valley Region covers Washington and Chisago counties in Minnesota and Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties in Wisconsin. The arts are a $16.45 million industry in this region, supporting 384 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $1.58 million in local and state goverment revenue. The study also found that 24% of the area’s arts attendees are non-local. 84 of 143 eligible arts organizations in the area participated.

Many legislators and local mayors attended the data release event on June 11, 2007 at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI, including Sen. Saltzman and Reps. Kalin and Dean. (Rep. Kalin is a potter). The event and study were sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Community Foundation with many other partners. They used data from our study, The Arts: A Driving Force in Minnesota’s Economy for their report, in addition to new data collection on the Wisconsin side.

The keynote speaker was Rep. Julie Bunn of Lake Elmo in MN, who said, “States, regions and cities have come to realize that their economic fortunes are tied to attracting knowledge workers who form the backbone of the knowledge economy. These workers value quality of place. And the factors behind quality of place — lifestyle, environmental quality, a vibrant music and arts scene, and natural and outdoor amenities — are clearly reasons residents have been attracted to living in the St. Croix Valley.”

Fargo-Moorhead Region

The Fargo-Moorhead Region covers Cass County in North Dakota and Clay County in Minnesota. The arts are a $41.3 million industry in this region, supporting 1386 full-time equivalent jobs and generating nearly $5 million in local and state goverment revenue. Per person attendee spending, not including the cost of the ticket, is $27.26. The Lake Agassiz Arts Council was the main sponsor of the study in this area, and data was collected from 50 of 114 eligible nonprofit arts and culture organizations in the area. Data was also collected from 804 event attendees during 2006. The total audience attending events in the region annually is 879,263.

Congratulations to everyone for this important research. You will be able to download copies of these reports from our website in the next week or so at


5. Other bills of Interest to nonprofit arts organizations from this Legislative Session

Grants Management Reform
Following release of the Office of the Legislative Auditor\\’s report on “State Grants to Nonprofits” in January, 2007, several legislative proposals emerged that in various ways sought to standardize practices across state agencies regarding the management of grants to nonprofit organizations. Included in the final State Government Omnibus bill was first-year funding to create an Office of Grants Management in the Department of Administration. We followed this bill carefully because of its potential impact on grantees of the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils.

Nonprofit Risk Retention Groups
Included in the Insurance Omnibus bill is a provision to allow a nonprofit risk retention group to deliver auto, directors and officers, social service provider and other liability coverage to 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations. The Alliance on Nonprofit Insurance Risk Retention Group, which currently operates in 18 states and the District of Columbia, will be delivering services to nonprofits in Minnesota before the end of the year. We will inform you with detailed information when these products are available.

State Purchase Plan
SF 1755, effective August 1, 2007, allows for certain combined charitable organizations, and their affiliated agencies, to enter into cooperative purchasing agreements with the state for the purchase of goods, services, and utilities.


Visit MCA’s new online store:
This spring, let everyone know that you love the arts. Designer Barbara Keith has created some cool new designs to help you show your arts support. Treat yourself to a great shirt or create the perfect gift for an artsy friend’s home or office. Every purchase will support MCA. It’s easy, personalized and affordable. In a matter of moments you can create and order something unique that says: “support the arts” “start seeing art” “got art?” “Arts Advocate” or “Support the Arts: Take Action Now.”

Check out MCA’s website:
Your frequently updated, one-stop site for: information about Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and how you can get involved, an Action Center called the Desktop Lobbyist where you can write a letter to your legislator, or even find out who your legislators are, facts about the arts in Minnesota, the latest on legislative and congressional action on arts issues and more!

Join MCA’s MySpace Page:

Join Our Arts Advocacy Family:
MCA is funded entirely by the dues of its members. Do you appreciate receiving up to the minute news on the fate of the arts in the Minnesota State Legislature and Congress? We could not provide Arts Alerts if it weren’t for the wonderful and committed arts advocates who show their commitment by joining MCA. You can join by printing out the membership form on our website at Individual dues are just $30, and a household membership is just $40. Thank you!

Things You Need To Know:
MCA values your privacy, and will not sell or distribute your personal information to anyone. MCA is a nonpartisan statewide arts advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure opportunity for all people to have access to and involvement in the arts. MCA organizes the arts community and lobbies the Minnesota State Legislature and Congress on issues pertaining to the nonprofit arts. If you are interested in learning more about how to advocate for the arts, or how to activate people in your arts organization or community to lobby for the arts, please call us at 651-251-0868 or e-mail State arts funding supports access to the arts for all Minnesotans. The state-funded Minnesota State Arts Board and eleven Regional Arts Councils provide grants and services in every Minnesota county for artists, arts organizations, arts projects and school artist residencies. For more information on regional or state grants, go to