Friday, June 15, 2007

Arts Advocacy Update III

Another label I like is Arts Advocacy Update.

Here's the one for this week. Two sources -- finally catching up with everything at, and my weekly blast from the Cultural Policy Listserv.

No Problem, Neither Do We
Times of London
Kevin Spacey says he doesn't care about his film career. Hence, "No Problem, Neither Do We."

Reports spar over economic impact of the arts
Savannah Morning News (GA), 6/8/2007
"...the author shares criticism of such studies from the Rand Corporation's 2005 report "Gifts of the Muse": "Such studies claim benefits that are inherently difficult to measure. They assume money generated by the arts is a net addition to the local economy, when it's more likely to be a replacement for other kinds of spending. Moreover, by focusing on the economics of the arts, they do little to help the long-term goals of arts groups, namely, to create a public that values the arts. The Rand report recommends, that arts advocates should stop emphasizing the quantitative aspects of the arts, such as economic rewards, and instead focus on individual experiences, including enlightenment, emotional reflection and personal well-being."
Wow. Them's fightin' words.

Legislator aims to promote American way via films
Reuters - Hollywood Reporter, 6/7/2007
"Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., thinks that wider worldwide screening of classic Hollywood fare will help convince people that the American way of life is not evil. Watson, who chairs the House Entertainment Caucus, has introduced legislation that seeks to have movies screened in U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. The bill, H.R. 2533, known as the Public Diplomacy Resource Centers Act of 2007, establishes a film series in honor of Johnny Grant, Hollywood's unofficial mayor."
There's a House Entertainment Caucus? Do you know what kind of comic possibilities that has?

A soft spot for the arts
Kansas City Star (MO), 6/11/2007
The Kansas City Star profiles ways in which some local small businesses are "finding ways to participate in the current boom in visual and performing arts to raise their community profile, reward employees and attract a creative work force."
See, I think it's little things like that that make me think the hegemony of conservatism may be waning. That's a very liberal attitude. I guess money does talk.

Arts funding released with severe cuts
Detroit Free Press (MI), 6/9/2007
"The good news for Michigan arts and culture groups is that on Friday Gov. Jennifer Granholm lifted the two-month moratorium on funding that threatened to take $7.5 million out of their pockets. The bad news is the Legislature followed through on a $3.6-million cut in arts funding for this year. When the dust settles, arts groups will receive only about $6.5 million of the $10 million they were promised from the state arts council for 2007. State arts funding in Michigan has now fallen 73% from its peak of $24 million in 2000."
No wonder Granholm has never been especially popular.

ArtsVoteNH: New state arts primary project calls candidates to action
Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH), 6/10/2007
Arts supporters in New Hampshire are working on "a new bipartisan campaign called ArtsVoteNH, a pilot project that could be a model for other states in next year's primary elections." A collaboration between Americans for the Arts Action Fund and New Hampshire Citizens for the Arts, the purpose of the campaign is to get "the next president and other powerful national figures to understand how the arts are essential, how they are part of the solution to the important issues they care about and prioritize."
Sign me up. About time, baby.

Landrieu calls for other tax credits
The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), 6/12/2007
"Louisiana should take a cue from its successful film tax credit program and target other areas that could boost the state’s cultural economy, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu said Monday. . . . The film industry success is why Landrieu said his agency is pushing tax credits in other areas, such as, for artists, individuals in the food industry and historic preservation. The impact on the film industry has grown from $30 million to $700 million since the tax credit program began in 2002, he said."

Pennsylvania might boost incentives
Patriot-News (Harrisburg, PA), 6/8/2007
Pennsylvania lawmakers may boost its production incentives for filmmakers, raising the tax credit from 20% to 25%, and lifting the $10 million cap for available grants. The current program is so popular that "the $10 million state pot already had been spoken for by the first few weeks of the fiscal year."

State's arts spending ranks near the bottom
Capital Times (Madison, WI), 6/12/2007
"Wisconsin ranks near the bottom of the nation when it comes to per-person spending on the arts, according to a new study showing that segment of the U.S. economy which drives billions of dollars and millions of jobs. Reflecting from the study's statistics, Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton said today that Wisconsin's ranking of 44th is cause for action and that she will soon announce proposals to correct the disparity. For every dollar spent per person per state, Wisconsin spends 44 cents, compared to the $1.67 spent in Minnesota."

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