Saturday, October 20, 2007

Arts Advocacy Update XVI

The content below has been appropriated from Americans for the Arts' Cultural Policy Listserv, a product of its Arts Policy Information Center.

I have worked as a journalist and editor with Americans for the Arts in the past, and endorse and support their work. I am therefore pleased to appropriate this content with their permission. I do, however, urge everyone to check out their
entire website and to visit it regularly as a great source of news and information for the arts community.

I also urge everyone to
join the listserv so you can receive the same email blasts I do, from which the content below is being taken.

Here's the Arts Advocacy Update for this week.

The Business Committee for the Arts has come out with a list called Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America. Read this.

FCC: Offer New Options to Minorities
Washington Post - AP, 10/12/2007
"The nation's chief telecommunications regulator wants to take advantage of the television industry's transition to digital broadcasting to make channels available to small businesses that may be owned by minority programmers. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin promoted his long-dormant concept Friday in the face of heavy criticism of his agency's record on promoting minority ownership of media. The chairman spoke at a media and telecommunications symposium hosted by the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and its founder, the Rev. Jesse Jackson."
Bravo. And not a day too soon.

The League of American Theatres and Producers to Meet with FCC about White Space Devices
Light&Sounds America Online, 10/16/2007
"The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., the trade association for the Broadway industry, has joined with major sports leagues, television broadcasters, and houses of worship in a campaign to urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reject plans to allow portable 'white space devices' to operate in frequencies used by wireless microphones. Yesterday, theatre leaders and a representative from Mayor Bloomberg's administration met with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to outline their concerns with the FCC allowing millions of new wireless devices to operate on the same wireless frequencies as wireless microphones used in theatre, music, dance, and other live performances across the country. If such devices interfere with wireless microphone systems, the Broadway community and others would be paralyzed, the League says."
Okay, now cue #10, and -- Hi, sue, yes, I'll be there at 10pm -- and now cue #11 -- Hi, Mom, how's Dad? Great! Hold on -- and now cue #12...

Creative Council Bill Reported Out of Committee (North Adams, MA), 10/12/2007
In Massachusetts, "[a] bill that would establish a state Creative Economy Council was reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies on Wednesday, according to state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams. House bill No. 4227, An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Creative Economy Council, would create the council within the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development."
Bravo! Massachusetts always leads the trends...

D.C. Tries to Harness Cultural Resources
Associated Press, 10/13/2007
With new and upcoming openings of cultural facilities, such as the $89 million Harman Center for the Arts, DC city and arts officials see a "cultural renaissance taking place outside of the National Mall and its iconic museums, memorials and monuments." They hope "Creative D.C." efforts will move the city "away from its image as a stuffy, wonkish power center and closer to a showcase for arts, trendy neighborhoods and diverse flavors. . . . The city's creative energy could be followed by good jobs, including those in the arts, publishing, technology or other industries, officials said. One potential snag is the city's increasingly expensive housing market." This has always been DC's struggle, and I have to assume that the Shakespeare Theatre's push -- a big push, believe me -- to get press for the Harman Center has to be tied in some way, formal or otherwise, to what's being discussed in this story.

Movies Filming In Connecticut Leads To Production Crew Issues (Hartford, CT), 10/10/2007
"Connecticut's film tax credit has been so successful in luring moviemakers and famous faces that now there aren't enough production crews to do the work. With that in mind, a committee of legislators, educators, union leaders and film industry professionals gathered at the capital Wednesday to try to script a solution. . . . They've dubbed themselves Hollywood East and their goal is to establish a solid work force made up of those who live in Connecticut."
My suggestion: Lower property values in Greenwich (joke! joke! hahahaha)

House Approves $7M for Cultural Facilities Fund (North Adams, MA), 10/13/2007
In Massachusetts, "[t]he House of Representatives voted Thursday to allocate $7 million to the Cultural Facilities Fund through supplemental budget that closes the books on fiscal 2007, according to state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams."
See what I mean? Massachusetts always leads the trends.

The arts-funding balancing act
Seattle Times, 10/14/2007
Influenced in part by the data of the Arts & Economic Prosperity III study from Americans for the Arts, Seattle mayor Greg Nickels' is "beefing up arts/cultural support by $1 million" in his proposed 2008 budget. "The biggest single chunk of the arts/culture budget, $2.7 million, would go to remodel the west wing of Building 30 at Warren G. Magnuson Park to create a multi- arts facility, including studios, exhibition and office space for arts organizations."
How about something to get Seattle theatre fired up again? 'Tis been tough times for thespians out there...

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