Friday, March 14, 2008

Arts Advocacy Update XXXII, XXXIII, and XXXIV

Whew! I had three weeks of email blasts to get through in order to put together a bunch of Arts Advocacy Updates -- specifically XXXII, XXXIII, and XXXIV.

All the content, as always, is from Americans for the Arts' Cultural Policy Listserv.

Because we're getting ready to go away tomorrow for part of the weekend, I'm now going to just post everything, including all the descriptions that Americans for the Arts uses. I will be posting my commentary, but as there are 30 stories here, I figure I shouldn't make y'all wait.

FCC Head Says Action Possible on Web Limits
Washington Post, 2/26/2008
"The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission yesterday sharply questioned Internet service providers who control consumers' Web access over their networks, and suggested the agency could intervene against the practice. Kevin J. Martin made his remarks at an unusual off-site hearing to address complaints that cable provider Comcast restricts the flow of content -- such as video and music clips -- through file-sharing service BitTorrent."

San Francisco Culture Czar Prioritizes Affordable Housing for Artists
San Francisco Sentinel, 2/20/2008
While introducing San Francisco's new Director of Cultural Affairs, Luis Cancel, Mayor Gavin Newsom "pledged arts funding, drawn from sales and hotel tax revenues which continue to rise, will not be diverted from the arts to the City Budget General Fund." Describing his agenda, Cancel spoke specifically of affordable living and work space for artists, which he fought to provide during his tenure in New York City.

U.S. Mayors Develop 10-Point Plan Which Includes the Arts!
TCG Bulletin, March 2008
"The U.S. Conference of Mayors recently developed a 10-point plan, titled Strong Cities, Strong Families for a Strong America. Alongside such priorities as climate protection, fighting crime and rebuilding infrastructure, is a focus on tourism and the arts."

Cate Blanchett leads Australia arts brainstorming meet
Washington Post - Reuters, 2/25/2008
Australian actress Cate Blanchett "has been picked to head a think-tank on the future of arts in her home country." Blanchett "has been picked by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to head an arts panel at an April summit that will also deal with other challenges facing the country such as climate change. Blanchett, the co-artistic director and a board member of the Sydney Theatre Company, will lead 100 of the country's best minds in a brain-storming session on the subject 'Towards a Creative Australia.'"

Indy's Arts, Culture Communities Fret Over Possible Budget Cuts (Indianapolis, IN), 2/25/2008
In Indianapolis, "[m]any in the arts and culture community are concerned that the new mayor will first turn to the arts to make cuts as he charts the waters of the city's economic woes. . . . Arts groups had grown accustomed to and applauded former Mayor Bart Peterson's vocal and visible support for the arts. Now they want to know if they stand a chance in the Ballard administration."

Lawmakers seek to increase arts funding
Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT), 2/24/2008
"Skeptical of the state's long-term commitment to funding arts organizations, [Massachusetts] lawmakers are introducing a pair of bills they say will help attractions statewide and the financially strapped Stamford Center for the Arts in particular. One bill would provide tax incentives for theater productions, while the other bill would share hotel sales tax revenue with municipalities to fund tourism initiatives.",0,7261852.story

A Capitalist Jolt for Charity
New York Times, 2/24/2008
Steve Lohr explores the trend of charities that "are changing their spots and making use of some of capitalism’s virtues. The process is being pushed forward by a new breed of social entrepreneurs who are administering increasing doses of bottom-line thinking to traditional philanthropy in order to make charity more effective."

Conference to explore how to capitalize on arts districts
Cleveland Plain Dealer, 3/2/2008
Seeking to replicate some of the success of Paducah, Kentucky's award-winning Artist Relocation Program that "has lured artists to transform its once-blighted Lowertown neighborhood," Cleveland hosts a conference for developers, real estate professionals, lenders and community development corporations called 'From Rust Belt to Artist Belt.'"

Crunch Predicted in Nonprofit Sector
Washington Post, 3/3/2008
"The nonprofit sector is facing what experts call an unprecedented crisis in leadership, with organizations in the Washington region and across the country struggling to recruit and retain talented staff. Even as baby boomers retire, nonprofit groups stand to lose ambitious young employees who feel underpaid, overwhelmed by long hours and demanding responsibilities, and frustrated by a lack of career progression, according to a major study," titled "Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out" and conducted by the Casey Foundation, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the online job site

Fractured Atlas Offers Affordable Aetna Advantage Plans for Artists
Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS), 3/3/2008
"Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit organization that serves a national community of artists and arts organizations, announced today that Aetna Advantage Plans are now available to its members in 29 states and Washington, DC. According to the U.S. Department of Labor and research conducted by Fractured Atlas, there are roughly 300,000 uninsured artists in the United States."

MacArthur Foundation Boosts Support for Chicago Arts Groups, Creates International Connections Fund
Philanthropy News Digest, 3/1/2008
"The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced that it is increasing the number of Chicago-area arts and culture organizations it supports and is creating a fund to help its Chicago grantees expand their international connections." Its new $1 million International Connections Fund will help existing grantees in the Chicago area "to send staff to international conferences, establish partnerships with organizations in other countries, and/or perform outside the United States."

Cuts knock patrons of arts onto the canvas
New Jersey Star-Ledger, 2/27/2008
"Gov. Jon Corzine's proposed budget will slash aid to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts to $16 million, a $5.9 million cut that reduces state arts funding to 2004 levels. Arts leaders say the cut will hurt already struggling theaters, museums and musical ensembles, and they argue that it violates the spirit of the 2003 law creating a hotel-motel tax to fund the state's cultural institutions. Also included in the $33 billion budget plan are $2.7 million for the state Historical Commission and $500,000 for the New Jersey Cultural Trust. Those agencies received $3.8 million and $720,000, respectively, for this fiscal year, which ends June 30."

GOP lawmakers to trim governor's budget
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/4/2008
In Missouri, Republican lawmakers with less optimism about the next fiscal year plan to "slice about $200 million from new and expanded state programs that Gov. Matt Blunt proposed for next year. . . . Blunt is counting on general revenue growth of 3.4 percent, or $273 million, in the next fiscal year. He also called for spending all but $50 million of the $506 million cushion carried over from last year. The extra money allowed him to seek increases in scores of outlays," including the arts.

Hollywood is here, but is price too high for state?
Providence Journal, 3/3/2008
"Critics are asking how much Rhode Island is getting in return for the $52 million in personal and corporate income-tax credits it has promised, and the $30.8 million in credits it has already awarded the motion picture, TV and commercial production industry. . . . After a 15-month records fight with The Journal, the Rhode Island Film & Television Office has for the first time provided a glimpse at what Rhode Island has gotten for its money. And to the extent it’s documented, it’s not much. Consider: The state provided $2.65 million in tax credits to the production company that spent 26 days here filming 'Hard Luck.' . . . That represented 25 percent of the roughly $11 million the company reported spending in Rhode Island on the production. But only $1.9 million of the $11 million went to 'Rhode Island vendors or residents,' according to the company’s cost report."

The arts of the campaign trail
Los Angeles Times, 3/4/2008
"[T]his presidential primary season, people who work at the crossroads of politics and culture say the arts have attained a higher profile than usual -- and the push for an arts agenda has established a foothold in the campaign landscape." What's behind the change? Much credit is due to "a $127-million gift from Ruth Lilly, heiress to the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical fortune" to Americans for the Arts, which increased the organization's yearly budget from about $8 million to about $14 million. "[T]hose extra millions helped give clout to ArtsVote, a part of AFTA's political arm, the Arts Action Fund.",0,6628652.story

Highlights of Foundation Giving Trends
Foundation Center, 2008
"The largest U.S. private and community foundations increased funding for all major subject areas in 2006, with a record 386 grants of $5 million or more helping to drive this growth. Overall, grant dollars rose 16.4 percent between 2005 and 2006—from $16.4 billion to $19.1 billion—and six out of the 10 major fields posted double-digit gains." For arts and culture, grant dollars increased by 13.4% and the number of grants increased by 7.5%.

Arts groups turn to shared database to attract more fans
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/9/2008
"Nineteen of St. Louis' largest theaters and museums will share information about their audiences in hopes of boosting tickets sales and memberships. The database of the arts, called DART, is the brainchild of the Regional Arts Commission and is similar to the cross-sell model that has worked so well for Amazon."

In First for Studios, Paramount Offers Snippets of Movies
Washington P0st, 3/11/2008
"Paramount Pictures is chopping its feature films into short scenes, some as little as a few seconds, and distributing them free on the Internet, becoming the first major movie studio to answer consumers' desire for repeat viewings of short-form video on such sites as YouTube."

Internet in jeopardy as neutrality erodes
Seattle Times, 3/12/2008
A Seattle Times editorial frets about threats to net neutrality. "The Internet has developed into a clean canvas for all to play on and create. The cable and telecommunication companies that dominate broadband in the United States are fighting any network-neutrality law that would ensure the Internet stays this way. Consumer groups, and many Internet users, are worried that network providers want to disrupt competing services or content. There are a number of recent examples of this happening. . . . The issue moves beyond censorship. There is well-founded fear that network providers want to degrade content, or charge companies more to use their networks. Inevitably, an extra charge to a company gets passed on to the consumer."

Mastering the art of luring the arts
Indianapolis Star, 3/8/2008
"The goal: make Indianapolis a mecca for arts and music groups, as it already is for auto racing and amateur sports. Up-and-coming civic leaders heard the pitch for that vision last week and learned that city leaders already have made low-key but substantial progress. Several national groups already have their headquarters and conventions here, and the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association hopes to land more. Groups such as the American Pianists Association and the Percussive Arts Society don't attract the same level of attention of a major sports event like the NCAA finals. But Mark Miles, president of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, contends that a cluster of these arts groups could be as vital to the city's progress as the 1980s campaign to attract amateur sports events and organizations."

The arts: no longer priceless
Hutchinson News (KS), 3/7/2008
"The Kansas Arts Commission plans to take a closer look at how the arts affect the economies of the state's communities. The agency has commissioned research, which will conclude late this year, to review parts of the state not covered by recent studies of Salina, Wichita, Junction City and Wyandotte and Johnson counties. Results there indicated nonprofit arts ventures and the people who come to see their productions are generating millions of dollars in local commerce."

Dubai sets up Cultural and Art Authority
Gulf News (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), 3/8/2008
The ruler of Dubai has called for a Cultural and Art Authority whose aim "will be to enhance the international status of Dubai, which will participate in developing and forming the cultural and heritage scene of the 21st century in the region and around the globe. . . . The launch of this authority is part of Dubai's 2015 strategy which aims to place Dubai on the international cultural and heritage map. . . . [T]he authority will strive to boost Dubai's position as one of the world's most diverse cultural cities, where East meets West."

A regional funding source for our cultural assets
Kansas City Star (MO), 3/8/2008
A Kansas City Star editorial favors a "a small sales tax approved by voters on both sides of the state line" to support cultural institutions in the region. "A regional one-eighth-cent sales tax lasting seven years could raise more than $210 million. That would help finance healthy endowments and provide operating funds for institutions that are significant to the region’s future."

Begalka: Illinois arts budget woes hitting close to home
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake,IL), 3/5/2008
"The Illinois Arts Alliance is issuing a call to arms, following Gov. Blagojevich’s gutting of the Illinois Arts Council’s fiscal 2008 budget. Blagojevich’s decision to cut arts funding from $19.7 million to $15.2 million bodes ill for all of us. A survey of organizations that received Illinois Arts Council grants this year found that 73 percent of the 435 respondents plan to reduce or eliminate education, outreach and free public programs. About 49 percent anticipate reducing or eliminating programs. Forty-four percent of mid-sized organizations said they likely will have to cut staff, and 5 percent expect it will force higher ticket prices."

It could be a solo act for the arts in Va. when making a play for funding
Virginian-Pilot, 3/9/2008
In Virginia, "[a]s lawmakers hustle to complete the state budget, a key funding source for arts groups still appears quite likely to get zero dollars, or a pittance. However, the state's other significant source of arts funding, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, is holding steady at $6.6 million for each of the next two years."

Landrieu: Budget hurts parks, libraries
Advocate Capitol News Bureau (Baton Rogue, LA), 3/11/2008
"State parks and library operations are threatened if [Republican] Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed budget is allowed to stand, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu said Monday. Jindal’s budget proposal would cut $10.6 million in state funds from his office and the Office of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Landrieu said. . . . Landrieu, a Democrat, said it is particularly disappointing because the Jindal budget includes more than $500 million in spending for 'new and innovative programs' at a time of 'unparalleled (budget) surplus.'"

London Mayor, With Spacey's Support, Plans Arts Fund
Bloomberg News, 3/11/2008
"London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who is running for re-election in May, said he was setting aside 1.4 million pounds ($2.8 million) to fund cultural projects in the U.K.'s capital. 'Nobody will visit London this year to see its bankers. They will come to see its art and culture,' Livingstone told reporters. . . . The mayor also rolled out a 'cultural audit' of London -- which cost 30,000 pounds -- showing that the U.K. capital has more museums, theaters, concert halls and music venues than New York, Paris, Shanghai, or Tokyo. That lead should be maintained and developed, Livingstone said."

State tax officials want to limit film tax credits
Providence Journal (RI), 3/11/2008
"With critics questioning how much Rhode Island has benefited from the $52 million in tax credits the state has offered — and the $30.8 million in tax credits it has already provided the television and movie industry to film here — the state’s Division of Taxation yesterday morning proposed new curbs on the operations of the three-year-old incentive program. In a move aimed, at least in part, at boosting the measurable benefits to the Rhode Island economy, state tax officials have now taken the position that an expense only counts toward the credit if it was performed, purchased, provided or rented by a Rhode Island resident or vendor. After a 15-month records fight with The Journal, the state Film & Television Office late last month provided the first glimpse of how much of this out-of-state production money was going to Rhode Island residents and businesses. And to the extent it was documented, it wasn’t much."

Irvine Foundation Awards $3.15 Million to Boost California Arts Scene
Philanthropy News Digest, 3/7/2008
"The San Francisco-based James Irvine Foundation has announced $3.15 million in grants to eight community foundations to support local arts efforts as the second phase of the foundation's Communities Advancing the Arts initiative, which is designed to foster grantmaking and individual donations to arts organizations in targeted communities. The new grants are designed to help advance gains made in involving local arts donors since the initiative was launched. From 2004 to 2007, the foundation awarded $4.75 million to enable participating community foundations to mobilize $59 million in assets for the arts — a 48 percent increase in assets dedicated for that purpose — and helped create 181 new funds at participating community foundations."

Kresge Foundation Shares Results of 'Grantee Perception Survey'
Philanthropy News Digest, 3/5/2008
A report that the Kresge Foundation commissioned to assess grantee perceptions has found the institution lacking in key areas, such as understanding of grantees goals and strategies and its contribution to organizations' long-term capacity or sustainability — "the basis for all Kresge grantmaking." Kresge president Rip Rapson announced changes within the foundation, including a reorganization of program staff "into field-specific teams that are charged with acquiring deep knowledge in their respective disciplines."

Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness there is still support for the arts.