Sunday, April 27, 2008

Arts Advocacy Update XXXIX

The content below is from Americans for the Arts' Cultural Policy Listserv, email blast of April 23, 2008:

Arts boom
Southern Voice, 4/18/2008
"Atlanta may never have the concentration of theaters of London’s West End, or a bohemian artist district like the lofts of New York’s SoHo. But in a slack economy heralded almost every day in the news, Atlanta’s art-centric businesses saw almost 20 percent growth in 2007. The Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs released a report this month showing 2,430 arts-related businesses employed 23,198 people in the city last year — up more than 18 percent over 2006. That combines with a report from 2007 estimating the arts generate $274 million in economic impact in Atlanta’s city limits alone."
When was the last time the writer visited SoHo? A "bohemian artist district." And here we are this whole time, thinking it was dying.

Richardson: Let's connect film, tourism industries more
New Mexico Business Weekly, 4/18/2008
"The state needs to find a way to partner tourism with New Mexico's successful film industry, said Gov. Bill Richardson, who addressed attendees at the Governor's Conference on Tourism on April 17 in Roswell. . . . Richardson also said the growth of the arts in small communities around New Mexico presents good tourism opportunities. 'Let's take advantage of artists moving into these small communities and promote the arts,' he said. The state is open to helping with projects for things like art centers and Main Street programs, he added. Richardson's office created a program to support the development of arts and cultural districts in towns around the state."
I wish he was a good a politician as his policies are good.

Study details cultural and economic impact of IU Jacobs School of Music
Indiana University website, 4/21/2008
"The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music helps foster Indiana's economic and cultural well-being. According to a study released today (April 21), the Jacobs School accounts for $120 million a year in economic activity in Indiana, supporting about 900 jobs and generating $4.7 million in state and local taxes. But the school's impact goes far beyond dollars and cents, says the study, which quantifies the ways in which the Jacobs School and its faculty, students and alumni play an essential role in the vibrancy of the state's cultural life."
Hello, Barack? Hey buddy, how are ya? Hey, do you think you could use this information on the stump? (Click.) Hello? Hello? (Click.) Oh...yeah, hi, Hillary. Grrrrr...

Arts Get a Little Play in the Presidential Race
WHYY (Philadelphia, PA), 4/15/2008
Top issues on the campaign trail are often the economy, abortion and the military. The arts don't usually get to share much of the spotlight. WHYY's Alex Schmidt reports that this year is different.
The link will lead you to an MP3 file. Very interesting stuff.

Campaign 2008: Where the Candidates Stand on Nonprofit Issues
Chronicle of Philanthropy, May 1 2008
The Chronicle of Philanthropy has compiled information about the contenders of the White House — and where they stand on the issues that matter to nonprofit causes — in a new section of its Web site. It includes summaries of Sen. Clinton's and Sen. Obama's platforms on the arts.

Cuyahoga County cigarette tax money helps local arts groups weather economic storms
Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH), 4/20/2008
"[E]ven as the mortgage crisis, population loss and the departure of corporate headquarters have put the squeeze on Northeast Ohio, some local arts groups report they're faring reasonably well. That's thanks in large part to county's cigarette tax for arts and culture, which is being credited as a crucial stabilizer for tough times." Also credited with helping some organizations is the Cleveland Foundation program to improve business practices called BASIC: Building the Arts Strengths in Cleveland.
So this is the only good thing about smoking, hm?

Massachusetts Cultural Council poised to get $150K budget increase
Boston Business Journal, 4/17/2008
The Massachusetts Cultural Council will receive a $150,000 funding boost in FY 2009 if the House Ways and Means Committee has its way. But the committee's budget "did not include funding for the landmark Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, which was established in 2006. . . . The MCC is working to file an amendment to include continued support for the Cultural Facilities Fund."
Oh, they'll work it out. My observation is that Massachusetts is actually pretty decent to the arts. Love those liberals up there.

Plan to use arts money for mines rejected
Arizona Republic, 4/17/2008
"It's not a good trade-off to use arts money to help fill Arizona's abandoned mines, a legislative panel decided Wednesday. The [Arizona] House Appropriations Committee rejected a plan that would have taken the money that goes into the state's arts trust fund and diverted it to the state's abandoned-mines fund."
So, in other words, no one is getting the shaft?

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