Thursday, December 04, 2008

Arts Advocacy Update LXIX

The content below is from Americans for the Arts' Cultural Policy Listserv, email blast of December 4, 2008:

A gender pay gap for L.A. artists (NYC too)
Los Angeles Times, 12/1/2008

"As a follow-up to its report 'Artists in the Workforce, 1990-2005,' released in June, the National Endowment for the Arts is releasing today [December 1] the results of a closer examination of the gender pay gap between men and women artists discovered by the original study. Surprise -- women artists earn less." According to NEA researchers, "the gender pay gap is wider for artists working in the competitive big-city arts capitals such as greater Los Angeles and New York City."
Surprise, indeed. But when you're talking about the difference between poor and very poor, or very poor and extremely poor, isn't all of this a bit of sophistry anyway?

Knight Foundation Awards $8 Million for South Florida Arts Projects
Philanthropy News Digest, 12/2/2008

"The Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced thirty-one grants totaling $8 million for projects designed to help transform South Florida's arts scene. Grants ranging from $18,000 to $1.8 million were awarded as part of the Knight Arts Partnership, a five-year, $40 million matching grants program announced in February. Recipients include sculptors, musicians, prominent institutions, and recently formed galleries whose projects are designed not only to raise the standards for arts in the region but also to appeal to residents across age, race, and class."
The largesse here is awfully impressive and a refreshing bit of news in the current environment.

Gov. Ted Strickland and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher need to wake up and support a tax credit for film-making in Ohio -- editorial
Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH), 12/1/2008
A Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial criticizes Gov. Ted Strickland and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher for "playing hardball to keep Hollywood out of Ohio. Their failure to negotiate with the high-powered proponents of a bill to create new jobs and industry smacks of the short-sighted political game-playing that has kept us behind the economic eight-ball for far too long."
I'd be curious to know what spurred on the editorial page to write this. I'm very glad they did and I totally support it. I'm just curious to know what's going on behind the scenes. I hope this wasn't one of those "We have a light-news day, let's talk about the arts."

Obama will have to appoint cultural managers, too
Chicago Tribune, 11/30/2008

Charles Storch discusses rumors about president-elect Barack Obama's possible choices for the chairmanships of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.
This tidbit is tantalizing:

For NEA chief, many arts people's dream choice is Caroline Kennedy, who was an early and active Obama supporter. Some Illinois arts advocates are promoting Chicago attorney Michael Dorf, a specialist in arts law who was special counsel to the late U.S. Rep. Sidney Yates (D-Ill.), a champion of the NEA and NEH. Dorf declined to comment.

Tweak tax breaks for movie biz
Wisconsin State Journal, 11/26/2008

Johnny Depp's "Public Enemies" gangster movie was filmed in Wisconsin last spring, but a state Department of Commerce report says the movie's effect on the state's economy "has been basically a wash. . . . Worse, the film is having a negative impact on the troubled state budget. The data raise a red flag about the effectiveness of the film industry tax breaks." But rather than eliminate the tax breaks, the editors say to wait and monitor. "The film tax breaks are only in their first year. Their ultimate goal is to grow film industry jobs in Wisconsin. That requires time."
I'm hoping my buddy Jonathan West over at Artsy Schmartsy might have a commentary on this.

Foundations Create Large Economic Benefit, Study Says
Chronicle of Philanthropy, 12/3/2008

"Giving by foundations supports the economy of the United States, with $1 of every philanthropic contribution producing more than $8 in economic benefits, says a new study. While the social effects of foundation giving are often examined, the study is the first extensive look at how philanthropy helps household incomes and the economy, says its sponsor, the Philanthropic Collaborative."
Subtext: We know the market is down horribly, but please don't take our funding away!

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