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Americans For The Arts Meets with Obama

by Joe McDonald on January 15, 2009

Reposted from the Americans for the Arts:

January 15, 2009

Dear Arts Advocate:

For the last month, Americans for the Arts has been working with the field, Congress, and the Obama Transition Team to include support for the nonprofit arts sector and individual artists in any federal economic recovery package.  With your help, we have been compiling examples of how the recession has affected arts groups. We are getting this compelling information along with our economic impact data into the hands of key policy leaders in Washington.

Last week, Americans for the Arts officially proposed Nine Recommendations for Economic Recovery & the Arts to help nonprofit and governmental arts groups as well as individual artists during this economic downturn.  Today, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Bob Lynch met with the Obama Transition Team to discuss these and other ideas.

Also today, the House Appropriations Committee released an $825 billion economic recovery package. Included in the proposed bill is an infusion of $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (in addition to its annual appropriations) to specifically preserve jobs in the nonprofit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support. The House plan proposes additional opportunities throughout other parts of the federal government that could also help the nonprofit arts sector and individual artists.  Many of these other opportunities correspond closely with our Recommendations for Economic Recovery & the Arts.

Take Action
The Senate and the White House will likely unveil additional versions of an economic recovery package.  We are calling on arts advocates to contact your House and Senate members and your local media to raise the profile of why it’s important to ensure there is support for the nonprofit arts sector in the federal economic recovery plan.

  1. Write to your Members of Congress
  2. Send a letter to the editor of your local media

Thank you to the members of the Arts Action Fund for all their support in the ArtsVote2008 presidential campaign effort and making record contributions to the Arts Action Fund Political Action Committee in support of arts friendly Congressional candidates. Not a member? Join for free today.


Sometimes it’s difficult to locate this type of information when you are evaluating who to vote for in this Presidential election. But ArtsVote, A program of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, has graciously put it all together in one nice little packaged summary.

Here is the press release from ArtsVote below. You can also click on the image at the end to download and view the PDF matrix of each candidate’s positions on the arts.

Stay informed and vote on the facts not the hype!


Dear Arts Voter:

Americans for the Arts Action Fund is pleased to present you with its just released summary of the Arts Positions of the 2008 Presidential Candidates. [PDF]

As you may know, Americans for the Arts Action Fund launched its ArtsVote2008 initiative in May 2007 in order to educate presidential candidates on issues impacting the arts and arts education with the goal of securing—for the first time ever—formal position statements from the top candidates.

To date, we have shared with you Senator Barack Obama’s comprehensive arts policy proposal [PDF] that he began issuing in February 2008. Unfortunately, the McCain campaign has not been as forthcoming, despite numerous formal requests from the Arts Action Fund and Senator McCain’s own supporters over the last year. However, we are pleased to report that Senator McCain has now issued a short statement [PDF] that he released in an article for today’s Salt Lake City Tribune.

With this information in hand, we ask you—the arts advocate—to take action by doing the following things:

  1. Share this side-by-side comparison of the presidential candidates with your friends, family, and colleagues.
  2. Blog about this issue on any sites that you are affiliated with.
  3. Post the comparison chart on your social network sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and others.
  4. Send a Letter to the Editor of your local newspapers and journals. We’ve made it easy for you by drafting a customizable letter at our E-Advocacy Center that you can personalize. You will then automatically be given the choice to e-mail your letter to all the key media outlets in your area based on your zip code.
  5. Ask questions about policies on the arts and arts education to both your Congressional and presidential candidates in any kind of town hall forums, online chats, or any other public forums.
  6. Vote for the candidates that you feel will best advance the arts and arts education in America.

With only 32 days left to Election Day, now is the time to act and show your support for the arts!

Click the image below to download and view the full PDF. (Adobe Reader required).


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