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Pegi Taylor about NEA and Cultural Alliance

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  • Pegi Taylor
    Dear MARN, 1) Perhaps you have all seen news about this, but below is a PAN post that came out last week about the NEA. With the NEA potentially getting a pot
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2009
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      Dear MARN,

      1) Perhaps you have all seen news about this, but below is a PAN post that
      came out last week about the NEA. With the NEA potentially getting a pot of
      money to distribute, I thought this information might be helpful.

      2) I have no idea who on the listserv, besides Melissa Dorn Richards and
      Jonathan West, is attending the Feb 4-5 Summit. I will not be there. In my
      current thinking, there is one thing that the Cultural Alliance/Greater
      Milwaukee Committee could do that would benefit everyone. They could create
      and maintain a clearinghouse Web site. I¹ve begged various people for years
      about this. There should be one place where every single source in Milwaukee
      putting on cultural events could list them. This would include the MSO to
      individual artists to all the lectures going on at local universities (that
      you only hear about afterwards) and even churches. ONE site. Part of the
      CA ongoing effort would be to do outreach to make sure events get listed.
      It would have to grow over time, of course. There could be a number of
      offshoot activities too:
      --MARN could link its upcoming artist directory into this.
      --The site could develop and allow for ticket sales and for the ability to
      list needs various groups/individuals might have.
      I don¹t believe this would take away from MARN in any way.

      3) I agree with Mike Brenner¹s alarm that there is not a single artist in
      the key players for the Summit.

      I will be eager to read Jonathan¹s notes from the Summit,

      Pegi Taylor

      Dear Colleagues-

      Today Patrice Walker Powell, Deputy Chairman for States, Regions and Local
      Arts Agencies at the NEA, announced to endowment staff that she has been
      named by the Obama administration as acting chairman of the NEA. In
      addition, Anita Decker has been appointed by the White House as director of
      government affairs. The following statement on economic stimulus was posted
      to the NEA website today.

      "Information Regarding the Arts and Economic Stimulus
      January 29, 2009

      There has been much public conversation recently regarding the role of the
      arts and culture industry in economic stimulus. Following is information
      that seeks to clarify this issue through two key points: that the arts and
      culture industry is a sector of the economy just like any other with workers
      who pay taxes, mortgages, rent and contribute in other ways to the economy;
      and that the National Endowment for the Arts is uniquely positioned to
      assist in job stimulation for that industry.

      A statement on January 22 from then NEA Chairman Dana Gioia noted, "Arts
      organizations have been hit enormously hard by the current recession.
      They've seen their support drop from corporations, foundations, and
      municipalities. This infusion of funds will help sustain them, their staffs,
      and the artists they employ. We are hopeful that Congress and the new
      administration will support this important investment."

      The arts and culture sector

      A recent study released by the National Governors Association titled Arts
      and the Economy: Using Arts and Culture to Stimulate State Economic
      Development states, "Arts and culture are important to state economies. Arts
      and culture-related industries, also known as creative industries," provide
      direct economic benefits to states and communities: They create jobs,
      attract investment, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies
      through tourism and consumer purchases."

      As noted in the NEA study Artists in the Workforce (May 2008), there are two
      million trained, entrepreneurial working artists across the country who are
      assets to their communities. Representing 1.4 percent of the U.S. labor
      force, artists constitute a sizeable class of workers -- only slightly
      smaller than the total number of active-duty and reserve personnel in the
      U.S. military (2.2 million).

      In addition to artists, there are many more arts administrators who manage
      arts institutions including office staff such as accountants and booking
      agents, production staff such as stage managers, and artistic staff such as
      ballet masters and artist managers.

      According to research by Americans for the Arts, nonprofits arts
      organizations and their audiences generate $166.2 billion in economic
      activity every year, support 5.7 million jobs, and return nearly $30 billion
      in government revenue every year. Every $1 billion in spending by nonprofit
      arts and culture organizations and their audiences results in almost 70,000
      full time jobs.

      The National Endowment for the Arts

      The NEA has in place processes to distribute federal funds quickly and
      effectively to organizations large and small in every Congressional
      district. The NEA's grant-making process of applications, panels, and grants
      distributes money to arts and culture organizations in six to nine months
      both through state governments and directly to the organizations themselves.

      A review of NEA grants for FY 2008 revealed that for every $10,000 of grant
      money, 162 artists benefited. This number does not include the arts
      administrators involved in these projects as mentioned above.

      Of the 884 grants approved in the NEA's October 2008 National Council on the
      Arts meeting, project costs totaled $403.8 million of which 22 percent was
      designated for salaries. Of the $53 million requested in those 884 grants,
      the NEA was able to fund more than $20 million or 3 percent.

      The NEA has strong relationships with grantees and other institutions in the
      nonprofit arts field that can facilitate funds distribution. And finally,
      the projects the NEA supports aren't subject to hearings or studies at the
      front end that might delay the start of a project and don't put entitlements
      in place after a project is completed.

      Examples from the arts and culture sector

      Nonprofit arts organization have been struck particularly hard in this
      economic downturn due to their reliance on both private and public, earned
      and donated monies to support their activities. Some examples of the impact
      of the economic crisis on arts organizations follow.
      * The Los Angeles Opera said today that it had laid off 17 employees, or
      approximately 17% of its staff. It has also mandated a pay cut for all
      employees, averaging 6% but with higher-paid staffers taking an 8% cut.
      (source Los Angeles Times, 1/27/09)
      * The Milwaukee Shakespeare Theater Company, a high profile regional
      nonprofit theater closed down operations in October. (source: report from
      the field)
      * The Seattle Art Museum has cut back five percent of its staff and is
      facing a $3.8 million annual shortfall if it can't find a new tenant for the
      space Washington Mutual had been leasing from it. (source: Seattle
      Post-Intelligencer , 1/25/09)

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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