Tag Archives: Americans for the Arts

U.S. House Prepares to Eliminate Arts Education

14 Jun

Last month, a piece of federal legislation named “Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act” (HR 1891) was introduced for the purpose of terminating 43 existing federal education programs, including Arts in Education.The Arts in Education program currently funds 57 active education projects around the country, and to date has supported more than 210 competitive grants serving students in high-need schools, as well as the affiliates of the Kennedy Center and VSA arts education programs.

The Arts in Education program also provides critical federal leadership in supporting a well-rounded curriculum throughout our nation’s public schools.

On May 25, the House Education & Workforce Committee approved HR 1891 by a party-line vote of 23 Republicans to 16 Democrats. Americans for the Arts worked with Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and other members of that committee who offered an amendment that sought to restore some of these education programs, including arts education, but that amendment failed to pass.

The full House of Representatives may vote on HR 1891 prior to their August Congressional Recess. The Senate education committee, however, is not expected to consider HR 1891 as Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) plans on offering a separate, more comprehensive bill to reauthorize the Elementary & Secondary Education Act.

We call on arts advocates to contact their House Representative through our customizable e-alert and request that they oppose HR 1891 because it seeks to terminate the critical federal support directed to arts education. Don’t let this bill narrow the curriculum of our students.

Help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today — it’s free and simple

source:  Americans for the Arts


House Committee to Vote on Termination of Arts Education Program

23 May

The House Education & Workforce Committee has just scheduled a meeting on Wednesday morning to vote on legislation that would terminate the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education. Oregon’s member of Congress, Rep. David Wu, is on that committee and can help prevent that from happening.

Last month you might recall that vigorous grassroots advocacy successfully rescued the Arts in Education program and helped secure a $25 million budget for arts programs across the country. This legislation scheduled for a vote on Wednesday (HR 1891) is even more serious because it would permanently terminate this federal program by stripping it out of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act.

The lead sponsor of this bill calls the Arts in Education program “unnecessary” and “inappropriate.”  We think that the arts have too often been shoved to the margins when our schools need them most.  Don’t let HR 1891 further narrow the educational opportunities of our nation’s students.

Please take two minutes to send a quick customizable message and call on Rep. David Wu to work against this effort to terminate the Arts in Education program.

Help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today — it’s free and simple.

source: Americans for the Arts

Americans For The Arts – Update

2 May
With a recent budget victory, high visibility on Capitol Hill, and three new arts education reports being released, arts education advocates are gathering momentum to impact education policy nationally.On April 15, Congress and the president approved the FY 2011 appropriations bill which included restoration of the federal Arts In Education program – the only education program to be restored from being cut or terminated earlier in the year. This is a huge victory!  This was directly following a successful grassroots advocacy campaign by 550 advocates from across the country who joined actors Alec Baldwin, Hill Harper, Kerry Washington, and Kevin Spacey during the national Arts Advocacy Dayon Capitol Hill to support the arts and arts education.Last week, Americans for the Arts published its National Arts Policy Roundtable final report which captures the recommendations from an event co-convened at the Sundance Preserve by President and CEO of Americans for the Arts Robert L. Lynch, and Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Institute.  Officials from both the U.S. Department of Education and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities participated in the National Arts Policy Roundtable. The report identifies four key recommendations, including the need for increased research, strong public policy support, and better casemaking efforts from the field.These recommendations arrive at an important time. The chairmen of the House and Senate education committees in Congress have promised action soon on the reauthorization of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind). Most immediately, the need for increased federal research cited in the National Arts Policy Roundtable recommendations will be answered, in part, by two new federal studies being released this week:

Today, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics is  releasing the preview of a study on the national status and condition of arts education — it has been almost a decade since the last one was published!  The full study is scheduled to be released by the end of 2011 and will be a key measurement of access to arts education.

Later this week, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities is set to release their study    “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools” which will promote successful arts education models and best practices as identified by this committee appointed by President Obama and chaired by the First Lady.

The momentum that has been built by recent advocacy on Capitol Hill and the boost from these national studies will serve the arts education field well as Congress considers education reforms later this year. Americans for the Arts will keep you informed on policy developments and call on advocates to take action when needed.

 source: info@artsusa.org

Final NEA Funding Cuts

12 Apr

This morning, the House Appropriations Committee publicly released the final budget agreement for FY 2011 negotiated by President Obama with House and Senate leaders, which includes $155 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This represents a cut of $12.5 million from the FY 2010 enacted level of $167.5 million, which is significantly better than the previous House-approved level of $124.4 million.  Also included in this bill is $25.5 million in funding for the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, which had been zeroed-out in a previous continuing resolution. This compromise legislation is set to go to the House floor later this week before moving on to the Senate for final approval.

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives had passed legislation that would have reduced NEA funding by 26 percent and faced threats of terminating the agency. Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch noted in a press statement: “Americans for the Arts is heartened by the final FY2011 federal budget levels for the nation’s cultural agencies, which reflect a more sensible and proportionate funding cut of 7.5 percent to the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. While we firmly believe that the nation would be better served with a more robust investment in nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in communities across the country, we acknowledge the constraints of the current budget. We are also pleased that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Smithsonian Institution did not incur any cuts.”

This news comes just a week after National Arts Advocacy Day where hundreds of arts advocates from across the country were joined by actors Alec Baldwin, Kerry Washington, Hill Harper, and Kevin Spacey in Washington, DC to advocate in support of the NEA and arts education. Watch Alec Baldwin’s remarks on Arts Advocacy Day here.

Thanks for all your efforts in contacting your legislators during the last few months. While we have worked hard in the fight for FY 2011, the battle over FY 2012 is just beginning. During the next few months, we will be reaching out to you again to continue advocating in support of the cultural programs in FY 2012.

Help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today — it’s free and simple.

source:  Americans for the Arts

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