This just in from Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the art in America...
"The legislative action surrounding jobs funding for the arts in the Economic Recovery Package in Congress is picking up speed, and we need you to take action! Americans for the Arts has been working with Congressional leaders to build support for this emergency funding for local and state arts organizations to prevent job losses during this recession.
As you recall, last week the House Appropriations Committee approved a plan that included $50 million in supplemental grants funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, and a number of other provisions that can benefit the arts. Starting tonight, and continuing tomorrow, the House will be considering the recovery legislation on the floor, and a number of votes are expected.
The Senate will be starting their debate on the bill on Friday and continuing through next week. While the Senate Appropriations Committee did not include an arts jobs funding provision in their version of the bill, advocates still have several opportunities over the next few days to change the final outcome. Amendments could be made to the Senate bill or the House arts funding provision itself could prevail in the final House/Senate conference bill.
Click here to send a message to our leaders in support of the arts and arts education. Americans for the Arts has supplied you with fresh research and key quotes that support this funding -- your help in communicating this information to your Member of Congress is critical.
Thank you for your support of the arts!"
I needed less than two minutes to act on this, and one minute more to forward the link to my family.
Setting aside for a moment just how important the arts are to societal health (a point that would see little debate here, I'm sure), I would like to mention that funding the arts and stimulating the economy are not mutually exclusive concepts as our opponents would have us believe. Ask our friends at the local restaurants what business is like when the BRT and the Aurora are dark. The Artistic sector is an important cog in the health of local economies and we should always be prepared to say so when short-sighted politicians seek to use the arts as a convenient punching bag.
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