Americans for the Arts launches citizens initiative for arts advocacy

04 October 2004, USA

Americans for the Arts has announced a major new initiative to involve people in advocacy for the arts. The leading not-for-profit arts organisation has created the Arts Action Fund – a citizen advocacy arm of Americans for the Arts designed to increase public awareness and active support of arts funding and public policy issues at all levels of government. Arts Action enables Americans for the Arts (otherwise restricted from heavily political lobbying) to legally expand its advocacy efforts and reach out beyond stakeholders directly to average Americans. It is strongly motivated by a desire to reverse declining levels of arts funding across the United States. In its early phase, the Fund will have four major areas of activity:

  • Providing a leading voice on the importance and benefits of the arts to the media and candidates for office
  • Involving Americans for the Arts’ extensive arts advocacy infrastructure and network at both state and local levels to help educate, train and connect individual arts advocates to local organizations
  • Assessing and rating the voting records of Members of Congress on high-priority arts issues
  • Providing a public voice, aggressively petitioning to shape public policy at the federal level for the arts and arts education The Fund has already turned up the heat. Later this month, Arts Action will release a Congressional Report Card highlighting the voting records of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives on arts legislation and in November, a national citizens’ membership campaign will be launched to encourage Americans to join and support the Arts Action Fund. ‘In our work with arts organizations throughout the United States, we see enormous public enthusiasm for the arts and arts education that is not reflected in government decisions and school curricula,’ said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. ‘It is time that elected officials heard from the public when it comes to the arts and arts education. This new citizens’ membership initiative will harness the power of individual citizens, joined together through the Arts Action Fund, and put it to work to ensure that the arts are a vital presence in every community and every public school in the nation.’ For more information, CLICK HERE.