Kansas: Advocates Stage Rally, Funeral Procession for Arts Funding
The Topeka Capital-Journal
, 3/1/11
"Area artists and art supporters conducted a funeral procession for the arts in downtown Topeka signifying their grief over the possible loss of the Kansas Arts Commission. Gov. Sam Brownback has signed an executive reorganization order to abolish the Kansas Arts Commission and transfer its responsibilities to the Kansas Historical Society. That order will take effect July 1 unless the Kansas House or Senate passes a resolution in opposition to the change. Llewellyn Crain, executive director of the Kansas Arts Commission, said she expected such a resolution to be introduced in the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee on [March 3]."


Washington: State Arts Commission Fighting Against Elimination
The Pacific Northwest Inlander
, 2/23/11
"The Spokane Symphony Orchestra’s education programs and others throughout the state that enhance basic arts education are funded substantially through the Washington State Arts Commission (WSAC), and these funds are in jeopardy. WSAC, originally slated to be dissolved as an independent agency in the governor’s budget, dodged the bullet—for the moment…In the current thinking, the commission would continue to exist but most likely as a mere shadow of what it has been. The governor’s budget proposal cuts the arts commission’s state funding from $1.26 million to $250,000….10 percent of what it was three years ago."



Culture and Communities

Ohio: New Contract Increases Wages for Symphony Musicians
The Columbus Dispatch, 2/26/11
"Here's some news that should be music to the ears of Columbus Symphony musicians: Wages are going up. The orchestra board and the Central Ohio Federation of Musicians Local 103 have reached a new four-year contract restoring a portion of the wages lost since 2008, when a financial crisis spurred a five-month shutdown. The new contract, starting September 1, gradually increases the $35,000 base salary for full-time musicians to $40,000 by the 2015–2016 season. Most musicians make more than the base because of their years of service and senior status."


Report: New Habits Create Broader Arts Participation
The Washington Post, 2/24/11
"Expanding the boundaries of how and where people enjoy the arts, a new survey from the National Endowment for the Arts concludes that nearly 75 percent of Americans participate in the arts. The federal arts agency, catching up with the delivery systems, such as the iPod, and alarmed that participation at live performances was declining, asked a group of experts to look again at the results from its "2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts." The new analysis included responses about people using electronic media, attending festivals or performances at nontraditional locations, such as historic sites, and producing their own art."


Arts Education and the Creative Workforce

Illinois: Former Visual Arts Teachers Create Exhibit Out of Anger
Chicago Tribune, 2/21/11
"A five-inch metal screw sits pointed-end up on an old wooden school chair that has a teacher's cardigan draped across the back. 'Screwed' reads the unambiguous caption on the mixed-media sculpture. It is a word that pretty much sums up the feelings of a group of Chicago Public School (CPS) art teachers who staged a protest art show last month at Chicago Teachers Union headquarters in the Merchandise Mart. They are among nearly 1,300 teachers—the majority of them tenured—who say they were unjustifiably pink-slipped last summer amid a $720 million CPS budget deficit."

New York: Who Were Those Kids Who Sang Off the Oscars?< /strong>
GothamGazette.com, 3/1/11
"New York magazine called it 'the best-known elementary school chorus on the planet'…They hail from Staten Island's Graniteville Public Elementary School, or P.S. 22. And though the chorus members are clearly talented, when you strip away the Oscar performance and the visits with Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, what you see is a group of students having a great time, expressing themselves, and making the most of the educational opportunity they have. Part of the appeal is that these kids are not from privileged backgrounds with years of private voice lessons or musical training—in fact 75 percent of the students at P.S. 22 qualify for free lunch, and English is a second language for many of them."

Report: Arts Education Declining, Especially for Minorities
Education Week Curriculum Matters blog, 2/28/11
"Fewer American children are getting access to arts education, whether at school or elsewhere, according to a new analysis of federal data issued by the National Endowment for the Arts. What's especially alarming is that the overall decline is only part of the story: The drop is apparently most severe for African-Americans and Hispanics. The research, part of a broader look at arts participation by U.S. adults, finds that fewer 18-year-olds surveyed in 2008 reported receiving any arts education in childhood than did those surveyed in 1982, dropping from about 65 percent to 50 percent."



Public Investment in the Arts

Colorado: House Bill to Help State Film Industry Stalls
The Durango Herald
, 2/25/11
"Rep. Tom Massey (R-Poncha Springs) transformed his bill, which would have added a 10-cent fee to every movie ticket, into a voluntary donation program to lure more movie productions to Colorado. Massey had proposed the fee as a way to compete for film productions with New Mexico and other states…When Massey introduced the bill early this month and called the dime charge a 'fee,' he immediately took criticism…Massey said he took the criticism to heart and made plans to take the issue to voters, as the state constitution requires for a tax increase. But he thought it would cost too much to promote a ballot question, so he changed the bill to a voluntary donation."


The Creative Economy and The Private Sector

Michigan: ArtPrize 2010 Generates Impact on Local Economy
Business Review West Michigan, 3/1/11
"Although ArtPrize 2010 did not generate a huge economic impact for the city relative to its total GDP, economics professor Paul Sicilian believes the true impact goes beyond the dollar amount…The study conducted by Grand Valley State University and Experience Grand Rapids found that ArtPrize generated $5.5 million in direct spending from nonlocal visitors…When taking multiplier effects into account, the total economic impact of ArtPrize 2010 was approximately $7 million…The study estimates visitors spent approximately $721,000 on lodging, nearly $589,000 on transportation, around $684,000 on retail purchases, and about $168,000 on tourism."

Florida: Redevelopment Agencies Invest in the Arts
Sun-Sentinel, 2/25/11
"As the tough economy lingers and downtowns remain filled with empty storefronts, community redevelopment agencies (CRAs), municipalities and even the federal government are giving millions of dollars to the arts as a way to redevelop blighted areas and create economic growth. CRAs in Delray Beach and Lake Worth, and groups in other South Florida communities such as Fort Lauderdale, are using public money to invest heavily in cultural outlets and the arts…In Lake Worth, the CRA created the Cultural Renaissance program to retain artists, building live-work spaces and attracting the patrons, and their wallets, who would support their artistic ventures."


Philanthropy & Fundraising in the Arts

New York: Foundation Collaborative Gives Funds to Arts Groups
Buffalo Business First
, 3/1/11
"Three dozen local arts groups will receive $430,000 from area foundations working to offset cuts in funding from Erie County. Dollars come through the Fund for the Arts, a collaborative made up of Western New York private foundations dedicated to supporting initiatives that strengthen the region as a center for arts and culture. The funds will provide general operating support to organizations in Erie County for 2011…[and] will go to 36 organizations countywide selected based on recommendations from the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance (GBCA), an arts advocacy group created by and for arts and cultural organizations."


Michigan: General Motors Foundation Returns to Arts Funding
Detroit Free Press
, 2/25/11
"The General Motors Foundation pulled annual arts funding to Detroit institutions in late 2008 in the wake of the collapse of the auto industry. But with profits percolating, GM has gotten back in the game, making recent grants of about $125,000 to Michigan Opera Theatre, $75,000 to Mosaic Youth Theatre, and $25,000 to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History. For arts groups that have struggled with rising deficits, staff layoffs, and artistic cuts during the recession, news that significant GM dollars have started to flow to culture has been greeted with elation."



Arts Canvas: The View from the Field
Catherine Brandt, Press and Media Relations Manager
Americans for the Arts

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The good people at Hyundai have generously offered to help Americans for the Arts in curing our nation’s Crampomitosis problem. Never heard of it?

Here’s how Hyundai describes the condition:

"Millions of compact car drivers are fighting against leg-buckling Crampomitosis, caused by a chronic lack of leg room. These choice-starved people have knees riddled with teeth marks, toes pointing in impossible directions, and seemingly no choice when it comes to a comfortable car to drive."

Still wondering what in the world Crampomitosis has to do with Americans for the Arts? Let me explain. Clearly, Crampomitosis isn't really a medical condition. It’s actually Hyundai's way of giving back.

Here's how it works: Hyundai has generously selected Americans for the Arts as their designated nonprofit for a new Facebook Cause linked to their recent “Cure Compact Crampomitosis” advertising campaign…

To read the rest of Catherine's blog post, comment, and to browse other entries, visit Americans for the Arts' ARTSblog.



Webinar: Partnering with Local Chambers of Commerce
The Business Committee for the Arts 2010 National Survey of Business Support to the Arts found that small and mid-sized companies contribute a larger share of philanthropic dollars to the arts than large companies. This is in part due to the benefits a thriving arts community brings to local businesses. Sign on to learn how to reach new business audiences and enhance current relationships by partnering with your local chamber of commerce, and hear how arts organizations are successfully partnering with their local chambers to become leading voices for community planning, economic development, and cultural diversity. All webinars are free for Americans for the Arts members. If you would like to join in order to view this, or many other webinars, visit our Membership page.

The National Arts Marketing Project Seeks Session Proposals
The National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) invites you to submit a session proposal for its 2011 conference. Join us for Winning Audiences, November 12–15, 2011, in Louisville, KY.  From arts marketing and audience building to new technology and fundraising, the 2011 conference will provide the tools you need to reach audiences, funders, and new partners. Share your practical ideas and strategies on audience engagement and new technologies for succeeding in a more connected society. The NAMP Conference welcomes session proposals from a variety of arts, nonprofit, marketing, and fundraising professionals. For more information, visit ArtsMarketing.org. Proposals will be accepted until March 18, 2011.

An Arts Watch Partnership
For an analysis and further discussion regarding the issues raised recent editions of Arts Watch, visit The Clyde Fitch Report's Arts Advocacy Update
. The Clyde Fitch Report (CFR) is a website exploring the nexus of arts and politics—including news and features, interviews, guest columns, bipartisan opinions, and public comments. You can also visit website by clicking on the CFR button on the left side of the page.