Advocacy Updates on National Endowment for the Arts
What the Heck is Going on at the State Capitol?
Federal decisions impact us locally.
This week The White House proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Library and Museum Services and Corporation for Public Broadcasting (and reduce funding to a whole lot of other agencies, as well).
This is not a done deal yet. Congress will weigh this proposal with their own priorities. Regardless of the budget amount, Congress would have to act for the agencies to be eliminated.
This is not just about arts and culture. This is about the economy, access, equity, community, history, and heritage. The National Endowment for the Arts positively impacts Oklahoma.
Your voice matters!
How National Endowment for the Arts Benefits Oklahoma
Does the news from the Oklahoma Capitol seem a bit overwhelming?
The legislative schedule and state budget process defines that breakneck pace and huge volume this time of year.
Once the Legislature convenes on the first Monday in February (Feb 6 this year), the State Senate and House have less than a month to hear bills in committees.
The first committee deadline just passed. Since our state legislators submit thousands of bills, literally, we just finished the busiest time of filtering and decision-making.
What is a Revenue Failure for Oklahoma?
Unofficial reports are circulating that the new Presidential administration will propose a budget that eliminates the National Endowments for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Oklahoma’s economy and education benefit greatly from the National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). These two federal agencies benefit rural, suburban and inner city areas all across America, including Oklahoma.
Arts advocates should speak up now to keep these important programs.
ART OF COMMUNITY BUILDING: EDMOND
Did you see the news about Oklahoma's "revenue failure?" That means state agencies, including the Oklahoma Arts Council, will have to cut funds out of their current year budget.
According to Finance Director Preston Doerflinger, $34.6 million overall will have to be cut by June 30 for this fiscal year. Current year reductions will total 0.7% of state agencies' budgets.
ON ALERT: NORMAN ARTS ROUNDTABLE LEGISLATIVE FORUM
The city of Edmond’s public art collection is a testament to the power of public investment in the arts and an incentive for arts advocates to get serious about electing pro-arts candidates to municipal office.
Over the last two decades, elected officials in Edmond have intentionally built public art funds into the city’s budget. Mayors, notably Randel Shadid, and City Councilmembers have worked together to build the infrastructure that has resulted in a public art collection of over 150 pieces valued at over $3.5 million.
WAIT, PUT DOWN THAT PHONE: ON ADVOCACY STRATEGY
The Norman Arts & Humanities Roundtable hosted their Legislative Forum on January 11, 2017. The Norman legislators raised short term concerns for state support for the arts and longer term tips for advocacy.
The local arts sector has hosted this forum almost annually for 30 years according to chair Norman Hammond. The Roundtable brings together leaders from most of the area’s arts and culture organizations for regular strategizing, networking and advocacy. Norman Arts Council coordinates the group.
ART OF COMMUNITY BUILDING: OKLAHOMA CITY (PART 1)
The Oklahoma Legislative Session will begin soon, the first Tuesday in February. The news and activity level is ramping up. Whether based on informed reports or rumor, we will begin receiving warnings about potential legislation and budget choices impacting arts and culture.
ART OF COMMUNITY BUILDING: ALVA
This case study is part of a series investigating the variety of ways that Oklahoma communities invest municipal resources and funding in the arts. These stories illustrate how these investments, big or small, can have a positive impact on citizens, civic pride, tourism, and the general well-being of a place and its people.
ART OF COMMUNITY BUILDING: MIAMI
The city of Alva invests in the arts through a combination of city/state partnerships and public/private partnerships. These partnerships function toward the goals of the Cultural District Initiative, (1) to increase Alva’s capacity for arts and cultural development, and (2) to cultivate inclusive improvement in social and economic life for residents of Alva.
ART OF COMMUNITY BUILDING: BARTLESVILLE
Miami, Oklahoma is in the early stages of drafting and implementing a Cultural District Plan. Miami’s story is a useful template for communities wondering how to begin investing in arts and culture intentionally and systematically.
The recipe for Miami’s successful start has included good working relationships between arts leaders and civic leaders, a holistic vision for the role of the arts in Miami and a substantial dedication of time.
STATE PLAN FOR ESSA
The City of Bartlesville understands the value of the arts for cultivating civic pride. And that long-standing disposition among civic leaders and community members has synthesized into a sustainable pro-arts culture in the city.
During Bartlesville’s boom oil years Phillips Petroleum brought substantial wealth to the city, and many residents and city officials wanted to invest in arts and culture to improve the city’s well-being and promote a positive sense of place.
ART OF COMMUNITY BUILDING: PAWHUSKA
The State Department of Education released their first draft of the State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act.
ARTS EDUCATION: SERVING ALL STUDENTS
Pawhuska, Oklahoma’s vision to become the artistic destination on the Tallgrass Prairie for both artists and patrons is a useful template for municipalities trying to make the most of their history, geography, and local talent. The key to Pawhuska’s success has been connecting the dots to build a unified vision
ART OF COMMUNITY BUILDING: ADA
This diagram show the ways students benefit from arts education in their schools and communities.
Each part of the arts education ecosystem is important to benefit students. As we advocate for more certified arts teachers in schools or more community arts groups serving neighborhoods, let’s respect the role of each.
Americans for the Arts and other national partners produced this diagram as part of their “Arts Education for American Students: A Shared Endeavor” statement.
Read the statement here.
ARTS EDUCATION & ESSA
Ada, Oklahoma is full of promising college students and passionate professors who would like to see more of those students stick around to invest in the city. Retaining young professionals after graduation is a mountain every college town tries to climb, and one that can feel steep in small-town Oklahoma.
Part of Ada’s answer is creating a young professional-friendly culture through the arts. The city has developed an Arts District and arts-friendly policies to encourage the growth of the arts sector so the sector can contribute to the city’s social and economic vitality.
HOW DO YOU VALUE ARTS?
Laws and policy are changing education standards and accountability. Oklahoma’s Department of Education is working now to decide how our state will implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Our State Department of Oklahoma is creating a State Plan in preparation for implementation of ESSA for the 2017-18 academic year. Each state must revise its accountability plan for success in education, which―in addition to items such as test scores―can include other indicators, such as measures of participation in arts instruction.
Take advantage of the important opportunities outlined on this handout to voice your support for arts education!
WHAT DO YOUR CANDIDATES THINK ABOUT THE ARTS?
The study, commissioned by The Wallace Foundation, offers a new framework for understanding the value of the arts, one that recognizes how both intrinsic and instrumental benefits contribute to the public realm and underscores the central role of intrinsic benefits in generating all arts benefits. The authors also examine how such benefits are generated through different kinds of arts experiences and call for policies designed to engage more Americans in the arts.
THANKS TO OUR MEMBERS!
This election year Oklahomans for the Arts surveyed State Senate and House candidates about their positions on a number of key arts and culture issues, including funding for the Oklahoma Arts Council and arts education policy.
Now we’ve got the final list of candidates for the November 8 General Election.
ADVOCACY CALENDAR: A FEW INCHES AT A TIME
Thanks to Our Nonprofit Organization Members!
Art Therapy Association of Oklahoma, Choctaw
We advocate year-round. Our advocacy with local, state and federal officials makes a difference for funding arts access and arts education for all in our community.
How do you break this important advocacy work down into manageable steps?
One way would be to create an advocacy calendar for your organization.