The Importance and Impact of Planning for Public Art

There is a growing interest in public art from across the country. In the Public Art Programs Fiscal Year 2001 report, Americans for the Arts estimated 350 public art programs across the U.S. The 2017 Survey of Public Art Programs identified more than twice as many. With this growth it is important to understand the various ways public art is planned for and implemented in different communities. In this post, we provide an overview of three papers published by Americans for the Arts that speak to the diverse needs of public art programs across the country, and how local institutions are approaching the topic in innovative ways. With a focus on planning for public art from a municipal perspective, growing public art programs in small to mid-sized cities, and recognizing grassroots and folk art in rural communities, these papers show that successful public art values local context and the public art programs are as unique as each community.

Good Tidings from SAAN

Much has happened since last I wrote, including the 2018 Midterm Elections, in which: Over 113 million citizens nationwide turned out to vote; a record-breaking total of 107 women were elected to serve in Congress; Democrats now control the U.S. House and Republicans retain hold of the U.S. Senate; key congressional arts supporters like Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) on the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) on Ways and Means Committee will be the new chairs; at the state level, there will be 19 new governors, 27 new state legislative leaders, and 1,700 new state legislators—resulting in a 23% turnover; and more than 2,000 women will serve in state legislatures in their upcoming sessions and will hold the majority in two state legislative chambers—the Colorado House and Nevada Assembly. On top of getting out the vote for this year’s midterms, State Arts Action Network leaders had noteworthy advocacy gains in their communities.

The Arts Say Thank You to Our Veterans and Active Duty Military

As we celebrate both Thanksgiving and National Veterans and Military Families Month this year, we honor the service and sacrifice of America’s more than 18 million veterans across the country. Arts and humanities events and programs remind us of the contributions that veterans and active duty military and their families have made and the power of joining together through the shared experience of art. We recognize the growing number of state and local-level arts and military initiatives that are creating greater access and more opportunities across the country. These programs unite us, bridging the civilian/military divide in a non-partisan way that only the arts can, in communities both large and small. And these efforts aren’t just one-time events; they represent long-term commitments from artists and arts groups to serve those who have served.

Celebrate National Shop Local Artists Week 2018

Be part of the nationwide celebration December 2-8, 2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018

From December 2 to 8, 2018, the initiative encourages the creative field to join together in communities across the country to promote the sales of the work of local artists, and to promote to all consumers that art—including tickets to events and organization memberships—makes great holiday gifts.

Americans for the Arts Introduces the Arts + Social Impact Explorer

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Today, Americans for the Arts unveiled the Arts + Social Impact Explorer, an interactive online tool that draws together more than 1,000 data points on how the arts impact and integrate into 26 different sectors ranging from education and innovation, to health and wellness, immigration, faith and environment. The tool provides quick top-line research, example projects, core research papers, and lists service and partner organizations doing this work, as well as provides printable PDF fact sheets to share with decisionmakers.

Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018: An In-Depth Look at Perceptions and Attitudes About the Arts in America

In a society struggling to find equity and social justice, Americans believe the arts improve the quality of our communities. How do we know? We asked. Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018 is the second in a series of national public opinion surveys conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Americans for the Arts. One of the largest ever conducted, it gauges the public perspective on (1) personal engagement in the arts as audience and creator, (2) support for arts education and government arts funding, (3) opinions on the personal and well-being benefits that come from engaging in the arts, and (4) how those personal benefits extend to the community. Here are some findings of the survey. 

Americans for the Arts Is Celebrating National Arts in Education Week September 9-15

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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Americans for the Arts today announced its celebration of National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the nation to celebrate the transformative power of the arts in education. 

Preparing Your Organization and Your Donors for Shifts in the Charitable Tax Deduction

On January 1, the 2018 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act went into effect, a substantial change to the U.S. tax code which has the potential to negatively impact arts and culture nonprofit organizations in a variety of ways. One of the most significant impacts will come in changes related to the thresholds and amounts associated with the charitable tax deduction. This 100-year-old provision was designed to stimulate giving to charities and other organizations serving the public good by providing an opportunity to claim a deduction as a reduction in an individual’s tax burden. While the repercussions of the federal tax code changes are still emerging, and corresponding shifts in state-by-state tax policy may impact your situation, the notes that follow are an introductory primer. If you have questions about state-level implications, we recommend you reach out to your state comptroller or state association of nonprofits.

Arts Advocacy Day Is Coming

Although years may really just be a number, in its 31 years, Arts Advocacy Day has seen six different U.S. presidents spanning both political parties. It’s witnessed sixteen different congressional sessions and eight different Speakers of the U.S. House. Through it all, every year, attendees hear that “the arts are bipARTtisan.” Because, no matter who’s in office, arts advocacy matters. Funding decisions are made every year. Who’s deciding this year may not be deciding next year. Who’s to remember what happened before? Who’s to know why it matters? Who’s to learn from each other? The answer is us. All of us. All of us together.

As Des Moines grows, the nonprofit arts industry booms

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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Des Moines, Iowa is the fastest growing city in the Midwest. Just last year, greater Des Moines added 12,145 residents to reach a total population of 634,725. With this influx of people comes economic growth, to which the city’s nonprofit arts and culture sector makes a significant contribution.

New Resources Summarize IMLS Support for Museums and Libraries in Each State

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) released reports with detailed views of IMLS funding for the past six years (FY 2011 through FY 2016) for every state across the nation and the District of Columbia, including total dollars and counts of IMLS grants and awards, as well as amounts of grantee matches or state government maintenance of effort levels.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: How the Nonprofit Arts & Culture Industry Impacts the Economy in Your Community

When recently asked how best to advocate for the arts in the current environment, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM)—co-chair of the Senate Cultural Caucus and chief sponsor of the CREATE Act—was unequivocal: “Start by telling every one of your Senators about the economic benefits of the arts.” This familiar refrain is one we have heard for decades from city council chambers to governor mansions to the halls of Congress—and it works. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 does just that. It changes the conversation about the arts from that of a “charity” to one about an “industry” that provides both cultural and economic benefits to the community.

Americans for the Arts Unveils Findings from Fifth National Economic Impact Study of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations and Their Audiences

Study Demonstrates That Nonprofit Arts Are An Economic, Employment Powerhouse

Saturday, June 17, 2017

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A new national study by Americans for the Arts finds that the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity in 2015—$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related spending by their audiences. This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue. 

Annual Convention Saturday Keynote Announced

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will share her thoughts on the role of the arts in today's political climate

Monday, May 8, 2017

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will share her thoughts on the role of the arts in today's political climate in the June 17 keynote plenary session at Americans for the Arts' Annual Convention.

Americans for the Arts Statement on Bipartisan Agreement to Fund the Nation’s Federal Cultural Agencies and Programs for FY2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

Americans for the Arts president and CEO Robert L. Lynch issued a statement following the signing of the bipartisan agreement. 

Pre-Order Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Materials

Fifth National Arts and Culture Economic Impact Study to be Released June 17

Friday, May 5, 2017

Now is the time to preorder study publications detailing results of  the fifth national Arts Economic & Prosperity study, with data from 341 partners across the country to share with stakeholders in your community, including mayors, board members, business and community leaders and other elected officials.

Save the NEA!

The NEA is the only arts funder in America, public or private, that supports the arts in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. The NEA also has an exemplary partnership with the states, with 40 percent of program funds distributed through state arts agencies. This federal-state partnership supports tens of thousands of grants in communities all throughout the U.S.

For more info, years of NEA’s grants are also fully searchable online.

New Data Showcase Economic Impact of Arts and Culture in U.S. and States

Arts and cultural economic activity accounted for 4.2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product—$729.6 billion—in 2014

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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Sure, Broadway and Hollywood employ lots of creative people. But when it comes to artistic and cultural work, not all the action is on the coasts. New data show arts and culture account for a larger share of jobs in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado than they do nationally. For the first time, the Bureau of Economic Analysis has produced statistics spotlighting the economic impact of arts and cultural activities in each state and the District of Columbia.

The Nation’s Report Card in the Arts is Released

The 2016 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in the Arts is Released by the National Assessment Governing Board

Monday, April 24, 2017

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On Tuesday, April 25, the National Assessment Governing Board and the National Center for Education Statistics releases results of The Nation's Report Card: 2016 Arts. This report will demonstrate national Grade 8 results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, including findings by demographic subgroups and region. The release event will explore what the data show about student skills and how the availability of resources and opportunities in arts education may shape these skills.

Americans for the Arts Ads on Capitol Hill: The NEA Supports America

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

To kick off National Arts Advocacy Day on Tuesday, March 21, Americans for the Arts sent a message in three frequently read newspapers to legislators and staffers on Capitol Hill about the importance of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Americans for the Arts to Present Arts Advocacy Day, Push to Save National Endowment for the Arts

Friday, March 17, 2017

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Americans for the Arts today announces a schedule of events for its Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy and Arts Advocacy Day, as part of the National Arts Action Summit held March 20-21, 2017. Now in their 30th year, the events are presented by Americans for the Arts with 88 national organizational partners representing arts, culture, business, civic, and education institutions and individuals nationwide. This annual series of events is particularly important with recent news that the Trump Administration’s proposed FY2018 budget shows eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and other federal cultural agencies.

Americans for the Arts Statement on Proposed Elimination of Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts

Thursday, March 16, 2017

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Americans for the Arts president and CEO Robert L. Lynch issued a statement in response to the Trump Administration’s proposed elimination of FY2018 funding to the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Americans for the Arts Releases a Statement on Arts and The Affordable Care Act

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Americans for the Arts releases a statement about the importance of artists and creative workers being able to acquire and maintain affordable healthcare insurance at a time when Congress is working to “repeal and replace” portions of ACA.

Americans for the Arts Statements: The Arts Put America to Work

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

As Congress and the Trump Administration prepare the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2018, Americans for the Arts is working to remind our elected officials about the economic importance of federal funding for the arts, specifically through the National Endowment for the Arts. This morning, ads appeared in the New York Post and The Hill newspapers with the bold headline “The Arts Put America to Work.”

8 Times the Arts Saved the Day at Work

Whether focusing on employee engagement, customer appreciation, recruiting talent, or fostering community, these eight case studies, taken from a series of essays produced by the pARTnership Movement, showcase how today’s most innovative businesses are using the arts to help meet some of their most difficult and vital objectives. 

Americans for the Arts Statement on Confirmation of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

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Americans for the Arts president and CEO Robert L. Lynch issued a statement in response to Elisabeth P. “Betsy” DeVos’s confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Education. 

Americans for the Arts Releases Statement on Immigration and Refugee Ban

Friday, February 3, 2017

Americans for the Arts releases a statement in response to the executive order signed by President Trump that denies entrance into the U.S. by immigrant and non-immigrant visitors from seven Muslim-majority nations.

Americans for the Arts Releases New Guide on Community Arts & Military Programming

Arts Deployed: An Action Guide for Community Arts & Military Programming

Friday, February 3, 2017

Americans for the Arts is pleased to release a new guide, Arts Deployed: An Action Guide for Community Arts & Military Programming, for local arts organizations and artists interested in bringing creative arts programming to military and Veteran communities, their caregivers, and families. Arts Deployed honors the highly effective and robust arts and military programs that exist all across the country and seeks to help close a critical gap, as the demand for these services far exceeds their number. 

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