Sunday, January 30, 2011

Arts Action Alert!

Change is in the air. Chicagoans will soon elect a new mayor for the first time in 22 years. The next mayor will make decisions that will impact Chicago's arts industry for generations.

Tell the candidates for mayor that the arts matter. Sign the petition today.

Chicago is home to a powerful arts industry that generates more than $2 billion in economic activity and employs more than 150,000 people annually. Yet, the arts infrastructure in Chicago is vulnerable. Recently, there have been lay-offs at the Department of Cultural Affairs, cuts to the CityArts grant program, and proposals to privatize the Blues and Jazz Festivals among others.

If you value the arts in Chicago, please make your voice heard. Tell the candidates that the arts matter. Sign the petition today at

Join (ORG), Arts Alliance Illinois, and the League of Chicago Theaters as well as Actors' Equity, the African American Arts Alliance, the Arts & Business Council, the Chicago Artists Coalition, the Chicago Music Commission, the Chicago Arts Learning Initiative, the Chicago Public Art Group, the Chicago Cultural Alliance, the Hyde Park Alliance for Arts & Culture, Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Urban Gateways, and others in our efforts to educate candidates in the 2011 election about the value of the arts and arts education to a strong Chicago.

ACT NOW: Help us ensure all candidates for mayor hear from 10,000 arts and arts education advocates before the end of the month. Sign the petition today.

For more information on the campaign, visit

There you can sign up for action alerts and updates and find more ways to take action. Learn how art affects the economy> and more.

Thank you for your kind support and appreciation of the arts!
Best Regards, Bill Rattner and Marci Rolnik

Supported by Woman's Caucus for Arts

Thursday, January 27, 2011

State of the Union Adress

President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union speech before the United States Congress where he addressed three areas of concern that resonate with arts advocates:
federal spending, jobs and education policy.

Earlier this week, 165 conservative members of Congress representing the Republican Study Committee called for termination of the National Endowment for the Arts and key arts education programs at the U.S. Department of Education. We know that the battle to protect these programs will be tough this year, but with your help, not insurmountable.

Please take two minutes to take action and send a message to your member of Congress in support of the National Endowment for the arts.
or arts education at the U.S. Department of Education> .

Several major newspapers across the country interviewed Americans for the Arts President and CEO Bob Lynch in response to the dubious notion that cutting the arts will actually reduce the nation’s deficit.

In today’s New York Times, Bob pointed out that the arts support 5.7 million jobs in the United States that generate about $30 billion in taxes, nearly $13 billion of which goes to the federal government and said, "If they’re serious about jobs and they’re serious about income, they would invest more in the arts.”

Since 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts has been serving arts organizations and artists in every state and every community. The arts not only play an important role in our nation’s well-being and foster creativity and innovation, but they also create jobs and prepare our workforce to compete in the global economy. Including the arts in a comprehensive and formal education for every student is critical.

The education reforms that the President and leaders in Congress should be looking at are ones that strengthen the role of the arts and truly implement it as a core academic subject in schools throughout the country.