Archive for the ‘Arts Advocacy’ Category

Arts Alert: Mayors Declare Nov. 1st to be “Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Day!”

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

It’s “Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Day!”

The Mayors of Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and Duluth, Mayor Chris Coleman, Mayor Besty Hodges and Mayor Don Ness are celebrating MCA’s 40th Anniversary by declaring it to be “MCA Day” in all three cities. What fun! Thanks so much to the thousands of the arts advocates across the state who have worked with us to make the arts more accessible in Minnesota. Cheers!

PROCLAMATION

Whereas: Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) is celebrating its 40th year advocating for the arts in Minnesota, working to make the arts accessible to all citizens, and

Whereas: The arts represent the heart and soul of all civilizations, play a vital role in our quality of life and enhance the education of our young people, and

Whereas: Minnesota is recognized nationally for its high quality arts and cultural institutions, with over 42,000 working artists and 1300 arts organizations that provide an annual economic impact of over $1 billion to our state, and

Whereas: In 40 years of advocating for the arts in Minnesota, MCA’s signature accomplishments include: Passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment creating 25 years of dedicated funding for the arts, a role in the passage of the state Percent for Art program and creation of the eleven Regional Arts Councils, and serving as a watchdog for the nonprofit arts sector, and

Whereas: Throughout its 40 years, citizens of Saint Paul/Minneapolis/Duluth and the surrounding regions have served on the board Minnesota Citizens for the Arts,

Now, therefore, I, Betsy Hodges, Mayor of the City of Minneapolis, do hereby proclaim November 1, 2014, as:
MINNESOTA CITIZENS FOR THE ARTS DAY
IN THE CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS

Now, Therefore, I, Christopher Coleman, Mayor of the City of Saint Paul, do hereby proclaim Saturday, November 1st, 2014 to be:
MINNESOTA CITIZENS FOR THE ARTS DAY
IN THE CITY OF SAINT PAUL

Now, THEREFORE, I, Don Ness, Mayor of the City of Duluth, do officially proclaim November 1, 2014, as
MINNESOTA CITIZENS FOR THE ARTS DAY
IN THE CITY OF DULUTH.

THANKS ALSO to Mayor Ardele Brede of Rochester who created a proclamation to “recognize and congratulate Minnesota Citizens for the Arts for their 40 years of service to the state,” along with Mayor Adams of Grand Rapids, Mayor Baustian of Luverne, Mayor Bender of Red Wing, and Mayor Maxwell of Hopkins. Thanks also to Minneapolis Councilwoman Elizabeth Glidden for her recognition as well.

Thank you so much to all, and congratulations to all of you wonderful arts advocates!

Don’t forget to Vote on Tuesday!

The election is next Tuesday. The outcome will determine many things, including the fate of the arts. Do you know where and how to vote? Check out all of these handy links on MCA’s website: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-election-information/.

Need to know how the candidates stand on arts issues? Of course you do! Check out their answers to our Legislative Questionnaire so you can vote smART.
(Correction: In our previous alert, we had a typo in our reporting of the statistics about how legislators had responded to the Question 3, about protecting the 47% statutory dedication to the MSAB and RACs, should have read that 60% (“Enthusiastically Support”) and 29% (“Support”), for a total of 89% of respondents in support).

Arts Alert: Vote SmART! Where do the candidates stand on the arts?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Vote SmART!
Find out where candidates stand on the arts.

The election is next week! You want to be a smART voter, and we are here to help. We’ve done a survey of all of the candidates for the Minnesota House and Congress to find out where they stand on ARTS issues. You know how important the ARTS are to our communities and quality of life, but do they?

Just over half of candidates responded to the survey.
You can download their
answers here.

Here’s what we asked the candidates:

Is there a specific ARTS organization in your part of the state that you or your family particularily enjoy?

85% of responding candidates listed at least one ARTS organization.

Do you agree or disagree that nonprofit organizations should continue to be exempt from paying taxes?

95% of responding candidates agreed.

Will you protect the standard that 47% of the ARTS & Cultural Legacy Fund is appropriated to the Minnesota State ARTS Board and Regional ARTS Councils to ensure that all Minnesotans have access to the ARTS, regardless of their geographic location, through grants that reach all 87 counties?

71% of responding candidates support, with 60% supporting enthusiastically.

In regards to the ARTS and Culture Fund, would you oppose any effort to use dedicated Legacy resources for earmark projects?

83% said “YES.”

We’ve also collected information about Minnesota’s candidates for Congress and the arts records for incumbents. Check it out! By voting in this election, you have the power to decide what kind of Minnesota you want to create for the future. Please get out and vote, and encourage your friends, neighbors and co-workers to do the same.

SO CHECK OUT THEIR ANSWERS AND GO VOTE ALREADY!

Do you need information on how, where, when to vote?

You can get everything you need here on our elections page.

Arts Alert: MCA is Celebrating 40 Years of Arts Advocacy!

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Celebrates
40 Years of Arts Advocacy!

1974-2014

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) will celebrate 40 years as the oldest and most successful state arts advocacy organization in the country with a party at the Walker Art Center on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.. From its small beginnings in 1975, when annual state funding for the arts was just $300,000, MCA has helped increase state arts funding catapulting Minnesota ahead of its peers to become the nation’s leader in per capita arts funding. Over those 40 years, MCA has been successful in advocating for increased access to the arts, fueling Minnesota’s national reputation as a hotbed of creative activity and high quality of life.

The MCA model is to advocate for policies that ensure that regardless of where you live in the state you have access to the arts. Resources reach organizations, artists, audiences and school children in every corner of the state through the unique competitive grant making system of the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils, which MCA helped to create.

“By achieving significant policy victories for artists and cultural organizations, MCA has become a national model in the arts advocacy movement and has significantly expanded access to and involvement in the arts for all people in Minnesota,” said Ra Joy, Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois.

Many Accomplishments

In addition to Minnesota’s national leadership in arts funding, MCA advocated for and has protected the state’s “Percent for Art in Public Places” program, which acquires works of art to be exhibited in and around the public areas of state buildings.  MCA has also been a vigilant watchdog for the nonprofit arts sector, passing a sales tax exemption for nonprofit tickets and protecting other vital nonprofit tax exemptions. In addition, MCA has been active in protecting artists rights by opposing censorship and passing a consignment law to protect artists’ works if galleries go bankrupt.

Another signature accomplishment of was MCA’s role in the creation of the state’s eleven Regional Arts Councils which ensure access to the arts across the state.

Legacy Amendment a Historic Victory

Because of MCA, Minnesota is unique in the country for having dedicated funding for the arts in its state constitution. MCA led the cultural community in joining a coalition of hunting and angling, conservation, clean water and parks and trails advocates who passed the groundbreaking Legacy Amendment.

Just as MCA has never focused on just one part of the arts community or just one part of the state, MCA has never worked in isolation, looking for friends wherever they can find them. MCA sees how we are all connected and how by working together we can make things possible that would otherwise not be possible.  Because MCA works in coalitions every day, it was a natural next step to be a part of this larger Legacy coalition. As a direct result of MCA’s ability to work with a wide variety of partners, the citizens of Minnesota voted to ensure 25 years of dedicated funding for the nonprofit arts.

More Minnesotans now experience the arts because of the Legacy Amendment.

Since the passage of the Amendment in 2008, attendance at arts events in Minnesota has increased by 21%:

Audience Served 10,421,608 (2008) 12,612,314 (2012)

Arts Funding Now Touches People in Every Corner of the State

MCA, in partnership with the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils, has been successful in advocating policies that resulted in a border-to-border state funding system unparalleled in the nation. This system has enlivened Main Streets across the state by supporting all sizes and genres of the arts, from our largest world-class organizations and the many

different genres of mid-sized and small organizations to the individual artists who make it all happen and create the art in the first place. In turn, this results in access to the arts for all Minnesotans no matter where they live or what their circumstances.

“MN Citizens for the Arts is a national leader in the field of arts advocacy and citizen engagement,” confirms Donna S. Collins, Executive Director Ohio Arts Council. “They involve people of all ages and walks of life who are interested in supporting and participating in arts, culture, and arts education. The voice of all citizens is represented in the work of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.”

Thriving Arts Scene Drives Economy

The nonprofit arts provide over $1 billion in annual economic impact in Minnesota. With over 42,000 artists according to the most recent census, Minnesota is a hub of artistic energy in the Midwest. Because of the interest of the citizens of Minnesota in having access to artistic opportunities, Minnesota has one and a half times the number of arts businesses per capita than all of our surrounding states, on par with California and New York. MCA’s work has fostered that density of artistic activity.

MCA produced two landmark studies,The Arts: A Driving Force in Minnesota’s Economy” (2006) and “Artists Count: An Economic Impact Study of Individual Artists in Minnesota” (2007) with several partners, including the McKnight Foundation, the Forum of Regional Arts Councils, and Springboard for the Arts. MCA is again working to tell the story of the impact of the arts on the state’s economy with a new project in coalition with the state’s arts funders, a “Creative Minnesota: The Health of the Nonprofit Arts and Culture” report that will be released at Arts Advocacy Day on Feb.19, 2015.

A Strong Leader in Citizen Engagement

MCA has trained thousands of citizens in civic activism, giving them the tools and know-how to become arts advocates at the state and local levels.  MCA annually organizes Arts Advocacy Day at the Minnesota Capitol which has brought as many as a thousand arts advocates to meet personally with their legislators to talk about the importance of the arts to their communities. At this event  citizens working with all different arts genres, metro and rural, of all size of arts organizations come together with one voice to meet with legislators.

This means that over time there have been more and more individual citizens who know how to advocate for the arts and are making their cities and small towns hotbeds of creative place making and arts activity. Whether it’s St. Paul, Minneapolis, Rochester, and Duluth (and their four arts-advocate mayors), or St. Cloud, Bemidji, Brainerd, Grand Marais, Lanesboro, Montevideo, Mankato, Red Wing and beyond, public and private civic leaders are all more aware of and working to use the arts to increase tourism and civic vitality.

Unusual Longevity and Impact

Organized in 1974, MCA is the oldest continuously operating statewide arts advocacy organization in the country. In forty years MCA has had only six Executive Directors, 21 Board Chairs, and two lobbyists; a longevity that is very unusual in the nonprofit sector and unheard of in arts advocacy organizations in many other states.

Award Winning

MCA received a 2003 Sally Ordway Irvine Award for Commitment, and in 2012 was recognized by Philanthropedia and Guidestar as “Top Nonprofit” for its role in increasing access to the arts in Minnesota.

Arts Alert: Who Supports the Arts? VOTE in Primary August 12

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Arts Alert: Who Supports the Arts? VOTE in Primary August 12.

Primary Election is August 12

Who Supports the Arts?

MCA is surveying all of the candidates for the Minnesota House and we have posted preliminary results on our web page. While the project is aimed at the November election, we did get a number of responses from legislative candidates who are competing in the primary next Tuesday.  Some of them will not make it on to the General Election, so it’s important for everyone to vote on Tuesday.

Legislators make arts policy so we want to know where they stand. We’ve asked them if they participate in the arts, if they will support arts funding, if they support tax exemptions for nonprofits, and if they will protect the Legacy fund from legislators who try to divert it to pork barrel projects.  They also have an opportunity to comment about their support for the arts. Over 50% of legislative candidates have responded already and some are still coming in. (It’s just as telling when you see that a legislator has not bothered to respond to our issues).

Thirteen Minnesota House races include primaries on August 12.  There are also primary races farther up on the ballet, for State Auditor, Governor, etc. Below are the House primary races, the candidates, and their responses to our survey on arts policy issues. (Note: Because of the number of candidates in each district, you may have to scroll down on the MCA web page to see the answers of your candidates).

Don’t know your district?
It’s easy to find out here: http://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/

Arts Survey Responses from MN House Primary Candidates:

District 5A:
Incumbent Rep. John Persell is challenged by Lavern Pederson in the Democratic primary. The winner will face Phillip Nelson (R) in the general election. Here are their survey responses: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-5/

District 6A:

Incumbent Carly Melin  is challenged by John Finken  in the Democratic primary. The winner will face Roger Weber (R) in the general election. Here are their survey responses: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-6/

District 7B:

Republican primary between Carla Bayerl and Travis Silvers to see who faces incumbent Rep. Erik Simonson in the general election: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-7/

District 12A: 

There is a Republican primary between Jeff Backer and Nancy Taffe to see who will challenge Incumbent Rep.Jay McNamar (D) in the general election. http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-12/

District 30B

Republican primary between Kevin Kasel and Eric Lucero to see who runs agains Sharon Shimek (D) in the general election. None of the three have yet answered the arts survey: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-30/

District 35A:

Republican primary between Justin Boals and Abigail Whelan to determine who runs against Peter Perovich (D) in the general election. Two of the three answered the arts survey: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-35/

District 40B: 

Incumbent Rep. Debra Hilstrom  is challenged by Timothy Davis, Sr.  in the Democratic primary. The winner will face Mali Marvin  (R) in the general election. Neither candidate responded to the survey: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-40/

District 44B:

Three Democratic candidates, Jon Applebaum, Jon Tollefson, and Tony Wagner are vying for the chance to run against Ryan Rutzick (R) in the general election. Two of the four answered the arts survey: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-44/

District 47A:
Republican primary between Bob Frey and Jim Nash to see who faces Democrat Matthew Gieseke in the general election. Only one of the three answered the arts survey: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-47/

District 48B:

Incumbent Rep. Jennifer Loon is challenged by Sheila Kihne in the Republican primary. The winner will face Joan Howe-Pullis  (D) in the general election. Here are their survey responses: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-48/

District 51A:

Republican primary between Victor Lake and Andrea Todd-Harlin to see who faces incumbant Democrat Sandra Masin in the General election. None of the three answered the arts survey: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-51/

District 55A:

Republican primary between Bob Loonan and Bruce Mackenthun to see who will face Jay Whiting (D) and Derek Thury (IPM) in the general election. http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-55/

District 60B:

Incumbent Rep. Phyllis Kahn is challenged by Mohamud Noor in the Democratic primary. The winner will face the winner of the Republican primary between Abdimalik Askar and Abdulkarim Mohamed Godah in the general election.  Here are heir survey responses: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-60/

District 63B: 

Incumbent Rep. Jean Wagenius  is challenged by Roger Kittelson in the Democratic primary. The winner will face Andres Hortillosa (R) in the general election http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/2014-district-63/

Don’t have a candidate in the primary?

You can still see if your Representative has responded to the survey yet here: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/actnow/legislatorsupport/

Donate to Your Favorite Minnesota Canididate and Get a Full Refund from the State of Minnesota!

Did you know that in Minnesota the state will reimburse you for some contributions to state candidates? Essentially you can donate to your favorite arts friendly candidate for free! Here’s all the details: http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/individuals/individ_income/Pages/Refund_for_Political_Contribution.aspx

The candidate will send you a reciept and a form to file for the refund. It’s VERY easy.

Don’t forget to tell them that you are donating because of their support for the arts!

Arts Alert: Twin Cities Economy Thrives With Arts Jobs & Businesses

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Twin Cities Economy Thrives with Arts Jobs & Businesses

New study shows that both Minneapolis and St. Paul are extraordinary strong in arts businesses and arts jobs.

Americans for the Arts recently released data that compares the largest 100 cities in America, including both:

  • Minneapolis (USA’s 47th largest city), and
  • St. Paul (USA’s 66th largest city).

The study, 2014 Creative Industries, is an annual look at arts jobs and employers in the US. In every measurement, both Minneapolis and St. Paul are punching far above their weight class in arts businesses and jobs compared to other cities around the country. The data combines both nonprofit and for-profit businesses. Let’s give them some applause!

Minneapolis is 47th largest in population but is:

  • 3rd in percentage of all businesses in the city that are arts related
  • 7th in percentage of all jobs in the city that are arts related
  • 7th in per capita arts-related businesses
  • 8th in arts jobs per capita
  • 19th in total arts related jobs (11,612 jobs)
  • 22nd in total arts related businesses (1985 businesses)

St. Paul is 66th largest in population but is:

  • 14th in percentage of all businesses in the city that are arts related
  • 28th in percentage of all jobs in the city that are arts related
  • 38th in per capita arts related businesses
  • 31st in per capita arts related jobs
  • 50th in total arts related jobs (4899 jobs)
  • 59th in total arts related businesses (858 businesses)

Here’s the details:

Percentage of all businesses in the city that are arts related:

RANK

CITY

%

1.

Seattle

9.37%

2.

Los Angeles

9.35%

3.

Minneapolis

8.72%

…….

……….

…….

14.

St. Paul

5.96%

Percentage of all jobs in the city that are arts related:

RANK

CITY

%

1.

New York City

6.82%

2.

Los Angeles

6.05%

3.

St. Petersburg, FL

5.30%

4.

San Francisco

5.16%

5.

Atlanta

4.81%

6.

Philadelphia

4.78%

7.

Minneapolis

4.05%

……

———-

28.

St. Paul

2.58%

Per Capita Arts-Related Businesses (Businesses per 1000 residents):

RANK

CITY

RATE

1.

Seattle

8.09

2.

Scottsdale

6.63

3.

Atlanta

6.53

4.

San Francisco

6.24

5.

Portland

5.67

6.

Los Angeles

5.17

7.

Minneapolis

5.05

………

…………

……….

8.

St. Paul

2.95

Per Capita Arts Jobs (Arts Jobs per 1000 residents):

RANK

CITY

JOBS

1.

Atlanta

47.42

2.

Washington DC

35.99

3.

San Francisco

35.67

4.

Seattle

33.00

5.

Boston

31.21

6.

St. Petersburg, FL

30.19

7.

New York City

29.86

8.

Minneapolis

29.56

……….

……………..

…….

31.

St. Paul

16.85

The 2014 Creative Industries Report’s data source is Dunn & Bradstreet data from January, 2014. More information on the study can be found here.

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts

2233 University Ave. W. #355, St. Paul, MN 55155 | 651-251-0868 | fax 651-917-3561staff at mncitizensforthearts.org | www.mncitizensforthearts.org | @MnCitizenMCA is a nonpartisan statewide arts advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure Minnesotans have access to and involvement in the arts. MCA organizes the arts community to lobby the Legislature and Congress on issues important to the nonprofit arts community. If you are interested in advocating for the arts, or want to learn how to activate people in your arts organization or community, please contact us. FYI, MCA is not a grantsmaker. For access to state funding, contact the Minnesota State Arts Board www.arts.state.mn.us or your local Regional Arts Council http://www.arts.state.mn.us/racs/index.htm.

Arts Alert: Deadline Coming June 30th, 2014. Have You Been Counted?

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Have You Been Counted?

Deadline is June 30, 2014!

Help Us Prove How Important the Arts Are to Our Economy:

Your arts & culture nonprofit has an impact on your community’s economy, but no economic impact study of the nonprofit arts & culture sector has been done in Minnesota since 2007. To fill this gap, Minnesota’s arts funders have partnered with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts to create a new State of the Arts and Culture Report to be released January, 2015.  The report will include data collected from multiple sources including the Cultural Data Project (CDP). Funding partners so far include the McKnight Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, the Target Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the eleven Regional Arts Councils.

Make sure your organization is counted as part of Minnesota’s arts economy!
Fill out a brief online survey for your organization here:
http://research.zarca.com/k/SsVWVWsQUSsPsPsP

(FYI, if your organization has filled out a CDP profile for FY12, you don’t need to do this online survey).

Want to know more about the project?
http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/learn/artsresearch/2014-eis-study/

Arts Alert: Arts Projects Win Big at Capitol.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Art Projects Win Big at Capitol

The strange and very brief legislative session ended last week with lots of wins for the arts. The most obvious win was that many arts and culture projects were funded in the state’s bonding bill. We usually have one or two arts projects make it through the grueling and sometimes arbitrary gauntlet of the bonding process, but last week the legislature passed a bill that included funding for nine large and small projects in every corner of the state, a truly unprecedented number. Congratulations to those organizations who worked so very hard to make this happen.

Arts Projects in 2014 Bonding Bill

Project Amount
NorShor Theater, Duluth: $6,950,000
Palace Theater, St. Paul: $5,000,000
Grand Rapids Regional Performing Arts Center: $3,897,000
Minneapolis Parks Sculpture Garden: $8,500,000
Park Rapids Regional Arts Center: $2,500,000
Ordway Center for Performing Arts, St. Paul: $4,000,000
Chatfield Center for the Arts: $5,352,000
Hennepin Center for the Arts, Mpls: $550,000
Red Wing River Town Rennaisance: $1,560,000

In addition to these arts-specific projects, some money will go to rehabbing the performing arts theater in the Rochester Civic Center used by some nonprofit arts organizations, and the St. Paul Children’s Museum received $14,000,000.

MCA does not lobby for arts bonding projects, we only work on issues that help the whole statewide arts community. However, we will give advice and assistance where we can. The success of this many arts projects is due to arts advocate Rep. Alice Hausman, Chair of the bonding committee, who made several speeches about her belief that the arts revitalize downtowns in every corner of the state. Another reason so many made it through was that the bonding bill was very large and supplemented by some of the cash from the state’s surplus this year (after many years of deficits).

Other Arts Legislation of Interest This Year:

Turnaround Arts

Yesterday the White House announced that Minnesota has been awarded the Turnaround Arts program, which will provide arts resources to four underperforming schools. The program will be managed by the Perpich Center over the next two years, and the legislature provided some funds to enable Minnesota’s participation. The Minnesota State Arts Board will provide some funds for grants for artists and arts organizations to work with the targeted schools.

Loans and Donations Not Proof of Residency

Well-meaning donors who live in other states who had loaned artworks to Minnesota museums will no longer be threatened with estate taxes under a small change in our estate tax law. This means that it is more likely that precious works of art loaned to Minnesota museums by non-residents and former residents will stay here.

New Definition of “Fundraisers”

The Department of Revenue added new language to the sales tax statute to clarify what is and is not a fundraiser for the purposes of determining the 24 day fundraiser limit currently in statute. The new language helps some nonprofits whose ordinary mission-related activities, such as providing arts classes, had been deemed mistakenly by some assessors to be fundraisers. The new language isn’t perfect but we will be working with the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits on suggested refinements for next session.  Here’s the new language:

45.19            (d) For purposes of this subdivision, “fund-raising events” means activities of

45.20            limited duration, not regularly carried out in the normal course of business, that attract

45.21            patrons for community, social, and entertainment purposes, such as auctions, bake sales,

45.22            ice cream socials, block parties, carnivals, competitions, concerts, concession stands,

45.23            craft sales, bazaars, dinners, dances, door-to-door sales of merchandise, fairs, fashion

45.24            shows, festivals, galas, special event workshops, sporting activities such as marathons and

45.25            tournaments, and similar events. Fund-raising events do not include the operation of a

45.26            regular place of business in which services are provided or sales are made during regular

45.27            hours such as bookstores, thrift stores, gift shops, restaurants, ongoing Internet sales,

45.28            regularly scheduled classes, or other activities carried out in the normal course of business.

45.29            EFFECTIVE DATE. This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Arts Alert: Good News on Arts Legacy Will Make Your Day

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

1. Minnesotans Increasingly Love the Legacy Amendment

Minnesotans are becoming more aware of all of the good things happening around the state in the arts, land and water conservation and parks and trails because of the Legacy Amendment.  New polling from the Minnesota Environmental Partnership shows that the public strongly favors the Legacy Amendment five years after its passage.

In telephone interviews conducted Feb. 4-6, 2014, when asked, “Whether or not you supported it originally, would you say you currently favor or oppose this constitutional amendment?

71% responded that they now favor the amendment. On election night, the Legacy Amendment passed with 56% of the vote.

Here is the breakdown:

FAVOR OPPOSE
Strongly favor: 40% Somewhat oppose: 11%
Somehat favor: 31% Strongly oppose: 15%
TOTAL FAVOR: 71% TOTAL OPPOSE: 26%

(no response = 3%, margin of error +/- 4%) The polling was conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates and Public Opinion Strategies (Dem and GOP pollsters, respectively).

2. Attendance at Arts Events has Increased by 21% Since Legacy Began

According to the Minnesota State Arts Board, attendance at arts events in Minnesota has increased by 21% since the Legacy Amendment was passed.

Clearly the Minnesota State Arts Board, Regional Arts Councils and all of their grantees have taken to heart the constitutional language that Legacy dollars should be invested in “arts access.”  Bravo!

Fiscal year 2008 (Pre-Legacy) 2012 Percent Increase
Audience Served 10,421,608 12,612,314 21%

 

Help Us Prove How Important the Arts Are to Our Economy:

Your arts & culture nonprofit has an impact on your community’s economy, but no economic impact study of the nonprofit arts & culture sector has been done in Minnesota since 2007. To fill this gap, Minnesota’s arts funders have partnered with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts to create a new State of the Arts and Culture Report to be released January, 2015.  The report will include data collected from multiple sources including the Cultural Data Project (CDP). Funding partners so far include the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the eleven Regional Arts Councils.
Make sure your organization is counted as part of Minnesota’s arts economy!

Fill out a brief online survey for your organization here:

http://research.zarca.com/k/SsVWVWsQUSsPsPsP

(FYI, if your organization has filled out a CDP profile for FY12,
you don’t need to do this online survey).

Want to know more about the project?
http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/learn/artsresearch/2014-eis-study/

Arts Alert: How Do We Stack Up Against Other States?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Creative Industries: How Do We Stack Up Against Other States?

According to Americans for the Arts’ Creative Industries report, if attracting creative industries were a competition, Minnesota would win hands down against our surrounding Midwest states.

Minnesota is home to 13,835 arts-related businesses that employ 55,040 people. The creative industries account for 4 percent of the total number of businesses located in Minnesota and 1.9 percent of the people they employ. This data includes BOTH for-profit and non-profit arts businesses, and is culled from Dunn and Bradstreet data.

Of our surrounding states, Wisconsin comes closest to Minnesota’s arts activity, with 10,566 arts related businesses that employ 43,676 people. But Iowa, North and South Dakota aren’t even in the running.

Clearly the arts are one of the things that sets Minnesota apart from its neighbors.

Here are the numbers. I’ve added an analysis of arts businesses per capita, which shows that also on a per capita basis, there are more arts businesses in Minnesota than in these surrounding states:

STATE ARTS RELATED BUSINESSES EMPLOYEES OF ARTS RELATED BUSINESSES STATE POPULATION* ARTS BUSINESSES PER CAPITA

SURROUNDING STATES:

MINNESOTA 13,835 55,040 5,420,380 .0026
WISCONSIN 10,566 43,767 5,742,713 .0018
IOWA 6,209 23,838 3,090,416 .0020
S. DAKOTA 1,533 6,652 844,877 .0018
N. DAKOTA 1,327 5,804 723,393 .0018

* Estimated STATE POPULATION according to U.S. Census as of 7/1/13.

 

But how do we stack up against states with similar populations? Only Colorado beats us in arts businesses per capita among states closest to ours in population:

 

STATE ARTS RELATED BUSINESSES EMPLOYEES OF ARTS RELATED BUSINESSES STATE POPULATION* ARTS BUSINESSES PER CAPITA

STATES SIMILAR IN POPULATION:

MINNESOTA 13,835 55,040 5,420,380 .0026
WISCONSIN 10,566 43,767 5,742,713 .0018
MARYLAND 14,259 50,021 5,928,814 .0024
COLORADO 19,308 61,259 5,268,367 .0037
ALABAMA 7,010 29,227 4,833,722 .0015

* Estimated STATE POPULATION according to U.S. Census as of 7/1/13.

 

And, finally, how do we stack up against states who have arts communities that we like to compare to our own? Turns out that our density of arts-related business per capita is pretty darn close to (although less than) California, New York and Florida, but higher than Illinois:

 

STATES WITH ARTS REPUTATIONS:

STATE ARTS RELATED BUSINESSES EMPLOYEES OF ARTS RELATED BUSINESSES STATE POPULATION* ARTS BUSINESSES PER CAPITA
MINNESOTA 13,835 55,040 5,420,380 .0026
CALIFORNIA 111,516 489,988 38,332,521 .0029
NEW YORK 56,634 349,286 19,651,127 .0028
ILLINOIS 26,945 127,236 12,882,135 .0020
FLORIDA 57,453 212,779 19,552,860 .0029

 

Make Sure Your Organization is Counted!

Your arts & culture nonprofit has an impact on your community’s economy, but no economic impact study of the nonprofit arts & culture sector has been done in Minnesota since 2007. To fill this gap, Minnesota’s arts funders have partnered with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts to create a new State of the Arts and Culture Report to be released January, 2015.  The report will include data collected from multiple sources including the Cultural Data Project (CDP). Funding partners so far include the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the eleven Regional Arts Councils.

Make sure your organization is counted as part of Minnesota’s arts economy!
Fill out a brief online survey for your organization here:
http://research.zarca.com/k/SsVWVWsQUSsPsPsP

(FYI, if your organization has filled out a CDP profile for FY12,
you don’t need to do this online survey).

Want to know more about the project?
http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/learn/artsresearch/2014-eis-study/

Arts Alert: National Study Finds Arts-Related Businesses in MN Employ 55,040 People!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

National Study Finds Arts-Related Businesses in Minnesota Employ 55,040 People

We’ve always known that the arts are important to Minnesota’s economy. Now we have some proof.

Americans for the Arts recently released an update of its Creative Industries report, looking at the scope and economic importance of both the for-profit and non-profit arts across the country, with specific data about Minnesota. The study defines the creative industries as arts businesses that includes nonprofit museums, symphonies and theaters as well as for-profit film, architecture and design companies. Data is collected from Dunn & Bradstreet business registrations.

“Arts businesses and the creative people they employ stimulate innovation, strengthen America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace, and play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy, ” said the study.

STATEWIDE RESULTS:
Minnesota is home to 13,835 arts-related businesses that employ 55,040 people. The creative industries account for 4 percent of the total number of businesses located in Minnesota and 1.9 of the people they employ.

Arts businesses in Minnesota have grown since the study’s results from 2008, which showed 11,050 arts-related businesses employing 52,949 people.  That’s an increase of 2785 businesses and an increase of 2091 people employed by the arts since the Legacy Amendment began in Minnesota. (The study does not look at cause and effect, but it does make you wonder).

REGIONAL RESULTS:
The study also divided up the state’s arts businesses by congressional districts:

REGION NUMBER OF ARTS BUSINESSES NUMBER OF ARTS EMPLOYEES
Southern MN(CD1) 1,242 5,817
Southern TC Suburbs(CD2) 1,657 4,679
Western TC Suburbs(CD3) 2,259 9,481
St Paul & Eastern TC(CD4) 1,961 8,412
Minneapolis(CD5) 2,860 14,696
N. TC Suburbs to St Cloud (CD6) 1,394 3,536
Western MN(CD 7) 1,085 3,752
Arrowhead, Range & NW MN (CD 8) 1,377 4,667
TOTAL 13,835 55,040

(To see a congressional district map of these regions, go here: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=1508).
(To read more about the Creative Industries Report nationally, go here: http://www.americansforthearts.org/by-program/reports-and-data/research-studies-publications/creative-industries. You will have to create a login to see the detailed reports).

 

 

BE A PART OF MINNESOTA’S OWN STATE OF THE ARTS REPORT:

The state’s arts funders and MCA are collaborating this year on research about the economic impact of arts & culture nonprofits in the state that will be unveiled in January, 2015. To make sure your arts organization is counted in the State of the Arts & Culture Report, fill out the short survey at:

http://research.zarca.com/k/SsVWVWsQUSsPsPsP.
(Note: If your organization is already a part of the Cultural Data Project,
it will automatically be included in the new study and you don’t need to fill out this survey).

2233 University Ave. W. #355, St. Paul, MN 55155 | 651-251-0868 | fax 651-917-3561

staff at mncitizensforthearts.org | www.mncitizensforthearts.org | @MnCitizen

MCA is a nonpartisan statewide arts advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure Minnesotans have access to and involvement in the arts. MCA organizes the arts community to lobby the Legislature and Congress on issues important to the nonprofit arts community. If you are interested in advocating for the arts, or want to learn how to activate people in your arts organization or community, please contact us. FYI, MCA is not a grantsmaker. For access to state funding, contact the Minnesota State Arts Board www.arts.state.mn.us or your local Regional Arts Council http://www.arts.state.mn.us/racs/index.htm.

Arts Alert: Eight of Ten Minnesota Members of Congress are Arts Supporters

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Minnesota’s Arts Advocates
in Congress

Did you know that eight of ten of our representatives in Congress are members of the Congressional Arts Caucus? Minnesota is extraordinarily fortunate in having a majority of members who support the arts.

Recently six Minnesotans traveled to Washington to lobby our members to support an increase in funding for the National Endowment of Arts and other issues important to Minnesota’s arts community. The most important of the members we met with is Rep. Betty McCollum (pictured, third from right), who is about to become the highest ranking member of the Interior Subcommittee that oversees NEA funding.

Over time, at our request, six of our eight representatives have joined the Congressional Arts Caucus in the House:

  • Keith Ellison (D-District 5, Minneapolis)
  • Betty McCollum (D-District 4, St. Paul)
  • Rick Nolan (D- District 8, Arrowhead, Iron Range, & East Central MN)
  • Erik Paulsen (R-District 3, Western Twin Cities Suburbs)
  • Collin Peterson (D-District 7, Western Minnesota)
  • Tim Walz (D-District 1, Southern Minnesota)

And both of our Senators have joined Senate Cultural Caucus:

  • Al Franken (D)
  • Amy Klobuchar (D)

(So, you may be wondering, who are the two that are NOT part of the team? Michelle Bachman, (R-District 6, Stillwater to St. Cloud) and John Kline (R-District 2, Southern TC Suburbs)).

The big “ask” at this year’s National Arts Advocacy Day, organized by Americans for the Arts, was to increase NEA funding to $155M, restoring it to 2011 levels after cuts to $146M and $138.4M in 2012-2014.  We circulated an Arts Caucus “Dear Collegue” letter asking our members to sign on in support of the $155M level. Reps. Walz, Nolan, Peterson and Ellison had already signed on or signed on right after our visit, and Rep. McCollum also said she would support the higher level.

Why should they support the NEA? Here’s a few reasons why:

  1. Minnesota arts organizations received $3.6M in grants in 2013 from the NEA.
  2. NEA funding reaches every Congressional District. These grants leverage additional support from a diverse range of private sources including government, business, foundation and individual donors.
  3. The arts put people to work. More than 905,000 U.S. businesses are involved in the creation or distribution of the arts, employing 3.35 million people: visual artists, performing artists, managers, marketers, technicians, teachers, designers, carpenters, and many other trades and professions…jobs that pay mortgages and send children to college.
  4. The arts are a business magnet. The arts are a proven strategy for successfully revitalizing rural areas and inner cities and help local merchants thrive through the purchase of goods and services. A strong arts sector stimulates business activity, attracting companies that want to offer employees and clients a creative climate and a community with high amenity value.
  5. The arts attract tourism revenue. Cultural tourism accounts for 78 percent of U.S. travelers – some 118 million tourists — who include arts and heritage in their trips each year. They stay longer and spend 36 percent more money than other kinds of travelers do, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

(Pictured: Jeff Prauer of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Faye Price of Pillsbury House Theater (and current MCA Board Chair), Sheila Smith of MCA, Leslie LeCuyer of the Central Minnesota Arts Board, Representative Betty McCollum, Mike Charron of St. Mary’s University Winona, and Sue Gens of the Minnesota State Arts Board).

 

 

Make Sure Your Organization is Counted!

Minnesota’s arts funders have partnered with MCA to create a State of the Arts and Culture Report to be released January, 2015.  The report will include data collected from multiple sources including the Cultural Data Project (CDP). Funding partners so far include the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the eleven Regional Arts Councils.
If your organization has not participated in the CDP you are in danger of not being counted as part of Minnesota’s arts economy!

Make sure you are counted!

Nonprofit arts and culture organizations not already in CDP
can participate by filling in a brief online survey here:
http://research.zarca.com/k/SsVWVWsQUSsPsPsP.
Want to know more about the project? Go here.

Arts Alert: State of the Arts & Culture Report Launched at Arts Advocacy Day

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Arts Advocacy Day Brings Hundreds to Capitol

The halls of the Capitol were thronged with arts advocates last Thursday, bringing a message of “Thank You!” to legislators from across the state for the arts funding that is increasing access to the arts statewide.  Attendance at arts events has increased by 20% since Legacy funding began.

Thank you to everyone who came to the capitol and helped us make the case for the arts! Many more photos from the day can be found on MCA’s facebook page at:
https://www.facebook.com/mncitizensforthearts?ref=hl.

Highlights of the day included:

  • Nearly 500 smart, committed arts advocates making a difference for their community!
  • “Standing Ovation” award to Speaker Thissen for his help last session in obtaining increased arts funding.
  • Launch of the State of the Arts and Culture Report
  • “Larry Award” given to unsung arts advocacy hero James Wafler, a longtime member of MCA’s Board
  • “Legacy Partners” awards to the boards and volunteers of the Regional Arts Councils and State Arts Board for their effective and extensive use of pubic panels

MCA Announces New “State of the Arts and Culture Report”

MCA has partnered with Minnesota’s arts funders to launch research for a State of the Arts and Culture Report to be released January, 2015.   The report will be updated every two years, giving us a look at the sector over time, and will draw from information collected by the CDP as well as audience surveys, grantee data and other methods. Funding partners so far include the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils.

“There has not been a coordinated effort to create consistent data over time about the arts & culture sector in Minnesota, and this project is intended to overcome that deficit,” said Sheila Smith, MCA’s Executive Director. “Now that a large number of arts & culture organizations are participating in the Cultural Data Project (CDP), we have an opportunity to create a clearer, more detailed and reliable look at the sector.”

Make sure you are counted!
Nonprofit arts and culture organizations
not already in CDP
can participate by filling in a brief online survey here:
http://research.zarca.com/k/SsVWVWsQUSsPsPsP.

Will Update 2007’s The Arts: A Driving Force in Minnesota’s Economy

The most recent economic impact studies of the arts & culture in Minnesota were done way back in 2007.  “The Arts: A Driving Force in Minnesota’s Economy” found that the sector contributed $835M annually to Minnesota’s economy. A second study, “Artists Count: An Economic Impact Study of Individual Artists in Minnesota” found that individual artists contribute over $200M more, for a total of over a billion dollars a year. Links to these reports can be found on MCA’s website athttp://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/learn/artsresearch/.

“There has been a boom, a recession and a recovery since the last study in 2007, and we are interested in seeing how those changes have affected the arts & culture sector,” said Smith.

The economic impact part of the study will be conducted by Americans for the Arts as a part of their The Arts & Economic Prosperity IV. (www.AmericansForTheArts.org/EconomicImpact). It will evaluate the impact of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences on the local economy.

Minnesota’s Regional Arts Councils will coordinate and collect audience-intercept surveys from at least 3300 attendees to cultural performances, events, and exhibits that take place in the state. Further information will be gathered from the CDP, grantee information from grantmakers and online surveys from organizations not already participating in CDP. The study will also look at other issues beyond economic impact.

The Cultural Data Project offers a powerful online management tool designed to strengthen arts and cultural organizations. Minnesota’s participation in CDP is a collaborative project of Minnesota’s 29 arts funders and statewide service organizations: http://www.culturaldata.org/ourpartners/. This groundbreaking project gathers reliable, longitudinal data on the sector. Their emerging national standard enables participating organizations to track trends and benchmark their progress through sophisticated reporting tools, empowers researchers and advocates with information to make the case for arts and culture, and equips funders with data to plan and evaluate grant making activities more effectively.

Arts Alerts: Arts Advocacy Day Sign-Up Deadline is March 24th

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Arts Advocacy Day Sign-Up Deadline is March 25th at Noon!

Sign up Now At: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/events/advocacyday/

On March 27, 2014 several hundred arts advocates from around the state to converge on the State Capitol for “Arts Advocacy Day” to thank legislators for following through on the promise of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment that dedicated funds to conservation and the arts.

Minnesotans overwhelmingly approved the measure, passing it by 56%, which increased the sales tax slightly to create four new dedicated funds for land, water, parks and arts in 2008.

In the past several years arts advocates and supportive legislators had to fight off legislative suggestions that the Arts & Culture Fund be used to build a stadium or be redirected to benefit pet projects in just one district. Legislators and advocates have been successful in making sure the state follows the constitutional language of the Legacy Amendment.

“Legislators are doing the right thing here, and we should thank them for it,” said Sheila Smith, MCA’s Executive Director.

If you can’t join us, could you send a quick thank you note to your legislators for getting the Legacy money in the right place? We want to make sure they keep doing it.

https://www.votervoice.net/MNARTS/Campaigns

ARTS ADVOCACY DAY SCHEDULE:

It’s the biggest arts networking day of the year! MCA invites you to join your fellow arts advocates at the Minnesota History Center and State Capitol to talk about the arts, make new friends, and educate our legislators. Together we will speak about the impact that arts funding has had on our lives and our communities. Meet great arts people from all over the state, and make a difference with your friends and neighbors.

You and your team will be led by an experienced advocate who has participated in past Arts Advocacy Days and knows what to do. Following a brief rally, you and your team will visit a series of legislators over the morning, giving you plenty of time to get to know your teammates and the issues you are discussing.

By working together we show the strength of Minnesota’s arts community. Let your elected officials know what you think!
REGISTER AND FIND OUT MORE AT: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/events/advocacyday/

7:30 AM Meet at the History Center in St. Paul
8:00 AM Advocacy Class for New Attendees
8:00 AM Registration and Coffee if not attending class
8:30 AM Arts Rally, Legislative Speakers, and Join Your Team: **Special Awards Given Out and a Few Surprises!
9:30 AM Walk/Ride to Capitol
9:30 AM – 1 PM Legislator Appointments

Arts Alert: Arts Advocacy Day is Just 2 Weeks Away

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Arts Advocacy Day is Just 2 Weeks Away!

Sign-Up Deadline is March 24. Have you registered yet?

“Thank you” is not a message legislators
hear very often.

On March 27, 2014 Minnesota Citizens for the Arts will bring hundreds of arts advocates from around the state to the State Capitol for “Arts Advocacy Day” to thank legislators for following through on the promise of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment that dedicated funds to conservation and the arts.

Minnesotans overwhelmingly approved the measure, passing it by 56%, which increased the sales tax slightly to create four new dedicated funds for land, water, parks and arts in 2008. In the past several years arts advocates and supportive legislators had to fight off legislative suggestions that the Legacy Arts & Culture Fund be used to build a stadium or be redirected to benefit pet projects in just one district.

“Despite many attempts to divert the Arts & Culture fund to unrelated or unworthy projects, the legislature has actually stood firm to protect the constitutional intent of the Legacy Amendment, and we want to thank them for following through, ” said Sheila Smith, MCA’s Executive Director. “The legislature is doing the right thing here, and we want to recognize that.”

ARTS ADVOCACY DAY SCHEDULE:

It’s the biggest arts networking day of the year! MCA invites you to join your fellow arts advocates at the Minnesota History Center and State Capitol to talk about the arts, make new friends, and educate our legislators. Together we will speak about the impact that arts funding has had on our lives and our communities. Meet great arts people from all over the state, and make a difference with your friends and neighbors.

You and your team will be led by an experienced advocate who has participated in past Arts Advocacy Days and knows what to do. Following a brief rally, you and your team will visit a series of legislators over the morning, giving you plenty of time to get to know your teammates and the issues you are discussing.

By working together we show the strength of Minnesota’s arts community. Let your elected officials know what you think!
REGISTER AND FIND OUT MORE AT: www.mncitizensforthearts.org

7:30 AM Meet at the History Center in St. Paul
8:00 AM Advocacy Class for New Attendees
8:00 AM Registration and Coffee if not attending class
8:30 AM Arts Rally, Legislative Speakers, and Join Your Team
9:30 AM Walk/Ride to Capitol
9:30 AM – 1 PM Legislator Appointments

If you can’t join us, could you send a quick thank you note to your legislators for getting the Legacy money in the right place? We want to make sure they keep doing it! The link to send a thank you note is below.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:

https://www.votervoice.net/link/target/mnarts/MPtGrct8W.aspx

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
2233 University Ave. W. #355, St. Paul, MN 55155 | 651-251-0868 | fax 651-917-3561
staff at mncitizensforthearts.org | www.mncitizensforthearts.org | @MnCitizen

MCA is a nonpartisan statewide arts advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure Minnesotans have access to and involvement in the arts. MCA organizes the arts community to lobby the Legislature and Congress on issues important to the nonprofit arts community. If you are interested in advocating for the arts, or want to learn how to activate people in your arts organization or community, please contact us. FYI, MCA is not a grantsmaker. For access to state funding, contact the Minnesota State Arts Board www.arts.state.mn.us or your local Regional Arts Council http://www.arts.state.mn.us/racs/index.htm.

Arts Alert: Arts Advocacy Day is Coming! / Farewell to the Great Arts Advocate Joan Mondale

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Arts Alert: Arts Advocacy Day is Coming! / Farewell to the Great Arts Advocate Joan Mondale.

Arts Advocacy Day is Coming!

Arts Advocacy Day will be March 27, 2014. It’s the biggest arts networking day of the year!

Protect State Arts Funding
MCA invites you to join your fellow arts advocates at the Minnesota History Center and State Capitol to talk about the arts, make new friends, and educate our legislators.

Artists and arts supporters from across the state will join together to protect Art & Legacy funding, making sure we remain the strongest arts community in the country. Together we will speak about the impact that arts funding has had on our lives and our communities. Meet great arts people from all over the state, and make a difference with your friends and neighbors.

You and your team will be led by an experienced advocate who has participated in past Arts Advocacy Days and knows what to do. Following a brief rally, you and your team will visit a series of legislators over the morning, giving you plenty of time to get to know your teammates and the issues you are discussin.

By working together we show the strength of Minnesota’s arts community. Let your elected officials know what you think!

REGISTER AND FIND OUT MORE AT: www.mncitizensforthearts.org

Arts Advocacy Day Schedule:
7:30 AM Meet at the History Center in St. Paul
8:00 AM Advocacy Class for New Attendees
8:00 AM Registration and Coffee if not attending class
8:30 AM Arts Rally, Legislative Speakers, and Join Your Team
9:30 AM Walk/Ride to Capitol
9:30 AM – 1 PM Legislator Appointments

Farewell to a Great Arts Advocate

Minnesota mourns the loss of the great Joan Mondale, known as “Joan of Art” to her many, many friends in the arts community not just statewide, or across the nation, but around the world.

Joan was a life long arts advocate who had a hand in helping so many artists and arts organizations thrive that attempting to make a list is a futile task. As the matriarch of the family of Vice President and Ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale, Joan took every opportunity to advance the cause of making art central to the lives of Americans and to supporting the lives of artists. In her own words:

“Some people still wonder why the government should subsidize the arts…They might as well as ask why the government should subsidize our highways.”

Joan was an avid potter and in fact used her pottery to reach out to the Japanese people while her husband served as Ambassador, giving her own pottery as gifts. She served on the boards of the Walker Art Center, Minnesota Orchestra, American Craft Council, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and National Portrait Gallery. A gallery in the Textile Center is named after her because of her help and advocacy in establishing the Center. She also helped establish the Northern Clay Center.

She encouraged artists and arts advocates to get more engaged in politics:

“Sometimes we do not realize how important our participation in politics is. Often we need to be reminded of our duty as citizens,” she wrote. Artists can do just that; they can look at our politicians, our institutions and our problems to help us understand them better.”

And she was part of MCA’s history as well, as she was part of the early conversations about creating the Legacy Amendment which created dedicated state funding for the arts for 25 years in Minnesota. Listen to MCA lobbyist Larry Redmond talk about her involvement in a recent MPR interview.

Farewell to a great Arts Advocate.

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
2233 University Ave. W. #355, St. Paul, MN 55155 | 651-251-0868 | fax 651-917-3561
staff at mncitizensforthearts.org | www.mncitizensforthearts.org | @MnCitizen