Archive for the ‘Arts Advocacy’ Category

Arts Alert: New Individual Artists Grant Travel Restrictions.

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

New Individual Artist Grants Travel Restrictions

You may have heard that there is a new rule that individual artist grants from the State Arts Board and RACs can no longer be used for international travel or travel outside of the state. I thought you might like to know how this new restriction came into place.

First of all, it’s important to understand that funding for MSAB and Regional Arts Council (RAC) grants comes from two sources in the Minnesota state budget. First, some dollars come from the new Arts & Culture Legacy Fund, which we created with the passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008. Second, some dollars come from the state’s General Fund, which is the overall state fund that finances most of state government, (from transportation to education etc).

Since the first year they appropriated Legacy funds in 2009, legislators have always placed restrictions on the use of Legacy dollars so that none of those funds can be spent out of state. Why would they do this? Obviously as officials responsible to the people of Minnesota, they want to ensure that tax dollars contributed by Minnesotans benefit Minnesotans. These restrictions have always applied not just to the arts fund, but also to the funds that pay for land and water conservation projects and for parks. So there has always been a restriction on Legacy funds that ensures the money stays in the state. This restriction included the part of Individual Artist grants funded by Legacy dollars, and this has not changed.

However, the portion of arts grants paid for by the General Fund did not have this restriction until this legislative session.

While the individual artist program is extremely important to our cultural community and to MCA and to the MSAB, only a small portion of those individual artist grants paid for travel out of Minnesota. So the amount of dollars we are talking about is relatively small.

But in politics very small things can take on a large importance. The trouble at the legislature started after KSTP did a one-sided attack on individual artist travel which did not include the context for WHY these grants were awarded, how important they can be to contributing to the availability of arts in our state, or how competitive and well-vetted the requests are.

You should know that a public panel of Minnesota citizens oversees the awarding of individual artist grants, just as many panels of Minnesotans oversee all grant making decisions at both the MSAB and the RACs. These many citizens, after reviewing grant applications and ranking the applications according to their merit, award these grants to those applicants who they determine are most worthy and who describe in great detail how the activity will improve their artistic careers, and even more importantly how they will bring the new knowledge back to Minnesota to share with and teach to other local residents, in this way enriching the cultural life of the entire state.

We have to admit to those who are not familiar with the arts community in Minnesota it may be difficult to explain why a foreign trip for one person can benefit the state as a whole. And that was the problem. Coming late in session, with the bullhorn provided by TV, there was no time to explain the nuanced process or goals of travel in this program.  As the controversy blew up, with outcry on both the House and Senate floors, even our friends at the legislature saw the danger to the Individual Artist program and to the whole arts appropriation. The tempest was so quick and loud that rational discourse on the merits was not possible. So our legislative friends had to agree to the travel restrictions to make sure they protected the individual artist program, and by extension arts funding as a whole.

In the end, the legislature approved nearly $8 million more for MSAB and RAC grants for the next two years, which ironically will increase the dollars available for individual artist grants overall. And with more dollars in the pool, more artists will be able to receive state grants.  They will no longer be able to use these dollars for travel, but all of the other ways their careers can be helped along by state grants can still happen, and more of them will be served.

Unfortunately this restriction is now law, and the MSAB and RACs must follow the law whether they like it or not. To their credit the MSAB has allowed those few artists whose applications were dependent upon travel out of the state to re-write their applications without the travel rather than just rejecting them out of hand.

We have to accept that legislators have a right and an obligation, as elected officials, to determine state priorities. In this case MCA believes they were wrong.

But individual artist grants do benefit Minnesotans. The Minnesota artists who receive the grants to further their careers, and the students and audiences in Minnesota who benefit from and experience the knowledge and skills they bring back and share with us are all worthy of this funding.

Links:

MSAB announcement on grant changes:http://www.arts.state.mn.us/grants/fy2014-travel-changes.htm

Star Tribune article on the changes: http://www.startribune.com/local/212854691.html?page=1&c=y

Arts Alert: Many Arts Victories

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Arts Victories At the Capitol!

We are happy to report that the legislative session just ended with multiple arts victories.

We owe a BIG THANKS! to all arts advocates who took action, whether you called or wrote your legislators, hosted or attended meetings in your home districts, or traveled to the capitol to meet with legislators at Arts Advocacy Day.

Thank you also to our members and the fabulous MCA Board whose energy and passion for the arts makes our work possible. Thanks also to staff Ian Vaver and Mark Albers who have worked countless hours far into the night for weeks on end. You made it happen!

#1: Arts Legacy Fund Victory!

By the time it was over, we had dedicated 46% of the Arts Legacy Fund to the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Council system, an increase of nearly $8M.

We had a tough go of it in the Legacy committees. The House recommended only 41% of the Arts Legacy Fund go to the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Council system. The MSAB/RAC system ensures that Legacy funds go out in grants and services to every corner of the state. Our goal was 50%, which the Senate committee, Chaired by Senator Dick Cohen, recommended.

In Conference Committee Sen. Cohen persuaded the House to increase funding with the help of House Speaker Paul Thissen, Rep. Leon Lille, and even Rep. Phyllis Kahn herself, who as Chair of the House Legacy Committee had come in with the low recommendation. She was pursuaded to move up to a higher number because she has been a long time arts supporter and saw the value of more resources going to the arts through the MSAB/RAC system.  Special mention must be made in thanks to our lobbyist Larry Redmond who is brilliant and made so much of this possible.

The most important additional language directs future legislatures to dedicate at least 47% of the Arts Legacy Fund to the MSAB/RAC system, which should strengthen the position of the arts in future appropriations cycles. This is unprecedented and very exciting.

Overall, we also opposed many dedications to particular arts organizations or genres out of Legacy funds under the theory that any dedication means that legislators would take from dollars meant to be shared by the whole state and give them to a project that only serves one district. A number of proposals were discussed but very few of them got into the bill.

Additional language in the bill addressed legislator concerns in a number of areas:

  • New language makes clear that if any grant dollars are returned after the end of the state’s fiscal year because of lockouts they can be redistributed to other grantees rather than the funds going back to the General Fund.
  • Additional language makes clear that grants for touring may be given both for touring within a Regional Arts Council region or outside the region.

Final Legacy numbers:

Previous: Annual to the MSAB/RAC system from Legacy:
$22,740,500/year (43% of the whole).
New: Annual to the MSAB/RAC system from Legacy for the next two years:
$26,675,000/year: (46% of the whole).
Increase: $3,935,000/year each of the next two years!

#2: Arts General Fund Victory!

With the addition of these General Fund dollars, annual funding for the arts will now be $34,189,000.

There was almost no controversy in the State Government Finance Committee on arts funding from the state’s general fund. At  the start of session there was a billion dollar deficit so many assumed that all state agencies would see cuts. However, the legislature instead raised taxes on high income earners and cigarettes and did not have to make as many cuts. Our General Fund appropriation was therefore virtually unchanged.

Additional language in the bill was added to address legislator concerns about travel grants:

  • Any grant money used for travel must only be spent on projects located in Minnesota, and no more than 10% of a grant may be spent on the costs of travel outside of Minnesota.

Final General Fund numbers:

Previous: Annual to the MSAB/RAC system from General Fund:
$7,506,000/year
New: Annual to the MSAB/RAC system from Legacy for the next two years:
$7,514,000/year: 
Increase: $8,000/year each of the next two years

#3: Tax Policy Victory!

Many bad tax provisions and other miscellaneous legislation were defeated. There were several bad tax provisions discussed by this legislature, and I am happy to report that we killed them all, with the help of a number of interesting coaltions. Here’s a list:

  • New Sales Tax on Nonprofit Tickets: This was part of the Governor’s proposal for the sales tax overhaul. We actively opposed this measure, meeting with Governor’s staff, commissioners, and legislators. When the legislature decided to find revenues elsewhere, this provision was dropped because of opposition.
  • New Sales Tax on Nonprofit Services: This provision was also dropped when the legislature decided to find revenues elsewhere. We worked with a coaltion led by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) to kill this provision.
  • Repeal of the Charitable Tax Deduction to Replace it with a Tax Credit: This provision was removed from the Omnibus Tax Bill in Conference Committee negotiations. Again, we worked in coaltion with MCN on this provision. We should keep an eye on it because it keeps coming back from the dead and we may see it again next session.
  • Creation of New Street Improvement Districts that would bring new municipal fees to otherwise exempt nonprofit properties: The coalition against this ill-advised provision reminded me of the crazy Legacy amendment coalition. We joined the Building Owners Associations of both Minneapolis and St. Paul, The Girl Scouts, the International Council of Shopping Centers, MN Assoc. of Realtors, MN Business Partnership, MN Chamber of Commerce, MN Restaurant Association and even the National Federation of Independed Business to oppose the measure. FIrst we convinced legislators to make nonprofits exempt from the provision, then the coalition killed it altogether. This “zombie provision” kept coming back to life all session, so we’ll have to stay alert next session to oppose similar measures.
  • Deleting the Exemption for Smoking in Theatrical Productions:  We opposed a bill to delete the exemption for smoking in theatrical productions as we do not want legislation that dictates content in the arts. In the end it did not get a hearing.

Thanks again to all who took action this session to make the world safe for the arts!

Upcoming State Arts Board and Regional Arts Council Deadlines

Check here for approaching MSAB grant application deadlines: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/

Check with the website for your local RAC also: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/racs/index.htm

Arts Alert: Arts Funding Outcome Uncertain

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

1. JUST LIKE SPRING, ARTS BILLS HAVEN’T YET ARRIVED

2. ARTS ADVOCATES TAKING ACTION ACROSS THE STATE

3. MCA TAKES LEADING ROLE ON NATIONAL STAGE

4. ARTS BILLS YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT

5. FREEDOM TO MARRY BILL COMING UP ANY DAY

  

1. JUST LIKE SPRING, ARTS BILLS HAVEN’T YET ARRIVED

One minute it seems that arts legislation is ready to go, and the next minute we are waiting around for something to happen. Doesn’t that just feel like Spring this year?

Below is a quick rundown on the arts issues at the Capitol, but if you only do one thing in response to this message, it should be that you use the link at the bottom to send your legislator a quick email asking them to dedicate 50% of the Arts Legacy fund to the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils to make sure it goes where the voters intended – for arts activities in every corner of the state.

Read “Arts Bills You Should Care About” below for an update on happenings at the Capitol.

2. ARTS ADVOCATES TAKING ACTION ACROSS THE STATE

In the last two months thousands of arts advocates have taken action to help protect arts funding:

  • 700 advocates came to Arts Advocacy Day at the Capitol.
  • Over 300 advocates were part of nine coffee parties with targeted legislators in their districts, including events in Bemidji, Willmar, Winona, New Ulm, Grand Rapids, Golden Valley, Brainerd, St. Cloud and Minneapolis. Thank you to great MCA board members David Marty, Kathy Dodge, Brenda Byron, Jeff Prauer, Tony Goddard, Leslie Schumacher and Michael Robins for their help in getting these events together, in addition to dozens of others who did extraordinary work to organize these events, including Terri Widman, Cheri Buzzeo, Anne Polta, and too many more wonderful people to list!
  • And we’re not just meeting in person, participants in Virtual Arts Advocacy Day delivered over 1300 calls and letters to legislators in one day. Legislators are aware of our 50% of Arts Legacy goal and are aware that their constituents support that goal. Keep up the great work!

3. MCA TAKES LEADING ROLE ON NATIONAL STAGE

MCA organized a group of nine Minnesotans to be a part of National Arts Advocacy Day, and we met with members of congress and their staff about NEA funding. As a result of our meetings, new Congressman Rick Nolan (Duluth, CD8) joined the Arts Caucus and the STEAM Caucus, and Congressman Tim Walz (Southern MN, CD1) signed onto a letter in support of increased NEA funding, as did Sen. Al Franken. We thank them all!

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (St Paul, CD4) was the keynote speaker at Arts Advocacy Day. She joined us for dinner and was very gracious and supportive of Minnesota’s arts community and is committed as a leading Democratic member of the Interior Subcommittee which funds the NEA to get increased support for the arts:

“For those of us in Congress who believe in strong federal support for the arts, we need you here. We need your energy and your passion. Most of all, we need your determination to educate policymakers about the power of the arts in our economy, in our communities, in our schools, and in our lives.”

Read the rest of her great speech to arts advocates giving advice on how to change the minds of elected officials: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/McCollumRemarks.pdf

Sheila Smith, MCA’s Executive Director, was invited to testify to Congress in support of the NEA. Her testimony is now part of the Congressional Record:

“Economists are increasingly aware that when citizens gather together to create or perform the arts, they too are a catalyst for economic activity that brings people together to revitalize neighborhoods, energize businesses, and bring energy to our economy.  Through the relatively small investments made by the NEA, Congress is making possible extraordinary things all across the country.”

To read her remarks, go here: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/.

(Photo: Minnesotans attending arts advocacy day with MN Rep. Betty McCollum: Sheila Smith, Anton Treuer, Patricia Mullaney, Jeff Prauer, Rep. McCollum, Mark Albers, Sarah Twedt, Ian Vaver, Jill Boldenow, ,Sheila Terryll).

4. ARTS BILLS YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT

LEGACY FUND:

The Legacy and General Fund arts funding bills are our principal focus. The Legacy bill in the House commits only 41% of the Arts Legacy Fund (down from our current 43.2%) to the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Council funding system, much lower than our request for 50% of the whole. Although we continue to bang the drum for the 50% level, it should be noted that because of more revenue to the Legacy Fund, the House bill appropriates about an additional $2M to the MSAB/RAC system, giving us a good starting point for negotiations with the Senate. The Legacy bill is very controversial in the House because of provisions added by Chair Phyllis Kahn in the land preservation section which is opposed by outdoorsmen.  It was supposed to come up on the House floor two weeks ago but still hasn’t appeared.

We may not see a Legacy bill from the Senate side for another week. The Senate Legacy bill is being overseen by a subcommittee chaired by Sen. Dick Cohen. He strongly supports our 50% position and has spent all session working with other Senators to build support for a higher level of funding.

GENERAL FUND:

Both the House and Senate are expected to pass bills with level funding at $15M for the biennium, which is good news in the context of the state’s billion dollar budget deficit.  There was a hostile floor amendment limiting the use of artist grants for travel for research, a controversial issue since KSTP did an expose a few weeks ago on giving grants to artists who travel overseas to do research for their art projects in Minnesota.  This travel issue also popped up in the Legacy committee.

NONPROFIT TAX ISSUES:

  • Ticket Tax, and expansion of taxes to services done by nonprofits: The House bill does not include any of the new taxes on nonprofits that were proposed by the Governor at the beginning of session. We are expecting the Senate to follow suit, but we will know more soon.
  • Street Maintenance Fees: Property owners could be subject to a new property tax/fee under this bill allowing municipalities to arbitrarily draw lines around parts of the city or even around just specific buildings without public hearings or proof that there is any benefit to the property. We are in a wide coalition that includes the MN Chamber of Commerce, MN Council of Nonprofit and others in opposition to this bill (although we are not running the coalition as the majority of our time is being spent on the arts appropriation).  The coalition of nonprofits involved has successfully inserted into the bill an exemption for nonprofits, but this issue will bear watching until the Legislature ends its session in May.
  • Change to charitable giving law: a new tax front has just been opened with a proposal to change how charitable giving is treated in Minnesota. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is the natural rally point on this legislation, for more information go here: http://www.minnesotanonprofits.org/mcn-at-the-capitol/current-agenda/preserving-charitable-tax-incentives

5. FREEDOM TO MARRY BILL COMING UP ANY DAY

Our friends at the Minnesotans United campaign tell us that the bill to ensure the Freedom to Marry will be up on the floor in the legislature any day now. There is no time to lose! Contact your legislators on this important issue today:

http://action.mnunited.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=10065

TO TAKE ACTION ON ARTS FUNDING, CLICK BELOW:

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

https://www.votervoice.net/link/target/mnarts/3yN53FRF.aspx 

Virtual Arts Advocacy Day Was Huge But There’s Still Time to Act!

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Virtual Arts Advocacy Day Was Huge!

You sent over 1300 Calls and Letters to Legislators in one day, beating our goal by over 300 letters!

But Action on the Bill Has Been Delayed:
There is Still Time to Act

The House bill passed out of committee over a week ago, but still has not been heard on the House floor due to controversies about other sections of the bill. This gives us more time to contact legislators before they take final action on arts funding.

Over 1300 calls and letters and emails were delivered to legislators last Friday. Thank you for taking action! Legislators are much more aware of our goal of 50% and know their constituents care about the arts and want legislators to protect arts funding. Arts funding goes through the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) and Regional Arts Council (RAC) system to ensure access to the arts for Minnesotans in every county of the state.

Because the bill has been delayed on the House side (over controversies in the Parks and Land fund areas, not about the arts), we have more time to contact legislators than we thought. If you haven’t had a chance yet to use our quick online system to contact your legislators, now is the time!

(PHOTO: actual photo of computer being used to send message to legislators. Your computer could look just like this!)

Tell your legislators:
“Please ensure that at least 50% of the Arts Legacy Fund goes to the MSAB/RAC system.”

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

The next two years of Minnesota’s arts funding is on the line.

MCA has always advocated that 50% of the Arts Legacy Fund should be appropriated to the MSAB/RACs.
Here’s how the percentage has decreased:
- 47% in 2009
- 43% in 2011
- 41% proposed by the House Committee last week.

At this rate, we could see the percentage drop into the 30s in the next round. We believe this dangerous trend must be stopped.

We believe that your voices can stop this erosion. The time to act is now!

The legislature is still creating the bills that will fund the arts, and the bill could come up on the House floor any day, which gives us a small window of time to urge for changes in the bill.

The Arts Legacy Fund has been an enormous help to the arts community through all of Minnesota, but the continual legislative addition of non-arts spending is eroding the percentage that goes to the MSAB/RAC system. This erosion makes less money available for grants to our state’s arts organizations and artists, making them less secure now and for future generations.

MORE INFO:

State arts funding via the grants of the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils help people in every corner of the state, making the arts accessible to Minnesotans no matter where you live. The MSAB/RACs get funding from two places, the General Fund and the Arts Legacy Fund.

The bad news is that Minnesota has another multi-billion dollar deficit, which means the portion of support for the arts that comes from the General Fund is competing against all other things in state government to avoid cuts. As for Arts Legacy funding, legislators keep coming up with ideas to divert it to other non-arts projects such as stadiums. (In fact an amendment was offered and voted down to do just that yesterday).

Even more bad news is that the House bill, just released, erodes the percentage of the Arts Legacy Fund that goes to the MN State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils from our goal of 50% to just 41%, a difference of $10 million.

What can you do? It’s simple!

Just click below to send a quick email to your legislators & the Governor asking them to support the arts. There is nothing to it!

Take action now!
Click the link below to log in and send your message:

https://www.votervoice.net/link/target/mnarts/qRt54KM9.aspx

Virtual Arts Advocacy Day Is Friday April 19th.

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

TAKE ACTION NOW:

TODAY is Virtual Arts Advocacy Day!

You can be a part of a rally for the arts, all on-line! No fuss, no muss! You don’t have to go to the Capitol, take time off work, get dressed up, or spend all day. All you have to do is go to our website today to send letters to your legislators asking them to support the arts. Our goal is to generate at least 1000 more emails to legislators by the end of the day, highlighting the importance of the arts to Minnesota. Legislators will have to sit up and take notice.

What’s Our Message?

Our message is that the arts are important and we want them to dedicate at least 50% of the Legacy Arts Fund to the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Council system. Hearings on arts funding are going on right now – we have only two weeks to make our message heard. Passage of these initiatives could increase resources for the arts in Minnesota and increase access to the arts for all Minnesotans!  The percentage of Arts Legacy funding to the MSAB/RACs has decreased each round, from 46% to the proposed 41% in the House bill.

How Do I Do It?

GO HERE:  https://www.votervoice.net/MNARTS/Campaigns/
anytime TODAY and use our website to send your message. Then, forward this alert to your friends and encourage them to join in. If we all take just five minutes on April 19, we can make a difference for the arts. It’s easy.

How Else Can I Help?

Forward this alert to as many friends, organizations and artists as you can, and encourage them to be a part of the Virtual Rally for the Arts. For this Virtual Rally to succeed, we’ll need the help and participation of friends of the arts from all over the state. Thank you for your help!

BACKGROUND:

The next two years of Minnesota’s arts funding is on the line.
Why do we need to take action now?  The legislature is just now creating the bills that will fund the arts, and within two weeks these bills will be passed on to the floor, giving us a small window of time to urge for changes in the bill.

The Arts Legacy Fund has been an enormous help to the arts community through all of Minnesota, but the continual legislative addition of non-arts spending, and awarding larger percentage increases to other items than the arts, is eroding the percentage that goes to the MSAB/RAC system. This erosion makes less money available for grants to our state’s arts organizations and artists, making them less secure now and for future generations.
MCA has always advocated that 50% of the Arts Legacy Fund should be appropriated to the MSAB/RACs. Here’s how the percentage has decreased:
- 47% in 2009
- 43% in 2011
- 41% proposed by the House Committee last week.

At this rate, we could see the percentage drop into the 30s in the next round. We believe this dangerous trend must be stopped.

We believe that your voices can stop this erosion. The time to act is now!

Tell your legislators:

“Please ensure that at least 50% of the Arts Legacy Fund goes to the MSAB/RAC system.”

State arts funding via the grants of the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils help people in every corner of the state, making the arts accessible to Minnesotans no matter where you live.

Can you help?

Just click below to send a quick email to your legislators & the Governor asking them to support the arts. There is nothing to it!

Take action now!

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

http://www.votervoice.net/link/target/mnarts/G9zR59fi.aspx 

You have received this message because you have subscribed to a mailing list of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts. If you do not wish to receive periodic emails from this source, please click below to unsubscribe.

Arts Alert: Save the Date! Virtual Arts Advocacy Day is April 19th

Friday, April 12th, 2013

SAVE THE DATE:
Virtual Arts Advocacy Day
Will be Friday, April 19

What’s a Virtual Arts Advocacy Day?

On April 19, you can be a part of a rally for the arts, all on-line! No fuss, no muss! You don’t have to go to the Capitol, take time off work, get dressed up, or spend all day. All you have to do is go to our website on or before April 19, 2013 to send letters to your legislators asking them to support the arts.

What’s Our Goal?

Our goal is to generate at least 1000 more emails to legislators by the end of the day, highlighting the importance of the arts to Minnesota. Legislators will have to sit up and take notice.

What’s Our Message?

Our message is that the arts are important and we want them to dedicate at least 50% of the Legacy Arts Fund to the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Council system. Hearings on arts funding are going on right now – we have only two weeks to make our message heard. Passage of these initiatives could increase resources for the arts in Minnesota and increase access to the arts for all Minnesotans!

Who Should Participate?

Anyone who cares about the future of the arts in Minnesota.

How Do I Do It?

Go on-line here: https://www.votervoice.net/MNARTS/Campaigns/ anytime between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm on April 19 (or before!) and use our website to send your message. Then, forward this alert to your friends and encourage them to join in. If we all take just five minutes on April 19, we can make a difference for the arts. It’s easy.

How Else Can I Help?

Starting today, forward this alert to as many friends, organizations and artists as you can, and encourage them to be a part of the Virtual Rally for the Arts. For this Virtual Rally to succeed, we’ll need the help and participation of friends of the arts from all over the state. Thank you for your help!

Be a part of the action: Send a letter to your legislator today saying you want them to protect the arts. You can do it in 5 minutes with our simple Arts Action Center. We give you talking points and set it up, all you have to do is enter your name and address and the letter will go automatically to the right elected officials.

Why do we need to take action now?

The legislature is just now creating the bills that will fund the arts, and within two weeks these bills will be passed on to the floor, giving us a small window of time to urge for changes in the bill.

The Arts Legacy Fund has been an enormous help to the arts community through all of Minnesota, but the continual legislative addition of non-arts spending is eroding the percentage that goes to the MSAB/RAC system. This erosion makes less money available for grants to our state’s arts organizations and artists, including those in your area, making them less secure now and for future generations. MCA has always advocated that 50% of the Arts Legacy Fund should be appropriated to the MSAB/RACs. Here’s how the percentage has decreased:
- 47% in 2009
- 43% in 2011
- 41% proposed by a House Committee last week.

At this rate, we could see the percentage drop into the 30s in the next round. We believe this dangerous erosion must be stopped, and that your voices can stop it. The time to act is now!

Tell your legislators:
“Please ensure that at least 50% of the Arts Legacy Fund goes to the MSAB/RAC system.”

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

http://www.votervoice.net/link/target/mnarts/qz8Jzq2g.aspx

You have received this message because you have subscribed to a mailing list of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts. If you do not wish to receive periodic emails from this source, please click below to unsubscribe.
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 Rocks the Capitol

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Arts Advocacy Day Rocks the Capitol

Nearly 700 Arts Advocates from every corner of the state took over the Capitol to ask legislators to support an increase in arts funding for the next two years. It was a good day for us as legislators heard about how important the arts are to their neighbors and constituents.

The morning rally featured two powerful legislators who both pledged to support our first goal; that 50% of the Legacy Arts & Culture Fund be dedicated to the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Council system to meet the huge demand for arts grants. Senate Finance Commitee Chair Richard Cohen and House Legacy Committee Chair Phyllis Kahn are great friends of the arts and their leadership at the Capitol has been essential to what the arts community has been able to accomplish in the past. We appreciate their support!

The morning also featured a great performance of “America the Beautiful” by Minnesota’s own The New Standards.

Several awards were also given out. The Larry Award, given to “unsung heroes” of arts advocacy in Minnesota, went to Leslie Schumacher of Foley and Pam Perri, formerly of Minneapolis. At legislator meetings that went on all morning after the rally, Arts All Star Awards, given to legislators who have supported the arts at the Capitol, were awarded to Majority Leader Tom Bakk, Senator Jim Metzen, Senator Dave Senjem, and Majority Leader Paul Thissen.

Check out great pictures of the day below and on
MCA’s Facebook Page:
http://www.facebook.com/mncitizensforthearts

Our Three Main Issues:

In hundreds of meetings in the Capitol that morning, advocates delivered three messages:

1. Please devote at least 50% of the Legacy Arts & Culture Fund to the MInnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils system so that it can get out in grants and services to all 87 counties. Right now the RACs and MSAB can only meet 50% of the grant requests due to lack of funds and high demand. Right now the MSAB/RAC system recieves only 43% of the Arts & Culture Fund.

2. Please oppose earmark projects from the Legacy Arts & Culture Fund that would only serve one district. Some legislators have ccome up with several projects that would divert Legacy dollars from all 87 counties into a single project in just their district. We oppose these projects because they should go through the same competitive, accountable MSAB/RAC system so that there is oversight of where the money goes.

3. Please oppose placing new taxes on the nonprofit arts, including ticket taxes. The good news on this item is that the Governer withdrew his proposal just a few days after Arts Advocacy Day. However, the legislature may still want to pursue broadening the sales tax so we’ll have to keep an eye on it.

Couldn’t be there?
Send a note to your legislators on our website. It’s easy and won’t take you more than five minutes. Try it now!
https://www.votervoice.net/MNARTS/Campaigns/30242/Respond

And what happens next?
We’re about half way through the legislative session which ends mid-May. Conversations about the state’s budget will accellerate from now on. Watch for updates here!

Arts Alert: Today is Arts Advocacy Day!

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Today is Arts Advocacy Day

Ask Legislators to Support the Arts

Right now 700 of your closest arts friends are at the State Capitol asking legislators to protect arts funding and to oppose new taxes on nonprofits. Can’t make it to the Capitol? Ask your legislators to support the arts here: https://www.votervoice.net/MNARTS/Campaigns/.

The next two years of arts funding is on the line. The bad news is that Minnesota has a billion dollar deficit, which means we’ll have to work hard to avoid cuts. Legislators keep coming up with ideas to divert Arts Legacy funding to other projects that would only benefit one district or some small constituency, taking it away from the statewide system that supports arts in every county (via the grants and services of the MN State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils).

Even more bad news is that the Governor has proposed taking away the sales tax exemption for nonprofit tickets and putting new taxes on nonprofit services. Everything from subsidized student tickets to music and art classes to kiln firing fees to art rental programs would suddenly become taxable. These new taxes would effectively tax the donations that help make the work possible and decrease access to the arts for the people they all serve.

What can you do? It’s simple:

Just click below to send a quick email to your legislators & the Governor asking them to support the arts and oppose nonprofit taxes. There is nothing to it!

Take action now!

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

http://www.votervoice.net/link/target/mnarts/g3E8K88R.aspx 

Arts Alert: Arts Advocacy Day Deadline is Today!

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Arts Advocacy Day Deadline is Today!

To sign up:

www.mncitizensforthearts.org/events/advocacyday/

Can’t come, but want to make a difference?
Send your legislator a quick email:

www.votervoice.net/MNARTS/Campaigns/

Join us this Thursday!

We expect nearly 700 arts advocates from every corner of Minnesota at the Minnesota History Center and the State Capitol on March 7, 2013, talking about the importance of the arts to our communities. Join with us for “Arts Advocacy Day.”

THE NEXT TWO YEARS OF ARTS FUNDING IS ON THE LINE.

Artists and arts supporters form across the state will join together to secure Arts Legacy funding for the next two years, making sure we remain the strongest arts community in the country. Together we will speak about hte impact that arts funding has has on our lives and 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. After the morning rally, your team wil lvisit a series of legislators during the course of the day, 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!

The day begins with a rally at 8:30 a.m. in the Minnesota History Center and continues with legislator meetings legislators in the Capitol from 10:00 to 1:00.

NEW: Local favorite band The New Standards led by Chan Poling, Steve Roehm and John Munson will lead the crowd in “America the Beautiful” at 8:30 AM at the morning rally.

SCHEDULE OF THE DAY:

AT THE MINNESOTA HISTORY CENTER IN ST PAUL:

7:30 AM Registration Opens

8:00 AM Advocacy Seminar for First Timers

8:30 AM Advocacy Seminar and Rally for Everyone

  • America the Beautiful performed by The New Standards
  • Legislative Leaders will speak, including House Legacy committee Chair Phillis Kahn and Senate Finance Committee Chair Richard Cohen
  • Hear about arts issues of the day from MCA Executive Director Sheila Smith and Lobbyist Larry Redmond
  • The “Larry Award” will be presented to two arts advocates
  • Group photo

9:15 AM Meet Your Team and March/Ride to the Captiol

THEN, ON TO THE STATE CAPITOL:

9:30-NOON Great Hall in the State Capitol becomes the Home Base. Teams will be meeting with their legislators in small groups, led by a Team Leader who is experienced and trained in the issues. (If you cannot find your team, meet them at the next meeting on your schedule, which you can pick up at the Great Hall).

NOON-1:00 The Capitol Cafeteria in the basement of the Capitol becomes the Home Base. Come back and report about your meetings with legislators.
Register Now! www.mncitizensforthearts.org/events/advocacyday/

 

Arts Alert: Join us for Arts Advocacy Day on March 7th!

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Arts Alert: ARTS ADVOCACY DAY IS MARCH 7!

Join Us for Arts Advocacy Day!
To sign up :

www.mncitizensforthearts.org/events/advocacyday/

Can’t come, but want to make a difference?
Send your legislator a quick email:

www.votervoice.net/MNARTS/Campaigns/

On March 7, 2013, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts will bring more than seven hundred arts advocates from around the state to converge on the State Capitol for “Arts Advocacy Day” to ask legislators to follow 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.  Last year arts advocates had to fight off legislative suggestions that the Arts & Culture Fund be used to build a stadium. In the end, the legislature secured other resources to build the stadium and left the Arts Fund alone.

“Our message is that we want the Legislature to continue to follow through on the wishes of Minnesota voters,” said Sheila Smith, MCA’s Executive Director. “The Constitutional Amendment states that, “the dedicated money under this section must supplement traditional sources of funding for these purposes and may not be used as a substitute,” she said.  “We understand that there is a deficit and that legislators have an extremely tough job ahead of them.”

“We are asking that at least 50% of the Legacy Amendment’s Arts fund go through the highly accountable and transparent Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Council system because it ensures that citizens in all 87 counties will benefit. We are concerned about some bills that would earmark the resources intended for all Minnesotans to benefit only a few.” In addition, advocates are hoping to protect the other traditional source of funding for the arts from the general fund. “In the past two years the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils could meet only 50% of incoming requests for grants and services.”

Arts advocates are also concerned about some of the tax reform proposals that would do damage to nonprofit’s role as partners with the state in providing arts and educational services to Minnesotans.

The day begins with a rally at 8:30 a.m. in the Minnesota History Center and continues with legislator meetings legislators in the Capitol from 10:00 to 1:00.

NEW: Local favorite band The New Standards led by Chan Poling, Steve Roehm and John Munson will lead the crowd in “America the Beautiful” at 8:30 AM at the morning rally.

ARTS JOBS AND THE ECONOMY

Minnesotans have a strong tradition of interest in access to arts and culture, and participate in the arts to a higher degree than citizens of other states. Minnesota is home to over 1400 non-profit arts organizations that collectively serve 12.5 million people annually and provide an economic impact of over $1 billion to our state’s economy. The Arts: A Driving Force in Minnesota’s Economy (2006)*, showed that the nonprofit arts provide 22,095 full time jobs and generate more than $94 million in state and local government revenues.

According to Artists Count: An Economic Impact Study of Artists in Minnesota (2007)* our state is also home to over 20,000 artists, who are a contributing factor to the economies of every region of Minnesota, supporting an additional 6,000 full time jobs with their work.

* Both studies are available for downloading at www.mncitizensforthearts.org.

You have received this message because you have subscribed to a mailing list of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts. If you do not wish to receive periodic emails from this source, please click below to unsubscribe.
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: You Are Invited to Arts Advocacy Day, March 7th.

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

You Are Invited!

Arts Advocacy Day, March 7, 2013

The Next Two Years of Arts Funding is on the Line…

And it’s the best networking day of the year!

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) invites you to join your fellow arts advocates at the MN History Center and State Capitol make new friends and educate our legislators about the importance of the arts.

Artists and arts supporters from across the state will join together to secure Arts & Legacy funding for the next two years, making sure we remain in the strongest arts community in the country. Together we will speak about the impact that arts funding has had on our lives and communities through the grants of the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils. Meet great arts people from all over the state, and make a difference with your friends and neighbors.

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

Arts Advocacy Day is a free event.

Register Online At: www.mncitizensforthearts.org.

Can’t come to Arts Advocacy Day?
Use this quick link www.votervoice.net/MNARTS/Campaigns/ to contact your legislators to ask them to support the arts.

Questions or comments? 

Contact Mark at MCA: 651-251-0868 / staff@mncitizensforthearts.org

Arts Advocacy Day Schedule: March 7, 2013

7:30 a.m.

Meet at the Minnesota History Center, St Paul

8:00 a.m.

Advocacy Class for New Attendees

Registration & Coffee (If not attending class)

8:30 a.m.

Advocacy Seminar Join your team: You and your team will be led by an experienced advocate who has participated in past Advocacy Days and knows what to do. Your team will visit a series of legislators during the course of the day, giving you plenty of time to get to know your teammates and the issues you are discussing.

9:30 a.m.

Walk/ride to Capitol

9:30-1:00 p.m.

Legislator Appointments

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. MCA values your privacy, and will not sell or distribute your name and info to anyone for any reason. 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: Governor Dayton’s Arts Budget

Monday, January 28th, 2013

1. Governor Dayton’s Arts Budget Released

2. Register Now for Arts Advocacy Day on March 7, 2013!

3. Cultural Data Project (CDP) off to a Strong Start

1. Governor Dayton’s Arts Budget Released

Governor Dayton released his proposed budget this week.

First, the good news: in the context of a possible $1 billion state deficit the Governor proposed no cuts to the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) and Regional Arts Council (RAC) general fund budget. (The general fund is where arts funding has always come from, prior to the passage of the additional Arts Legacy Fund).  His proposal would provide just over $7.5 million to the arts agencies for grants and services to the state each year for the next two years. He had the opportunity to also make recommendations for the Arts Legacy fund but did not. The MSAB/RAC system received just under $23 million from the Arts Legacy fund each year for the last two years, and we hope to meet or exceed this level for the next two years.

Where did the Governor find the money to avoid cutting the arts? His “broadening and lowering” the state sales tax will bring in enough new revenue that large cuts would not have to be made.  By taxing more things, he also proposes to lower the overall rate from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent — a 20 percent reduction.  We are still sorting out all of the details of this sales tax proposal. So far we have determined that the expansion does not include non-profit purchases, but there is a possibility that other nonprofit activities such as admissions and memberships will be taxable under this proposal. We will provide more information when it becomes available.

This is only the first step of the very long appropriations process. The Governor proposes the budget and legislators must now figure out what they want to do, so stay tuned!
2. Register Now for Arts Advocacy Day on March 7, 2013!

Arts advocates are gearing up for a big day for the arts at the Capitol in St. Paul. Join us to talk to legislators about the importance of the arts and arts funding to our communities. We need you there! This legislature will decide how much arts funding there will be for the next two years. If you are an individual artist or arts advocate who works with or attends events funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board or Regional Arts Councils, legislators need to hear from you about why they should fund the arts.

Register now! http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/events/advocacyday/

Are you in St. Cloud? The Central Minnesota Arts Board will be organizing a bus from St. Cloud: http://www.centralmnartsboard.org/advocacy.html Contact them if you’d like a ride!
3. Cultural Data Project (CDP) off to a Strong Start

The Cultural Data Project (CDP) is well underway, with nearly 100 organizations participating so far in Minnesota. More and more arts foundations are beginning to accept or require a CDP profile as part of grant applications. So far, the following funders are requiring or accepting CDP profiles as part of their applications:

  • The McKnight Foundation
  • The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council
  • The Jerome Foundation
  • Target
  • City of St. Paul Star Program

Many more, such as Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, will be accepting or requiring CDP profiles soon. Over 200 grant programs nationally are now using CDP profiles as part of their grant making process.

Laura Zimmerman of the McKnight Foundation says, “people have had surprisingly little trouble using CDP so far.”

MCA is thrilled that the CDP has come to Minnesota, because it will allow us to collectively create data we can use for advocacy at the capitol, whether that is more frequent economic impact reports about the arts, quantifying how much education opportunities are provided by arts organizations, or the number of jobs we create, and so on.  (Although the information entered by organizations is private, we can create reports using aggregate data that doesn’t identify individual organizations).

Mary Ann Pulk, at VocalEssence, who has completed their CDP profile said although it did take some time to complete, “the Cultural Data Project is going to be a very valuable tool for our organization to utilize for future grant proposals. The profiles are user friendly and take an extensive and detailed look at our financial and statistical data. The reports feature provide an easy and convenient way for us to generate reports for funders and for our own purposes. Also, the staff at the help desk were very knowledgeable and helpful in assisting us to complete our data profiles.”

For more info on CDP and how your organization can participate: http://www.mnculturaldata.org/home.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. MCA values your privacy, and will not sell or distribute your name and info to anyone for any reason. 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: Next Two Years of Arts Funding on the Line

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Welcome to MCA’s New Arts Alert!

As an Arts Advocate you deserve the best of everything. That’s one of the reasons we are working on improving our services to you, including this better-looking Arts Alert (thanks, designer Elana Schwartzman!) and new ways for you to advocate for the arts easily on Facebook and Twitter.  We’re just getting up to speed on the new system ourselves, so watch this space for a new and happy world of arts advocacy!

The Next Two Years of Arts Funding Are On the Line

The Legislative Session begins today in St. Paul, with all-new Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate. One third of the legislature is new again this year, as it was just two years ago, so there are many, many new faces. The biggest issue is the state’s deficit of well over a billion dollars, and all of the new legislative leaders are saying that this is their #1 priority.

Our #1 priority is making sure that the legislature supports the arts. Arts funding goes from the legislature to the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Council system, which ensures that grants and services reach every Minnesota county to support access to the arts from the best statewide arts community in the country.

Minnesota’s arts funding comes from two places, the General Fund and the Legacy Arts Fund:

  • The Governor has instructed all state agencies to submit a General Fund budget that reflects a 5% cut as part of a plan to deal with the deficit. The Governor will be unveiling his budget on Jan. 22, 2013. By the end of session the General Fund cut in the arts may be more or less than 5%, this is just a starting point, and of course we will work to make it as small as possible. Currently the arts receive just over $8.6M/year from this source.
  • There are probably additional dollars available in the Legacy Arts Fund due to the recovery of the economy, but we don’t know exactly how much that might be yet. We are working to get specific information so we can craft a proposal to increase funding to the MSAB and RACs from this source. Currently the arts receive just about $21.7M/year from the Arts Legacy fund.

Who Are On the Arts Committees?

The House has appointed all of its committees, and below are the members. (Note that several people are on both committees in the House). The Senate is a bit behind the House in that they haven’t yet appointed a Legacy committee, although the State Government Finance Committee has been named. These legislators will be very important to the arts.

House Legacy Committee:
Chair, Phillis Kahn, Leon Lillie, Dean Urdahl, Mike Freiberg, Steve Green, Alice Hausman, Joe McDonald, Mary Murphy, Joyce Peppin, Paul Torkelson, Jean Wagenius, John Ward

NOTE: The first hearing of this committee will be on Jan. 15, it will be an overview hearing and will not be about the arts.

House State Government Finance Committee: (General Fund)
Chair, Mary Murphy, Jerry Newton, Bob Dettmer, Mike Benson, Connie Bernardy, Raymond Dehn, Mike Freiberg, Jeff Howe, Phyllis Kahn, Ron Kresha, Ernie Leidiger, Michael Nelson, Tim O’Driscoll, John Persell, Mary Sawatzky, Steve Simon, Anna Wills, ex-officio Lyndon Carlson

Senate State Departments and Veterans Division:
Chair: Saxhaug Vice Chair: Dziedzic, Senators Anderson, Cohen, Metzen, Chamberlain, Dahms, Rest, Champion, Gazelka, Stumpf

ARTS ADVOCACY DAY MARCH 7 – SAVE THE DATE!

Arts Advocacy Day will be March 7, 2013. Arts Advocacy Day is the day we come together and ask legislators to support the arts. With the next two years of arts funding on the line, Arts Advocacy Day will be more important than ever. Save the date, with more info to come!

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. MCA values your privacy, and will not sell or distribute your name and info to anyone for any reason. 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: What’s the perfect Gift for Your Arts Advocate?

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
 
 
MCA
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
 

Dec, 14, 2012

 
 
Happy Holidays from MCA!
 * * * What’s the Perfect Gift for Your Arts Advocate? * * *
 
Includes:
  • A powerful grassroots network of arts advocates
  • Passionate advocacy at the capitol for arts funding & other issues affecting the arts
  • Protection of nonprofit tax exemptions that help arts organizations
  • Professional lobbying making sure the arts community is heard
  • An organization designated by Guidestar and Philanthropedia as “Most effective in providing arts access”
  • A place to make a difference!
 
 Give them the Gift of MCA, and all of these great features are included!
 
Join today, and also give your favorite arts advocate membership in the most effective state arts advocacy organization in the country: http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/join/

 

 

———————————————–

 

 
 
 
 

 

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Quick Links:
 
Facebook      Twitter @MNCitizen     Website     Join Now    YouTube
 
Everything MCA does is made possible by our passionate and committed members.
 
JOIN NOW: www.mncitizensforthearts.org/join/membership/individual-memberships/
TAKE ACTION: www.mncitizensforthearts.org
COOL STUFF TO BUY: www.cafepress.com/mnforthearts
 
PRIVACY: MCA values your privacy, and will not sell or distribute your name and info to anyone for any reason.
GRANTS: MCA is not a grantsmaker. For access to state funding, contact the Minnesota State Arts Board www.arts.state.mn.usor your local Regional Arts Council.

 

ABOUT: 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, contact us at 651-251-0868 or  staff at mncitizensforthearts.org

Arts Alert: Election Redraws Political Landscape for Arts

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

 
MCA
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

Nov. 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from Your Friends at MCA!

1. Election Redraws Political Landscape for the Arts

2. Thank you to Retiring MCA Board Members, Welcome to New

3. Rural Arts & Culture Summit Planned for June 5 & 6

4. Mixed Results in Latest 2012 Giving Report

5. Amendment to Limit Freedom to Marry Defeated
———————————————–
1. Election Redraws Political Landscape for the Arts

Election Day turned out to be a surprise to almost everyone. Both constitutional amendments were defeated and the DFL gained enough seats to take control of both the House and Senate of the Minnesota Legislature. It will be the first time in 22 years for one party control over the policy and budget making functions of the State of Minnesota.

The Senate DFL has already elected Arrowhead Senator Tom Bakk (D) to be their new Majority Leader, and in the House the new Speaker will be Paul Thissen of Minneapolis (D). Both are well known arts supporters. Chairmanships of some committees have already been announced:
  • In the House, arts-friendly Chair Dean Urdahl (R) has been replaced by arts-friendly Phyllis Kahn of Minneapolis.
  • Leadership of the Legacy Committee in the Senate has not been announced, although former (arts friendly) Legacy Chair Bill Ingebrigtsen (R) has been named an Assistant Minority Leader for the Republicans.
  • Some very good news, however, is that Senator Dick Cohen (D) of St. Paul, our most enduring arts friend, has been elected to head the Senate Finance Committee.
  • Membership of the important committees which oversee arts funding have not yet been announced. We will have a better sense of the landscape before us by January, as we expect to see the committee members named by then.
Twenty Three of MCA’s Arts All Stars ran for the legislature this year, and I’m sorry to report that one of them lost, Senator John Howe (R) of Red Wing. Two previous Arts All Stars who had left the legislature are back: Rep. Ron Erhardt (Formerly (R), now (D) of Edina and Will Morgan (D) of Burnsville. However, many senior supporters of the arts from both parties retired this year. One third of the Legislature will be new. That means we have a big job of educating all of
these new members on the importance of arts funding to their districts and their constituents, and to begin building relationships. Luckily some of these relationships will be a renewal of old
friendships as a good number of them are returning to the legislature after having been out of office for a few years.

When a legislative chamber changes party hands, it’s not just leadership changes that happen across the board, it also means many new faces among the staff, and that all legislators will exchange offices. The party that gains control of the Senate moves from State Office Building up to the Capitol offices, and the party that gains control of the House moves to higher floors in the State Office Building. You can imagine the chaos.

With a multi-billion dollar deficit to fix, the legislature has a tough year ahead no matter who is in charge. This legislative session is when the state sets the arts budget for the next two years. We need to be at the capitol in strength together to make sure that we protect arts funding. Stay tuned as we begin to prepare for the legislative session which begins January 8, 2013.

———————————————–

 

2. Thank you to Retiring MCA Board Members, Welcome to New

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts held our annual meeting on November 9 at the Illusion Theatre. We thanked our three retiring board members Hal Cropp, Audrey Thayer and former MCA Board Chair (and Larry Award Winner) Craig Dunn. Their many years of service to the arts community through their terms on MCA’s board were loudly applauded. Thank you to all for your service! 

Three new members were voted onto the MCA board: Dr. Rhonda Dass of Mankato, Michael-Jon Pease of St. Paul, and Kathy Dodge of Grand Rapids. Welcome to all!

———————————————–

3. Rural Arts & Culture Summit Planned for June 5 & 6, 2013
Save the date!
Plans are just getting underway for the next Rural Arts & Culture Summit next June on the Campus of University of Minnesota-Morris, hosted by the Center for Small Towns. Organizing partners include the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota, the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and others. Find them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rural-Arts-Culture-Summit/196470243703092?ref=ts&fref=ts

———————————————–

4. State Arts Board Registration & Training Now Available for New Grants System
Planning to apply for Minnesota State Arts Board grants? They are implementing a new online WebGrants system. Registration is a new requirement of the application process, and is simple and easy to complete. You can register either as an individual artist or on behalf of your organization. To access both online registration and registration training, vist the Arts Board website: http://www.arts.state.mn.us.

———————————————–

5. Mixed Results in Latest 2012 Giving Report

The Chronicle of Philanthropy is reporting that the slow economy continued to cause fundraising challneges for most charities in the first half of the year. According to a study released by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, giving dropped at 29% of the 770 groups in the study when compared to the first half of 2011 and was flat for another 25%. About 46% chalked up increases. Charities that increased donations were more likely than others to reach out to supporters in multiple ways such as e-mail or in-person events, to show donors results of their contributions, and to publicly acknowledge donors by listing their names or
taking other steps. The study also examined whether charities are doing a good job of keeping donors year after year. Nearly half said that 60 percent or more of donors who gave to their
organizations in 2011 have made one or more gifts in 2012.

———————————————–
6. Amendment to Limit Freedom to Marry Defeated
Thank you to the over 120 arts organizations and thousands of artists in Minnesota who opposed the constitutional amendment that would limit the freedom to marry.  Minnesota’s creative community thrives because of the contributions of all kinds of creative people, and MCA opposes discrimination against anyone. We are proud to have been part of the arts community’s work on this effort. 

———————————————–

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Quick Links:

Facebook      Twitter @MNCitizen     Website     Join Now    YouTube

Everything MCA does is made possible by our passionate and committed members.

JOIN NOW: www.mncitizensforthearts.org/join/membership/individual-memberships/
TAKE ACTION: www.mncitizensforthearts.org
COOL STUFF TO BUY: www.cafepress.com/mnforthearts
 
PRIVACY: MCA values your privacy, and will not sell or distribute your name and info to anyone for any reason.
GRANTS: MCA is not a grantsmaker. For access to state funding, contact the Minnesota State Arts Board www.arts.state.mn.usor your local Regional Arts Council.

 

ABOUT: 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, contact us at 651-251-0868 or  staff at mncitizensforthearts.org