In an article posted Tuesday (3/31) on the Time magazine website, Richard Lacayo writes about Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.: “Some famous names—Josh Groban, Linda Ronstadt, Wynton Marsalis—are trooping up to Capitol Hill this morning to testify before a House appropriations subcommittee on the usefulness of the art and arts education. Lest anyone miss the utilitarian point, the hearing is being headlined as ‘The Arts = Jobs.’ All of this is part of an annual lobbying blitz called Arts Advocacy Day. It’s co-organized by Americans for the Arts, the Congressional Arts Caucus and various arts groups around the country, many of which are flooding the zone in D.C. this week, sending members to corner their congress persons and plead the case that the arts are not only good for you, but good for the economy. … For me, the single most striking takeaway from the morning’s testimony … is this from Robert L. Lynch, president/CEO of Americans for the Arts: ‘Thirty years ago, the NEA received a modest 12 cents per $100 of non-military discretionary spending. Today that is just 3 cents per $100. If the NEA had simply maintained its 1979 percentage of discretionary funding, its 2008 budget would have been $613 million.’ ” The League of American Orchestras is a national co-sponsor of and participates in the legislative planning committee for Arts Advocacy Day.
Posted April 1, 2009