NPR profiles League’s Noonan

Posted on: January 10, 2012

Monday (1/9) on the NPR blog The Record, Lara Pellegrinelli writes, “According to some estimates, there are as many as 40,000 lobbyists in Washington, DC, but you don’t even need all of your fingers to count how many work on behalf of artists and arts communities (record labels, broadcasting, and other corporate interests in the entertainment industry aside).” Pellegrinelli profiles League of American Orchestras Vice President for Advocacy Heather Noonan, who lobbies on behalf of orchestras. Pellegrinelli states that current policy issues Noonan is focusing on include: “The public value of orchestras, NEA funding, arts education, cultural exchange, travel for musicians, non-profit tax issues, charitable giving incentives, electronic media … disaster relief for non-profits.” Asked to name an issue she is working on that will have significant impact on the musical community, Noonan says, “Charitable giving—actually private contributions of all kinds—constitutes around 40% of orchestra revenue on average. In the Congressional supercommittee on tax reform that was convening over the last several months, there were numerous proposals being considered with around 13 possible changes in the deductibility of contributions. Throughout that discussion we worked very closely with the broader non-profit community, making the case that charitable giving is very different than the other deductions taxpayers make because it’s not about returning money to the taxpayer. It’s about returning money to the community. Ultimately, none of the specific proposals have gained traction, but certainly discussions about tax reform will continue in the coming year.”

Posted January 10, 2012