Is your Member of Congress a “Thumbs Up” arts champion or an arts threat?
How do you write to a congressperson?
Click on the links below to access the full versions of the Congressional Arts Report Card.
Not sure who your elected representatives are? Click here to find out!
For impact stats get in touch with your State Arts Agency and State Humanities Council because both entities are trekking to DC for advocacy soon (State Arts Agencies are there this week, Humanities Councils go in early March). Each should be able to provide you with the impact statistics you’re looking for.
LOCAL STATS and ANECDOTES OF IMPACT ON A MEMBER OF CONGRESS’S HOME DISTRICT OR STATE will probably be even more valuable than big-picture statistics.
National impact stats for the arts can be found on the advocacy page for Americans for the Arts (http://www.americansforthearts.org/advocate) and national stats for the Humanities can be found at (http://www.statehumanities.org/advocacy/).
Checking an individual representative or senator’s voting record is tough. Oftentimes seemingly unrelated issues are bundled together in legislation for the sake of expediency.
That means that it may look like the member votes against the arts, but in reality he/she was voting against something else in the bill. The best way to see if someone supports the Arts and Humanities is to look to see if they have joined the Arts/Humanities/Cultural caucuses:
Note that there is a House humanities caucus and a House arts caucus. In the Senate, however, there is only a senate “cultural” caucus.
The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies has some new documents in Advocacy Tools:
The Practical Advocate: You can shape policy:
Note the PDFs under Cite The Evidence:
• 5 essential arts arguments: http://www.nasaa-arts.org/Advocacy/Advocacy-Tools/FiveArtsArguments.pdf
• Fact vs. Fiction: Government Arts Funding: http://www.nasaa-arts.org/Advocacy/Advocacy-Tools/FactvFictionGovtArtsFunding.pdf
• Why Should Government Support the Arts (with link to state policy briefs): http://www.nasaa-arts.org/Advocacy/Advocacy-Tools/Why-Government-Support/index.php