Action Alert for Thursday, January 29, 2009
from Florida Cultural Alliance
You Can Help Secure $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
in the federal Economic Stimulus Package
if you make two quick phone calls this afternoon or tomorrow morning.
STATUS: $50 Million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) passed yesterday in the U.S. House's version of its Economic Stimulus Package; HOWEVER, the $50 million for the NEA is not in the U.S. Senate version of its Economic Stimulus Package, which they will begin deliberations on tomorrow, January 30, and probably continue next week.
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW TO HELP? Florida U.S. Senators Bill Nelson's and Mel Martinez's arts staffers need to receive a number of calls from throughout Florida today and tomorrow morning to help raise the level of awareness and importance about this issue. If they don't hear from Florida constituents on this issue, they will think it's not important. We know it is important, but they have to hear from us -- all of us from the arts and cultural industry THROUGHOUT the state.
Below are the names of the staff members assigned to arts issues for both Senators Nelson and the DC office numbers. You probably will not actually get them on the phone, but leave a message on their voice mail boxes.
Staff Assigned to Arts
SUGGESTED MESSAGE: My name is__________ and I live in__________, FL, and make my living working as (artist, administrator, board member, etc., with_____). I'm calling to encourage the senator (use senator's name) to speak up and support adding $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in the Senate's version of the economic stimulus package. I'm pleased the House included $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in its economic stimulus package; however, I'm concerned the Senate has not. These additional National Endowment for the Arts funds would help sustain hundreds of arts and cultural jobs throughout our state. I hope we can depend upon Senator (Nelson OR Martinez) to speak up for Florida's arts and cultural jobs and work to secure the $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in the Senate economic stimulus package. Thank you for your time and consideration. If I may provide you with additional information, please call me at________or e-mail me at_____________.
You may also find additional information on the NEA Web site concerning this issue at the link below. I've also copied and pasted key points from the NEA site you might want to use below.
There has been much public conversation recently regarding the role of the arts and culture industry in economic stimulus. Following is information that seeks to clarify this issue through two key points: that the arts and culture industry is a sector of the economy just like any other with workers who pay taxes, mortgages, rent and contribute in other ways to the economy; and that the National Endowment for the Arts is uniquely positioned to assist in job stimulation for that industry.
A statement on January 22 from then NEA Chairman Dana Gioia noted, "Arts organizations have been hit enormously hard by the current recession. They've seen their support drop from corporations, foundations, and municipalities. This infusion of funds will help sustain them, their staffs, and the artists they employ. We are hopeful that Congress and the new administration will support this important investment."
Many thanks for your help on this issue.
Sherron Long, president
Florida Cultural Alliance
Post Office Box 2131
West Palm Beach, Florida 33402-2131
Web site: www.FLCA.net