Vol 2, 2008

Presidential Candidates Speak Out for the Arts

Americans for the Arts Action Fund’s ArtsVote2008 has successfully put the arts and arts education on the agenda for the 2008 campaign. According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, “The arts have attained a higher profile than usual” this campaign season. The article credits the Arts Action Fund with helping the arts establish “a foothold in the campaign landscape.”

WHYY public radio in Philadelphia also reported on the impact of ArtsVote2008 in the weeks before the Pennsylvania presidential primary, referring to Americans for the Arts as the organization that “has led the coordinated effort to raise the specter of the arts in the presidential candidates’ platforms.” You can listen to this podcast by visiting blog.artsusa.org and searching for “Pennsylvania primary.”

During Arts Advocacy Day on April 1, musician John Legend joined Arts Action Fund board members for a series of meetings with campaign officials from the remaining three presidential campaigns. The meetings produced positive actions from the candidates: 

  • Sen. Barack Obama spoke out publicly on arts policy the very day after our meeting with his domestic policy strategist, Heather Higginbottom. Obama said that the arts, “are not just extras—they are part of a well-rounded education,” and added, “We have to improve arts and music funding, in schools and outside of schools.”
  • Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Domestic Policy Director Catherine Brown publicly specified Clinton’s support for a funding increase to $200 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • David Crane, a senior education advisor to the John McCain 2008 campaign, committed to addressing arts education issues in the national McCain education plan.

You can learn more about ArtsVote2008, read our10-Point Arts Platform, and find out more about the candidates’ arts policies at www.ArtsVote.org


Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama admiring student artwork at the Mapleton Expeditionary School for the Arts in Thornton, CO, where he outlined his education plan on May 28. Photo courtesy of the Mapleton Expeditionary School for the Arts.

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In This Issue
Presidential Candidates Speak Out for the Arts
Congressional Hearing Draws Crowds in Support of the Arts
Arts Advocacy Day Highlights
In The News
Shaping Federal Arts Policy
Improving Visa Process for Foreign Guest Artists
Arts Luncheon Draws Key Congressional Leaders
Sen. Patrick Leahy Receives Award for Congressional Arts Leadership
Supporting Arts Advocacy in States and Cities
Spiral Jetty Sculpture Protected from Oil Drilling in Utah
Arts Leaders Fight Cuts in State and Local Arts Budgets
PAC Update
Fundraising Update
Upcoming Events
Save the Dates

Message from the President
Congratulations! You and Americans for the Arts Action Fund made our presence known like never before at this year’s Arts Advocacy Day on April 1.
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©2007 Americans for the Arts Action Fund