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Americans For The Arts - The SAANbox
June 24, 2015
In this issue
State and Local News
Bulletin Board
Tech Talk
Spotlight: Heather Noonan

AFTA Calendar
National Arts Marketing Project Conference
November 6-9, 2015

Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel
Salt Lake City, UT 
2016 Annual Convention
June 17 - 19, 2016

Sheraton Boston Hotel
Boston, MA

SAAN Calendar
SAAN Fall Meeting
September 30 – October 2, 2015

Wilmington, DE

SAAN Member Calendar
If you have any events to be posted, please contact Lizzie Dorman at

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State and Local News
  • More good news to report for California arts advocates! On June 17, California Governor Jerry Brown approved an increase of $8.3 million from the state’s general fund to the California Arts Council, which is $2.1 million more than what he originally proposed for the 2015-2016 budget. With its additional funding revenues—$1.1 million from the National Endowment for the Arts and $2.5 million in projected donations from its specialty arts license plate program—the California Arts Council’s budget will be $11.9 million, its largest budget since 2004. Even more meaningful, the funding increase has been designated as permanent—meaning, the arts agency’s new funding baseline from the general fund will rise from $1.1 million to $8.3 million. Congratulations to SAAN member Californians for the Arts in their dedicated advocacy efforts!

  • In a SAANBox update, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed off on capping the state's film tax credit program at $180 million on Friday, June 19. In the bill, a provision stipulates that film productions will not be able cash in on awarded film credits until the middle of 2016. The law will also place a limit of issuing no more than $30 million per film, which could impact large productions selecting Louisiana to film.

    Louisiana's film tax credit program has been a point of contention throughout the legislative session. Nicknamed "Hollywood South," the state spent about $258 million on tax credits last year and, since 2011, has awarded an average of $271 million in credits every year. In March 2015, Louisiana Economic Development officials released a report that revealed that the film tax credit program cost the state $4.48 for every dollar invested. In addition, most film productions filmed in urban areas with rural areas receiving no economic benefits from the program.

    Since the governor chose not to veto the bill, film industry professionals now are threatening to sue the state on the grounds that the bill is unconstitutional. They commented that the bill will fail to pay for tax credits that have already been certified.
  • Even more good news to report in Pennsylvania! On June 18, the Philadelphia City Council announced that it would not decrease the Philadelphia Cultural Fund's budget. In his 2016 proposed budget, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced he would decrease the Cultural Fund's budget to $1.8 million - a cut of 40 percent. The City Council has now approved an amended city budget that will keep the Philadelphia Cultural Fund's budget at $3.14 million.

  • Bloomberg Philanthropies announced on June 23 the four recipients of its inaugural Public Art Challenge. The selected cities are: Los Angeles; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Gary, Indiana; and a combined project with Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, New York. Bloomberg Philanthropies first announced the Public Art Challenge in October of 2014 and received 231 applications from 45 states. Now having made its final decision, each city will receive up to $1 million for public art installations that will address civic issues. Kate Levin of Bloomberg Philanthropies commented, "Bloomberg Philanthropies was primarily interested in the project’s potential to compel, its impact on a local issue, and a team capable of delivering change." She also explained that the Public Art Challenge wants to emphasize the importance of coordinating the arts community and government and said, "Public art is a valuable way to make urban progress." To learn more about the selected projects, please click here.

  • Check out Americans for the Arts’ President and CEO Bob Lynch’s piece “Arts Action Heroes to the Rescue!” in the Huffington Post on the arts’ and individual artists’ profound impact on healthy, vibrant, and equitable communities throughout the nation.
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Bulletin Board
  • Organizations New or Returning to Membership May be Eligible for Mid-year Savings When They Join Before July 31st - Please share with your Arts Community!

    Know of any arts or arts service organizations interested in joining membership with Americans for the Arts? Organizations new to membership or looking to rejoin after two or more years away are eligible for half-off the membership fee, granting them membership for the remainder of the 2015 membership cycle. This offer is great for organizations that have always wanted to become involved with Americans for the Arts and are interested in giving membership a try without the pressure or fee of a full year commitment. It’s also a great way for organizations who haven’t been with us since 2013 or before to get involved again mid-year.

    This offer provides organizations as well as their staff, board, and or commissioners with benefits for the remainder of the 2015 membership cycle expiring December 31, 2015. This offer is only available to organizations that join or rejoin at the Choice ($150), Core ($250), Strategic ($500) or Preferred ($1,000) levels. Organizations have until July 31, 2015 to take advantage of this offer, and please note, lapsed 2014 organizational members are not eligible to take advantage of this campaign.

    If you know of any organizations interested in joining, please have them contact the membership team at or call (202) 371-2830 for their eligibility and details.

  • Scholarships for the 2015 National Arts Marketing Project Conference Open Next Week!

    Members of Americans for the Arts are invited to apply for scholarships to attend this year’s National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference in Salt Lake City, UT November 6 - 9, 2015.

    Scholarships open Wednesday, June 24, 2015. These scholarships provide arts marketers, audience engagement professionals and development staff with financial assistance to attend the conference. Once on-site attendees gain access to innovative marketing research and audience engagement strategies through a series of dynamic session trainings, panel discussions and workshops. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from experts from the field and network with arts marketers from across the country.

    Interested applicants must be individual members of Americans for the Arts or receiving benefits through a member organization. Registration opens June 30, visit the National Arts Marketing Project website next week for more details.

    Contact the membership department at or call (202) 371 – 2830 for questions or to check your eligibility.

    On behalf of the entire staff & board at Americans for the Arts, we look forward to seeing you in Salt Lake City!

  • Join our Summer Reading Club & Blog Salon! Every Community Has a Story…

    Learn about how art helps transform communities AND get the opportunity to write for Americans for the Arts’ ARTSBlog this summer!

    Americans for the Arts first book of three in our Community Visions series, Arts & America, was released during Annual Convention 2015! In this compilation of ten essays, art plays the hero in communities across the country, and each essay delves into a new facet of a healthy community that is driven or enhanced by the arts.

    Pick up a copy of Arts & America at Convention, or download the essays on our website post-Convention to join in our Summer Reading Club!

    Everyone is welcome to submit their thoughts and feedback - on the book as a whole or individual essays- in the form of an ARTSBlog post, which will be included in a Transforming Communities Blog Salon, August 10-14!

    Contact our Communications & Content Manager, Caitlin Holland, if you’re interested in participating at
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Tech Talk

Americans for the Arts

  • Engaging Business Employees Through the Arts
    Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EDT

    This webinar will focus on organizations and groups seeking to engage businesses by engaging their employees through the arts. Employee engagement is an increasingly important strategy in the business world to boost efficiency, stimluate creative thinking, increase morale, and more. What better way to do this than through the arts? We'll hear from two leaders in the country about the various ways arts organizations can enhance the experience of business employees through the arts, and build better partnerships between the arts and business sectors as a result.

  • Local Arts Basics – Creative Economy (what’s the big idea)
    Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EDT

    Local arts agencies are being asked more and more about the creative economy in their community. This webinar will focus on what is the creative economy and is there a difference between economic development and the creative economy?

  • Arts Education & Business
    Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EDT

    This webinar, a collaboration between the Arts Education and Private Sector Initiatives staff at Americans for the Arts, will focus on successful partnerships between the arts education field and businesses. We will focus on partnerships that go beyond "writing checks", and delve into how our participants might approach businesses and encourage them to support and become involved in arts education advocacy and programming.

  • Public Art: New Models Series 1
    Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EDT

    New Models Series 1 - this is the first of a three part series on new models of public art programming focused on the intersection of the private sector and public art. This series will provide a nationally accessible platform for participants to learn more about different partnerships and ways to engage with private businesses. Participants will have a broader understanding of the different ways to engage with private businesses and be able to connect with and engage with representatives in private businesses and public art practitioners who are working in these new models.

  • Public Art: New Models Series 2- Public Art & Private Sector
    Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EDT

    New Models Series 2 - this is the second of a three part series on new models of public art programming focused on the intersection of the private sector and public art. This series will provide a nationally accessible platform for participants to learn more about different partnerships and ways to engage with private businesses. Participants will have a broader understanding of the different ways to engage with private businesses and be able to connect with and engage with representatives in private businesses and public art practitioners who are working in these new models.

  • Arts Education: What you Need to Know
    Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EDT

    Each year there are new buzzwords which affect arts education. During National Arts in Education Week, we will gather with thought leaders to unpack these terms, where they came from and their impact on our day to day work in arts education.
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Spotlight: Heather Noonan

This week's Spotlight profiles The League of American Orchestras' Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy.

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of approximately 800 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community orchestras, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles.

The League supports the capacity of orchestras to engage in policy making at all levels of government. Due to severe budget constraints in many states, legislatures are increasingly taking up nonprofit tax policies (like charitable giving incentives, payments in lieu of taxes, and ticket taxes) and direct-spending issues that impact all nonprofit arts organizations. Orchestras also partner with the broader array of education and arts stakeholders seeking to advance arts education policies, which are heavily influenced at the state level. The League partners with Americans for the Arts, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the National Council of Nonprofits to monitor state policy issues and alert orchestras of key trends, and the League supports orchestras as they articulate the public value that is created by arts organizations in partnership with communities. Also, certain states have particularly active orchestra associations, such as California, that take a galvanizing role in advocacy within states.

As the Vice President for Advocacy, Heather Noonan partners with Najean Lee in their Washington, D.C. office to represent orchestras before the White House, Congress, and federal agencies in direct policy advocacy, and shape messages and strategies that will advance the public perception of orchestras and the artistic and civic work that they do. They also both work in close partnership to represent orchestras in a wide variety of national association coalition efforts, including the Performing Arts Alliance, Independent Sector, the Cultural Advocacy Group, and the Arts Education Partnership – all efforts in which Americans for the Arts is also active. In addition, they provide technical assistance and online resources that help orchestras navigate complicated areas of policy compliance, like the artist visa process and the evolving rules for travel with instruments that contain protected species material.

Given the diversity and complexity of policy issues, Heather believes coalition efforts are critical to making progress in any one issue area. The League partners closely with Americans for the Arts in leading national arts education policy efforts, and Najean and Heather collaborate with Americans for the Arts’ Narric Rome and Kate McClanahan on strategy, joint meetings in the offices of policymakers, and organizing collective action that will magnify the voices of the thousands of advocates who are speaking up in support of policy improvements.

Heather advises arts advocates to know their audience—it is key to first find out what matters most to a particular policy leader. Arts advocates need to take the time to ask what other priorities and challenges are facing a legislator. She commented, “We have also found that mapping the breadth and scope of arts activity can be very helpful in opening a dialogue. Inspired by work initiated by the Association of Art Museum Directors, we’ve begun creating public value impact maps that are being used by orchestras in communication with state legislatures and other policy audiences.” Heather also recommends inviting elected officials to arts events so that they can experience the arts first-hand and witness the impact on audiences and community vitality.  

Referring to herself an arts omnivore, Heather studied art history before switching over to political science and is an avid museum and live performing arts attendee.  Her husband is a professional jazz musician whose group, the Unified Jazz Ensemble, formed in the early 1990s with the support of a multi-year rural residency grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that embedded the quintet in communities in Iowa and Arkansas. Heather said, “Our house is filled with his music, and the music and dance of our two young daughters.”

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