Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Arts Educators Need to Know

… that incoming Congressman Steve Chabot, of Ohio’s 15th district, is returning to his previous seat and that he has consistently criticized the NEA, even co-sponsoring legislation to cut the NEA's budget completely?

… that incoming Senator Pat Toomey, of Pennsylvania, has called the NEA “inefficient and wasteful” and offered a floor amendment in the House of Representatives in 2004 to terminate the NEA and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting?

… that more than 13 incoming Members of Congress have gone on record stating that they want to eliminate the Department of Education as it stands now; which would mean elimination of arts education funding?

… that the 94 new Representatives entering Congress this year means the current all “A” Member leadership team in the House of Representatives will be replaced with an all “F” leadership team according to our 2008 Congressional Arts Report Card?

Now, more than ever, many of our elected leaders view spending on the arts not just as an extravagance, but also as a drain on resources that are best used for other purposes. To them, the arts are expendable and a distraction. We disagree and we know you do too. The last time we faced a major challenge – when the arts were targeted to be removed from the 2008 stimulus funding because they were not considered an economic driver or job creator – you wrote your elected leaders, called their offices and contacted your news outlets; more than 85,000 times to be exact. And you prevented the arts from being eliminated from the stimulus funds. We are going to need that level of support again this year.

The elections were just the beginning – there will be many more challenges ahead. That’s why it’s the job of the Arts Action Fund to serve as the watchdog: to get the facts out and to keep you informed of threats to the arts and arts education – and what we can do together to protect them.

We’re ready for the upcoming battles but we can’t win them alone – we need your help to ensure that those who support the arts and arts education are kept informed and ready to take action.

You can help! Your support will let thousands of voices across the country be heard from their front steps to the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Please give $10, $25, $50, $100, or more today to support advocacy for the arts and arts education!

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