Arts Advocacy Day
Photo: Americans For The Arts Twitter
Arts Advocacy Day Galvanizes Hundreds of Activists As They Meet With Congress
Capitol Hill was the center of the arts world this week as Americans for the Arts welcomed hundreds of artists, students and teachers to Washington, D.C. for the 34th annual Arts Advocacy Day. Arts activists spent their time in the nation’s capital championing key arts policies including music licensing reform, arts funding, the charitable tax-deduction, and ongoing efforts to improve arts education.
On March 4 at the beginning of the two-day National Arts Action Summit, more than 500 grassroots advocates spent the day absorbing the research they need to express arts policy arguments. It also provides a unique environment for networking and strategizing with fellow activists in the Arts Advocacy Day community.
Recording Academy Director of Government Relations Michael Lewan and actor Brian Stokes Mitchell at Arts Advocacy Day
The Recording Academy is among Arts Advocacy Day's National Partners, and our Director of Government Relations Michael Lewan serves on the Summit's Legislative Planning Committee. Lewan addressed the gathering of arts advocates that day, thanking them for supporting the Music Modernization Act and discussing the next battle to secure a terrestrial performance right for recording artists.
The evening of March 4 featured the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. It was delivered this year by GRAMMY winner Rita Moreno, who also enthusiastically Instagrammed a selfie with her daughter and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who introduced Moreno.
At Tuesday's Congressional Arts Kick Off Event, Ben Folds, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Moreno spoke about how vital music and music education was for them when they were younger. Lawmakers as well as National Endowment for the Arts Acting Director Jen Hughes and National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jon Parrish Peede spoke to the group, thanking the Arts Advocacy Day assembled community for supporting vital policy issues.
Congressional champions for education also weighed in with their support of the arts. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Congresswomen Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) all spoke about increasing investments in arts in the communities and funding for the NEA, NEH and music education.
In all, more than 85 organizations got involved in this year's Arts Advocacy Day as co-sponsors. This event serves as a nice opportunity to look ahead at the Recording Academy's own annual Advocacy celebration and day of action, GRAMMYs On The Hill, which is set to take place on Capitol Hill in April.