Charitable Giving Reform Becoming a Taxing Issue

Posted by Gladstone Payton On November - 2 - 2011

Gladstone Payton

On October 18, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee held a hearing titled “Tax Reform Options: Incentives for Charitable Giving” partially in response to the ever-changing dynamics regarding proposals for tax reform, job creation, and deficit reduction swirling around the Nation’s Capital.

Lowering and capping the value of tax deduction to charities for the top wage earners under the tax code has been proposed by the Obama Administration in recent years to help raise revenue to help curb national deficits, pay for the health care reform and fund the now scaled-down American Jobs Act.

Since being removed from the jobs bill, treatment of itemized deductions such as the charitable deduction has become part of the growing dialogue about tax reform, sparking heated debates on whether a cap on such deductions would have a negative effect on the giving patterns of donors to charity and giving rise to the committee hearing.

The nonprofit arts sector (including Americans for the Arts) has been working closely with such organizations as Independent Sector, the Alliance for Charitable Reform and the Council of Nonprofits to ensure that any changes to charitable giving not be negatively impacted especially during the economic downturn. Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. Senate Proposal Provides Direction for Future of Arts Education

Posted by Narric Rome On October - 31 - 2011

Narric Rome

On October 19 and 20, after many years of inaction, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee began marking up the Senate version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization bill (last reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002).

Americans for the Arts lobbied on several of these issues on behalf of its members and the legislation, as amended, has several items that are of interest to the arts education sector.

The bill offers new insights into the direction of federal education policy and how the arts can fit within it, including the following:

1) Arts education was retained as a “core academic subject” – ensuring that the arts maintains this designation is critical for eligibility to use federal funds locally.

2) The term “core academic subject” has been incorporated into far more programs than No Child Left Behind did. It now places core academic subjects, including the arts, as central to extended learning programs, “highly qualified teacher” qualifications, parental engagement programs, advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs, reading or language arts, and STEM initiatives. This is a giant leap from the diminutive position that “core academic subject” held in the No Child Left Behind Act. Read the rest of this entry »

NEA Takes 13 Percent Cut in FY 2012 House Budget Bill

Posted by Tim Mikulski On July - 8 - 2011

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Interior Subcommittee approved a measure that sets next year’s initial funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $135 million.

That amount is a $20 million reduction as compared with this fiscal year’s budget, and it would be the deepest cut to the agency in 16 years.

To make matters worse, the 13 percent cut for both the NEA and National Endowment for the Humanities is much more severe than the 7 percent cut to the overall Interior Appropriations bill.

It is expected that the full House Appropriations Committee will consider this legislation next Tuesday and it could be sent to the full House Floor for a vote before the August recess begins.

Stay tuned to ARTSblog for more information as the budget process moves forward and please consider taking two minutes to contact your Members of Congress about this issue.

The Federal FY11 Appropriations Battle & The Arts

Posted by Narric Rome On April - 15 - 2011

Narric Rome

The story of how the federal government funded the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education really began on November 2, 2010.

Election Day delivered a major change of power in Washington with the GOP regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives and tightening the margin of control in the U.S. Senate.

With the GOP set to take control of the House in January, the House Democrats found themselves unable to pass a FY2011 budget and had to settle for a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government until March 3, 2011.

This CR funded the National Endowment for the Arts at $167.5 million and the Arts in Education program was provided $40 million – which was the same amount they received the prior year.  Read the rest of this entry »

ARTSblog holds week-long Blog Salons, a series of posts by guest bloggers, that focus on an overarching theme within a core area of Americans for the Arts' work. Here are links to the most recent Salons:

Arts Education

Early Arts Education

Common Core Standards

Quality, Engagement & Partnerships

Emerging Leaders

Taking Communities to the Next Level

New Methods & Models

Public Art

Best Practices

Evaluation

Arts Marketing

Audience Engagement

Winning Audiences

Powered by Community

Animating Democracy

Arts & the Military

Scaling Up Programs & Projects

Social Impact & Evaluation

Humor & Social Change

Private Sector Initatives

Arts & Business Partnerships

Business Models in the Arts

Local Arts Agencies

Cultural Districts

Economic Development

Trends, Collaborations & Audiences

Art in Rural Communities

Alec Baldwin and Nigel Lythgoe talk about the state of the arts in America at Arts Advocacy Day 2012. The acclaimed actor and famed producer discuss arts education and what inspires them.