Newsletter: The SAANBox - August 3, 2016

State Arts Action Network - A Program of Americans for the Arts

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August 3, 2016




National Arts Marketing Project Conference
November 11-14, 2016

Hilton Austin
Austin, Texas

2017 Annual Convention
June 16 - 18, 2017

Hilton San Francisco Union Square
San Francisco, California


SAAN Fall Meeting
September 15-17, 2016

Grand Rapids, MI


If you have any events to be posted, please contact Lizzie Dorman




State and Local News

§  Great news to report for Massachusetts! In a SAANBox update, the Massachusetts Legislature voted on July 31 to override Governor Charlie Baker's cuts of $7.7 million, a 55 percent cut, to the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC). According to SAAN member MASSCreative, arts advocates across the state, over the past 3 weeks, sent more than 12,000 messages to state legislators requesting an override of the governor's veto. Also during this time, State Senators Dan Wolf and Eric Lesser and Representatives William "Smitty" Pignatelli and Cory Atkins circulated a letter to Senate and House Leadership for their support. As a result, 135 legislators signed onto the letter. The House passed the veto override with a 156-2 vote, with the Senate approving the override unanimously. With the override, MCC's state arts funding will remain at $14 million for fiscal year 2017.

§  In San Francisco, CA, a new coalition of 40—large and small—arts and cultural organizations and nonprofit homeless organizations have come together in support of the "Allocation of Hotel Tax Funds" measure to be placed on the city's November ballot. The ballot measure, if approved by two thirds of voters, would restore money from the city's Hotel Room Tax—which is a tax of 14 percent levied on hotel visits—to benefit cultural organizations and families experiencing homelessness. Since it would divert funding in an already existing tax, this would not be a new tax or increase voters' current taxes.

The city's Department of Elections sent a letter on July 19 to confirm that 500 of the 15,589 signatures backing the measure were valid and the measure will officially be on the ballot. The coalition is now drafting its ballot question and will be launching a marketing campaign for the measure. Stay tuned for SAANBox updates.

§  The New York City Council announced on July 21 that the city will dedicate $64 million into upgrades for arts and cultural organizations across all five boroughs. 68 museums, theaters, and gardens throughout New York City will benefit from the new funding. City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who is chair of the cultural affairs committee, stated, "The arts and culture does something that virtually nothing else can do — it takes a city as broad and as diverse as ours and makes it whole. It brings people together."



The Creative Youth Development (CYD) National Partnership, between the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Massachusetts Cultural Council, The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and Americans for the Arts, launched on August 1. The new coalition will collaborate "to organize and accelerate the CYD movement through a collective impact strategy with a common agenda, shared systems and activities, cross-sector engagement, and continuous communications." The Partnership's main three goals include: "to strengthen community-based organizations working in youth development and the arts, sciences, and humanities; develop and support adult practitioners in the field; and benefit youth by increasing access to CYD opportunities throughout the United States."

Back in 2014, CYD representatives came together at the National Summit for Creative Youth Development to form its first national policy agenda. Since then, the Partnership has continued leading the field; and, on August 1, the Partnership announced its leadership in three major projects: the National Blueprint for Creative Youth DevelopmentThe Creative Youth Development Toolkit, and the launch of

To learn more and to join the CYD National Partnership email list,


Bulletin Board

§  Save the Date: the 2016 Fall SAAN meeting will be in Grand Rapids, MI on September 15-17, 2016.

The SAAN meeting will be collocated with the State Policy Pilot Program and theNational Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA)'s Assembly 2016. Also of note is that the SAAN meeting will take place during ArtPrize's Preview Week. Please note that if you are a member of the State Policy Pilot Program, your meeting will extend to Sunday, September 18.

In Grand Rapids, we will have stand-alone SAAN member-only sessions and will also have joint programming with NASAA, such as the "Joint State Arts Agency/State Arts Action Network Forum" on Saturday, September 17 from 1:15 to 3:15 pm.

Keep an eye on your inbox for the SAAN meeting registration link and more details on hotel booking information!

§  Check out Americans for the Arts' Public Opinion Poll!New research provides an in-depth look at the perceptions and attitudes about the arts in the United States. This Americans for the Arts and Ipsos Public Affairs survey of more than 3,000 American adults over the age of 18 in December 2015 provides current insight on topics including support for arts education and government arts funding, personal engagement in the arts, the personal benefits and well-being that come from engaging in the arts, and if/how those benefits extend more broadly to the community.

Explore the information to better understand how your neighbors and community members feels about the arts. Use what you learn from the public opinion poll for advocacy and storytelling, and share these discoveries through your websites, publications, and social media.

§  Registration for the National Arts Marketing Project Conference is open! Join us in Austin, TX for "Fueling Change" to find out where the change is heading and learn the strategies and tactics for adapting to meet the demand.



Tech Talk

ArtsU Learning Opportunities

§  Arts Advocacy Best Practices with Stan Rosenberg: How to Talk to Elected Officials
Wednesday, August 24 at 3:00 pm ET

Effective arts advocacy requires building strong relationships with decision makers who can champion the arts in your community.

Join Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg as he guides arts advocates and supporters through his best practices and recommendations on how to effectively engage with elected officials and their staff.

In this webinar, Arts Advocates and supporters will learn the best language and approaches from Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg that they can apply in engaging and building relationships with their own elected officials and staff.#talkingwithelecteds.       

§  BCA 10 Businesses in Action 2016
Wednesday, September 7 at 3:00 pm ET
Each year the BCA 10 honors ten businesses that have been exceptional partners with the arts. These companies set the standard of excellence and serve as role models for other businesses to follow. Hear directly from 2016 honorees–Dogfish Head Brewery, Austin Energy, and Johnson & Johnson–about why they partner with the arts and learn how to create successful partnerships with the businesses in your community.

Join Americans for the Arts on Wednesday, September 7 at 3:00 pm Eastern and learn how businesses are partnering with arts programs to fuel community development and determine the best tools, talking points, and approaches for starting conversations with businesses in your community.Click here to register.   


Spotlight: Ashley K. Allen


The SAANBox is pleased to introduce Ashley K. Allen; Ashley is Vice President of Grassroots Issue Management atMcGuireWoods Consulting and managesVirginians for the Arts.

The arts have always been Ashley's passion, and she was fortunate that McGuireWoods Consulting, a public affairs firm, has Virginians for the Arts as a client. As staff roles at the firm evolved, Ashley was able to step into a role with Virginians for the Arts, and she is thrilled to be an arts advocate in Virginia. 

Ashley has been working with Virginians for the Arts since January 2014. Prior to this, McGuireWoods Consulting represented Virginians for the Arts in lobbying matters. Currently, Virginians for the Arts is working on its annual membership drive as well as coordinating regional events in Virginia this fall. Ashley said, "We want to give arts organizations across the state a better understanding of what advocacy means."

Her favorite moments in advocacy are when she is able to visit organizations that she helps represent and to show an elected official the good work that these organizations are doing. She said, "There is nothing better than bringing a legislator to your arena and showing off!"

Ashley believes that arts advocates do wonderful things each and every day. Ashley commented, "There is nothing more powerful than telling your story—how do you affect the lives of students in your hometown? How do you work with veterans? How do you serve the community in which you live? Legislators need to know your story in order to understand why funding the arts is so important."

Ashley is not only an arts advocate but is an artist herself—she danced ballet for 20 years before attending law school. She laughed, "My poor parents sat through 11 years of the Nutcracker!"






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