The SAANBox - April 12, 2017

Click here for Mobile or Web version.

If this page doesn't display properly in your email, please click here


April 12, 2017




2017 Annual Convention
June 16 - 18, 2017

Hilton San Francisco Union Square
San Francisco, California

National Arts Marketing Project Conference
November 10-13, 2017

The Peabody Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee

2018 Annual Convention
June 8 - 10, 2018

Hyatt Regency Denver
Denver, Colorado

National Arts Marketing Project Conference
November 9-12, 2018

The Westin Seattle
Seattle, Washington


SAAN Summer Meeting
June 15, 2017
Hilton San Francisco Union Square
San Francisco, CA

SAAN Fall Meeting
November 2-3, 2017

Denver, CO


Oklahoma Arts Day
April 12, 2017
Oklahoma City, OK

Arts and Culture Advocacy Day
April 24, 2017

Salem, OR

Pennsylvania Arts Day 
April 25, 2017
Harrisburg, PA

Ohio Arts Day
May 17, 2017

Columbus, OH

If you have any events to be posted, please contact Lizzie Dorman at[email protected].




State and Local News


§  Film and Music Tax Credits

Late in the evening on April 9, the New York Senate approved the 2017-2018 state budget, which includes a three-year extension of the Film Production Tax Credit program. Though the program was not set to expire until 2019, the new extension extends the program's sunset date to 2022. The program's overall budget of $420 million provides fully refundable tax credits of 30 percent on productions and post-production costs incurred in New York state, plus an additional 10 percent credit on projects with budgets of more than $500,000.

According to the Empire State Development office, more than 1,000 film and television projects have submitted applications to the Film Tax Credit Program since 2011—with the productions generating an estimated $15.3 billion in spending and approximately 966,854 new hires in New York State.

The Montana House of Representatives approved legislation to reinstate film tax incentives on March 31House Bill 602 would give production companies a tax credit for hiring Montanans and for certain expenses such as food and lodging. State Representative Bridget Smith (D-Wolf Point), the bill's primary sponsor, commented that the legislation would help Montana businesses thrive. The bill would reenact the Big Sky on the Big Screen Act, which ended in 2015. If passed, the act would last about a decade.

Of note—the bill stipulates that productions applying for the employee tax credit would receive 19 percent tax credit on the first $50,000 a Montana resident would earn with the company. Also, if the production filmed in an underserved county, meaning 14 percent or more of all residents are in federal poverty, it would be eligible for a 24 percent credit.

The bill is now under consideration by the Senate Taxation Committee. Stay tuned for future SAANBox updates.

  -  In a SAANBox update, the Georgia State Legislature voted to approve the Georgia Music Investment Act on March 30—House of Representatives voted in favor 157-11 and the Senate at 46-7. Creating the first targeted tax incentive for music in Georgia, House Bill 155 would target three key initiatives: live productions, recording and scoring. Beginning in 2018, a 15-20 percent refundable tax incentive will be offered for projects—that meet the minimum spending thresholds—recorded or scored in state as well as tours that rehearse and begin in Georgia. If a music production takes place in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties, it can qualify for an additional 5 percent credit.

If passed, the legislation would aim to create more than 10,000 new job opportunities and boosting the state's overall economy. House Bill 155 now awaits Governor Nathan Deal's signature.

§  State Arts Funding

On March 28, over 600 Massachusetts arts advocates—300 were expected—attended Arts Matter Advocacy Day at the Paramount Center and the Massachusetts State House. Spearheaded by SAAN member MASSCreative, theevent received coverage in The Boston Globe and radio coverage from WBUR and WGBH. Advocates met with state lawmakers and asked them to support state arts funding at $16 million; the Massachusetts Cultural Council's budget is currently at $14 million. Earlier this year, Governor Charlie Baker recommended $14.3 million in funding for fiscal year 2018—which was the first time in nearly a decade that a Massachusetts governor's budget proposed an increase in funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council. 

However on April 10, the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee released its budget and recommended a 28 percent decrease to the Massachusetts Cultural Council's by cutting its budget to $10 million. Rep. Cory Atkins introduced amendment #6 to reverse the cut and to fund the Massachusetts Cultural Council at $16 million with 55 State Representatives signing on. The House Ways and Means budget will now go to the full House, where members can amend it, on April 13. The SAANBox will report future updates.

§  Arts Education
Massachusetts' Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) adopted on March 29 new guidelines that will prioritize arts education for students across the Commonwealth. Under the new DESE plan, every school district will report arts education access and participation data on their school and district "report cards." This will give transparency to parents, students, and communities as to the status of arts education in every community in Massachusetts. State education leaders have also committed to revising the Arts Curriculum Framework, which was last amended in 1999. 

DESE officials spent 10 months researching district needs for the new guidelines and meeting with key stakeholders. The Arts for All Coalition, which consists of MASSCreative, Arts|Learning, Edvestors, Boston Public Schools, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Young Audiences of Massachusetts, MassINC, and Project LEARN-Lowell, engaged in the process providing research and public input on the importance of arts education in a well-rounded education. One of the state's educational challenges identified during this process was that six percent of elementary students—over 35,000 students—and 50 percent of high school students do not have the opportunity to engage in quality arts instruction. 

-In Oregon, Senate Bill 313 was introduced earlier this year by primary sponsor Senator Arnie Roblan (D-District 5) to establish the "Task Force on Equitable Access to Arts Education." The task force would be made up of 15 appointees ranging from: nonvoting members of the House and Senate, the Chief Education Officer, a local school district superintendent, an arts education nonprofit representative, and parents—to name a few.

The task force would research, evaluate and make recommendations regarding equitable access to arts education in public schools as well as develop benchmarks for arts education using a comprehensive education approach model. Of note, the appointees would be tasked to: identify new statutory provisions that would aid in achieving equitable access to arts education for all students in public schools; identify funding sources and resources to implement the task force members' recommendations; determine any teacher licensure standards, graduation requirements and professional development training needed to provide arts education to Oregon students; and identify private and nonprofit entities that provide arts education. 

After holding a public hearing on April 10, the Senate has scheduled a work session for April 12. Stay tuned for future updates.


The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors tasked the L.A. County Arts Commission in November 2015 to figure out how to diversify the region's museums, performing arts centers and other cultural institutions. After 18 months of work and hosting town hall meetings attended by 650 community members, soliciting input from peers in other cities, and crafting a survey of local arts organizations—a task force of more than 30 arts leaders developed a 13-point plan, the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative, for tackling the issue. The proposal calls for expanding grant programs, increasing internship opportunities for teens and college students and enacting more specific strategies for reaching equity in arts education. On April 4, the task force presented their recommendations to the Board. The supervisors then voted unanimously to advance the proposal.

Now the county's chief executive officer will be tasked "to provide a written report to the Board with recommendations on funding these initiatives." In addition on April 4, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors proclaimed April 2017 as the county's inaugural Arts Month.


SAANBox Recommended Read


Check out the National Association of Counties (NACo)'s blog featuring "Time to Celebrate – and fight for – the Arts and Culture!" by Americans for the Arts' Sr. Director of State and Local Government Affairs Jay Dick. 

NACo and Americans for the Arts have been long-time public sector partners, since 1999, when the two organizations first recognized a county official with the County Arts Leadership award, which is part of Americans for the Arts' Public Leadership in the Arts Awards series. In addition, Americans for the Arts collaborates with NACo in its Arts and Culture Commission, its Health County Initiative, its Veterans Committee, and NACo now features a monthly arts blog post on its blog platform.


Bulletin Board

§  Registration for the SAAN Summer 2017 meeting events on June 15-16, 2017 in San Francisco, CA is now open! Please RSVP by filling out the SAAN meeting registration form

- The SAAN Summer 2017 meeting will take place on Thursday, June 15 from 1:00 to 6:00 pm PST in San Francisco at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square (333 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102)—prior to the start of Americans for the Arts' 2017 Annual Convention.

- Following the SAAN meeting on June 15, SAAN members are invited to attend the Preconference Party reception and to get together for a group SAAN dinner after the reception. 

- In addition to the SAAN members-only meeting, there will be a joint meeting for both SAAN and State Arts Agencies on Friday, June 16 from 9:00-11:00 am PST, also at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

- Please note that if you plan on staying for any events and/or sessions after the joint SAAN and State Arts Agencies Meetings session on June 16, you will need to register for Annual Convention

-  Annual Convention's early bird registration rate ends today, April 12 (postmarked). Regular registration fees will apply starting April 13.

- For hotel bookings, Americans for the Arts has arranged for a room block at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. The room rate for single occupancy is $239 per night plus taxes, and double occupancy is $269 per night plus taxes. To book a room in our hotel block, reserve online or call 1-800-HILTONS.

§  Americans for the Arts is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Public Leadership in the Arts awards for Lieutenant Governor, State Legislator and County Official.

Please state in bullet point format the reasons for your nomination of the individual named. Clearly identify his or her community arts contributions, measurable impact on the arts and arts education, facts and figures of accomplishments, innovative style and leadership, and your work with the nominee.

Please limit your nominating statement to under 5000 characters. Our database willreject any statement that exceeds this amount.

All nominations must be submitted by May 23, 2017.

To review the list of previous honorees and statements about their contributions, click here.

§  Americans for the Arts just launched a new Arts Mobilization Center—a hub for the information you need to advocate for the arts today. It contains messages that we have distributed, policy response statements Americans for the Arts has issued on key and timely topics, news articles that are useful, and important action steps for you to take now and in the weeks and months to come. Please visit the Arts Mobilization Center often—it will continue to grow each week with new tools and resources.

§  Diverse Community Development Networks Host People & Places 2017

What's working to advance prosperity in low-income places and communities of color? What strategies are effective in the new political landscape? Five national community development networks are convening People & Places 2017 on May 31 - June 2, 2017in Arlington, Virginia (minutes from DC) to share solutions and chart a path forward—the National Urban League, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations, and the Network for Developing Conscious Communities.

View the agenda for this peer-learning event. Topics include: ballot wins across the country and the organizing tactics behind them; local solutions to blight remediation, equitable development and asset growth; and strategies to address federal policies that threaten our communities. Participants will go to Capitol Hill to raise their voices on behalf of the communities they serve. 

Register now


Tech Talk

Arts U Learning Opportunity

Introduction to Digital Storytelling as a Community Arts Practice for Social Change
Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 3:00 PM Eastern

Since 1993, StoryCenter has collaborated with community arts practitioners and grassroots groups throughout the United States to situate first-person stories as central to progressive change efforts. As a preview of the more in-depth session on digital storytelling that the organization will offer at the Annual Americans for the Arts Convention in June, StoryCenter's Amy Hill is leading a one-hour introductory webinar. Hill will highlight the theoretical basis for working with personal stories as tools for change; provide an overview of StoryCenter's internationally-recognized Digital Storytelling Workshop methodology; and share case study examples of effective community arts and justice projects from the past several years.

As a result of attending the webinar, participants will understand the basic skills and requirements for leading successful community-based digital storytelling efforts and be able to identify best-practices for sharing digital stories in local settings, online, and through social media, to build understanding and compassion among viewers and mobilize them to action.

Note: this is a beginning level webinar, appropriate for organizations considering the use of digital storytelling as a community arts and advocacy tool.

Presenter: Amy Hill, Silence Speaks Director, StoryCenter

Upcoming Free Webinars

§  Effective Strategic Planning Part 2: Plan Development
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm Eastern

Strategic planning has a dicey reputation for any number of reasons:
1) it often is tedious and time-consuming;
2) the issues it identifies are either obvious or not critical to the mission (or both);
3) the actions it specifies are vague and unmeasurable;
4) it is ignored once the plan is written (or the written plan is never quite finished);
5) it simply adds tasks to an already over-stretched staff;
6) it has no results visible to stakeholders;
7) it does not advance your mission.

These problems are not inherent to strategic planning; they are signs that it has been done badly. This webinar will look at how a nonprofit can infuse its mission into the daily activity of staff and board through a straightforward, rigorous, and even morale-building process. It will offer both a structure and tools for planning.

- A framework and process for planning
- How to structure a mission-driven plan
- How to create an effective action plan
- What to share with whom and how

§  Is Your Nonprofit on Life-support or is it Sustainable for the Long-haul?
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm Eastern

Two nonprofits with similar missions: one is about to close it's doors and the other is vibrant and growing. Both have compelling missions and their staff and volunteers are passionate about what they are doing. The one which is failing received a huge legacy gift a few years ago but it wasn't enough to save it. So why do some nonprofit succeed and other's fail? This webinar will highlight the top twenty strategies any nonprofit can implement to ensure they continue to serve their communities for years to come. Based on the presenter's thirty years of experience as a nonprofit CEO and consultant, these field-tested strategies cover every aspect of your nonprofit's management.

§  3 Writing Strategies That Will Help You Raise More Money
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm Eastern

How confident do you feel about your writing? It's an important skill every non-profit professional should have at their disposal for fundraising. Writing that raises money is more for a science than an art, and this webinar will break down three important strategies that you can use in your writing to get better fundraising results.

- Learn 3 essential writing strategies that can help you raise more money
- Understand the biggest mistakes that fundraisers make when it comes to writing, plus how you can avoid them
- See before and after examples of writing that use these strategies
- Get answers to your questions about writing


Call for Spotlight Submissions

The SAANBox invites its readers to submit recommendations for future SAANBox Spotlight profiles!

We invite you to recommend an individual or program that does noteworthy work in arts and/or arts education advocacy at the state or local level to be highlighted in the SAANBox.

Please send all submissions to Lizzie Dorman at [email protected]. With your recommendations, please include a contact name and email address of the nominated individual and/or program for follow-up.






Washington, DC Office
1000 Vermont Avenue NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
202.371.2830 | F 202.371.0424

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.