The SAANBox - November 15, 2017


November 15, 2017




National Arts Action Summit: Arts Advocacy Day 2018
March 12-13, 2018
Grand Hyatt
Washington, DC

The 31st Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy
March 12, 2018
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Washington, DC

2018 Annual Convention
June 15 - 17, 2018

Hyatt Regency Denver
Denver, Colorado

National Arts Marketing Project Conference
November 9-12, 2018

The Westin Seattle
Seattle, Washington


SAAN Spring 2018 Meeting 
March 11, 2018 

Grand Hyatt
Washington, DC

SAAN 2018 Summer Meeting
June 15, 2018

Hyatt Regency Denver
Denver, Colorado

SAAN 2018 Fall Meeting 
November 1-3, 2018

Baltimore, MD


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




Federal News

Congress is acting quickly to pass federal tax reform bills through the House and Senate that would negatively impact charitable giving.

The U.S. House of Representatives is planning to vote this Thursday, November 16 on its tax reform bill. H.R.1. proposes the following changes to the tax code: severely limiting the charitable tax deduction only for itemizers; the repeal of the Historic Tax Credit; the exclusion of the Artist-Museum Partnership Act (H.R. 1830 and S. 1174); repeal for musical compositions and copyrights; proposed repeal of the estate tax in the next 5 years and an immediate doubling of tax exclusion; and State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction.

Then, on November 13, 2017, U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) unveiled the Senate version of the tax reform bill that includes the same restrictions on the charitable tax deduction to only the wealthiest 5% of taxpayers; charities could see a loss of up to $13.1 billion in contributions annually. Congress' own Joint Committee on Taxation projects that the House and Senate's newly envisioned tax structures would reduce charitable gifts that taxpayers deduct from their tax return by nearly $100 billion.

Many amendments have been filed such as the Stabenow-Wyden Amendment for a universal charitable deduction offered by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). In the House, Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) sponsored the Universal Charitable Giving Act.

Congress continues to move towards passing comprehensive tax reform before the end of the year. Tax reform of this scale has not occurred since 1986. For more information, please visit Americans for the Arts Mobilization Center.


Local News

Post the fatal clash of antifascist and white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville regarding a Confederate memorial to General Robert E. Lee in August 2017, an ongoing nationwide debate continues over how cities and communities handle the removal of controversial public monuments. 

New York City formed a committee that is reviewing the city's public statuary, plaques, and monuments. The committee's co-chairs are Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. Mayor Bill di Blasio appointed the commission in September and gave the committee 90 days to come up with "guidelines on how the city should address monuments seen as oppressive and inconsistent with the values of New York City."

Since then, the committee posted an online survey for the public to weigh in in how to handle controversial monuments. The city's committee is now organizing a series of public meetings, one in each of the city's five boroughs, to take place to have an open community-driven dialogue.

Commissioner Finkelpearl commented: "Our public spaces belong to New Yorkers, and their input is crucial to the monuments commission's work. As we develop guidelines around public art and monuments, we need to hear their thoughts on the best way to foster public spaces that reflect who we are as New Yorkers. Through these public hearings and our online survey, we're making sure this important conversation is grounded in the ideas, thoughts and concerns of the people who call our city home."



The Kenneth Rainin Foundation announced on November 7, 2017 that it will provide $3 million in funding to acquire 100,000 square feet of space for arts groups by the end of 2018. The three-year grant is part of the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), a nonprofit group that was started in 2013 to protect San Francisco Bay Area arts and cultural organizations from displacement. The funding will allow CAST to expand and prioritize its work in Oakland to create permanently affordable spaces for arts organizations. The grant will also help CAST continue its work in San Francisco. CAST's earliest undertaking was securing permanent and affordable spaces for two San Francisco arts organizations: The Luggage Store Gallery and CounterPulse.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf commented, "Our artists and cultural organizations are increasingly vulnerable to displacement due to Oakland's rising real estate costs. As Oakland grows and changes, one of my key priorities is to keep Oakland's creative voices as a significant and vital presence in our city."


SAANBox Recommended Read


Check out the "Review of Evidence: Arts Integration Research Through the Lens of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)" written by Meredith J. Ludwig, Andrea Boyle, and Jim Lindsay of the American Institutes for Research, which was financially supported by the Wallace Foundation. This report scours research on activities that use arts to improve student achievement—an approach known as arts integration—and identifies those that qualify for federal education funding.


Bulletin Board

§  Thank you to all SAAN members who attended the Fall 2017 meeting in Denver, CO! Please provide your feedback to the meeting by completing this brief survey. Meeting materials will soon be available on the SAAN members-only page.

§  To learn more about Americans for the Arts' State Policy Pilot Program Briefing and Summit on November 3, 2017 in Denver, CO, please visit the recorded livestream presentations here, and read the final report and state case studies here.

§  Join us in Washington, D.C. for Arts Advocacy Day 2018 and the 31st Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy on March 12-13, 2018!
Arts Advocacy Day brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations along with more than 700 arts advocates from across the country to experience one day of intensive advocacy training from the experts followed by a full day of meetings on Capitol Hill with members of Congress. Registration begins December 5, 2017.

For more information, check out Be sure to check out the Arts Advocacy Day 2017 wrap-up page to see photos, watch videos, and access valuable advocacy resources.   

§  Americans for the Arts is now hiring in its Washington, D.C. office!Please share the following open positions with your community and networks. The open positions are:

Arts Marketing Programs Manager [Close Date: Open Until Filled]
Local Arts Advancement Programs Manager [Close Date: Open Until Filled]


Tech Talk

Upcoming Events from ArtsU

§  Virtual Conversation: How Arts Vibrant Is Your Community?
Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 3:00pm Eastern

Healthy communities have healthy arts communities. Learn about NCAR's Arts Vibrancy Index which ranks more than 900 communities across the country, examining the level of supply, demand, and government support for the arts in each city. Find out where your community falls on the related Heat Map, with rank scores on all measures for every U.S. county. Understand what makes a city vibrant in the arts and the different elements that come into play to foster that vibrancy. Discuss how communities can boost vibrancy and why it matters to their overall health.
Presenter: Zannie Voss (Director, National Center for Arts Research)

§  Member Briefing: Arts & Education Policy
Monday, November 27, 2017 at 3:00pm Eastern

Hear directly from Jeff Poulin, Arts Education Program Manager about the latest in arts ed policy at all levels. Join us for this members only 30 minute call to discuss the latest updates, implications for arts, and what you can do to support Arts Ed. 

If you will be viewing the live event on your ipad or iphone you will need to download the MobileMeetings APP By E-STREAM.COM, Inc. and enter the meeting number: 775248.
Presenter: Jeff Poulin (Arts Education Program Manager, Americans for the Arts)
Moderator: Bridget Woodbury (Membership Marketing Coordinator, Americans for the Arts)

§  Webinar: Tools of the Trade—What Happens After A Disaster? Help Self-Employed Artists And More
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 3:00pm Eastern

Recent disasters including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the wildfires in California underscore the need to support and strengthen our national recovery framework, including tool recovery for self-employed workers, such as musicians, carpenters, landscapers, and craft artists.

For several years, CERF+, the nation's leading nonprofit organization focused on safeguarding artists' livelihoods, has been pursuing a change in FEMA regulations to allow self-employed workers to be eligible for tool replacement under FEMA's Other Needs Assistance. Current FEMA regulations explicitly state that self-employed workers are ineligible for this important assistance. To be clear, we are talking about workers who work alone or with one or two assistants, such as musicians, carpenters, surveyors, photographers, craft artists, and more.

Small businesses of a larger scale are often better served by current Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance. But, individual workers tend to fall through the crack between SBA and FEMA assistance. They often receive no help at all. After a disaster, we know that it is imperative that workers quickly secure the tools they need to earn a living so they can salvage their businesses. Data shows that this would also be a cost-saving measure for the government by enabling self-employed workers to get back to work more quickly and stay off public assistance during disaster recovery.

Join this webinar to learn more about this work, the problem, the solution (which is included in legislation pending before Congress: Section 108 of the CREATE Act, S.661/H.R.1649), and how you can help!

Learning Objectives:
1) Learn about the work that's occurred
2) Understand the problem & situation, and how artists are impacted
3) Find out how you can help enact change

Presenters: Ann S. Graham (Executive Director, Texans for the Arts) and Craig Nutt (Adviser on Policy and Government Relations, CERF+)

Free Nonprofit Webinars from Network for Good

§  #NFGTips: Writing Your Best Fundraising Appeal
Tuesday, November 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm Eastern

To create an effective year-end appeal, you must deliver a compelling message to your donors. Join us for a free 30-minute webinar where you can discover the best way to tell your nonprofit's story and write an appeal letter that inspires donors to give big.

§  Nonprofit 911: The Procrastinator's Guide to End of Year Fundraising
Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 1:00pm Eastern

Hello year-end fundraising! December 31 will be here before we know it. Forget how many shopping days we have left. What about your year-end fundraising campaign? Did all your efforts to plan early fall short? We've got your back. Join us and our special guest Rachel Muir, CFRE, for the procrastinator's survival guide to year-end fundraising. This webinar is loaded with last-minute tips to boost your final fundraising push of 2017.

We'll cover the low-hanging fruit, including:
- How to simplify your donation form.
- How to increase online donations.
- How to develop a thank you landing page that makes your donors feel like heroes.
- Email autoresponders that reinforce your campaign.
- The number-one underused, inexpensive tool to ask for year-end gifts and ask scripts.


SAANBox Note

The final SAANBox issue of the year will be on December 13, 2017. The SAANBox will return in the New Year on January 10, 2018.






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