The SAANBox - October 13, 2016


October 13, 2016




National Arts Marketing Project Conference
November 11-14, 2016

Hilton Austin
Austin, Texas

Arts Advocacy Day
March 20–21, 2017 
Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, DC

2017 Annual Convention
June 16 - 18, 2017

Hilton San Francisco Union Square
San Francisco, California


SAAN Spring Meeting
March 19, 2017

Washington, DC

SAAN Summer Meeting
June 15, 2017

San Francisco, CA


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




State and Local News

§  Arizona is the first state to make its draft state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) open to the public and is seeking public input. Arizona Department of Education Public Information Officer Charles Tack stated "the reauthorization of ESSA was the start of a movement to return as much control to the states and communities when it comes to educational systems." In addition, Expect More Arizona Chief Operating Officer Erin Hart commented that state report cards under ESSA will be more robust with features such as dual enrollment, career and technical education, advanced placement classes, and international baccalaureate classes being assessed and graded. The Arizona Department of Education plans to utilize the rest of 2016 finalizing its consolidated state plan and will submit it to the U.S. Education Department in January 2017. To see Arizona's draft state plan, click here.

§  On October 11, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson attended the inaugural dedication ceremony for the El Dorado Arts & Entertainment District and presented two checks – one of which was for $5 million from the State of Arkansas. In 2014, El Dorado citizens voted to approve the City of El Dorado Economic Development Tax to raise funds for the new arts and entertainment district. In addition to the state's contribution, it was announced last week that over $65.5 million of the over $80 million needed for the arts district has been raised in donations and pledges from Murphy Oil, Murphy USA, The Walton Family Foundation, The Murphy Foundation, Deltic Timber Corp., as well as individual donors. During the ceremony, Governor Hutchinson commented, "I'm glad the state can participate [by contributing for the arts district]. It's important to partner with the state."

El Dorado Festivals & Events, Inc. Chief Operating Office Austin Barrow stated that the El Dorado Arts & Entertainment District will connect the educational part of El Dorado and South Arkansas Community College to the historical downtown district with a six-block area creating the theater complex. Barrow announced that Phase I of the district—which includes repurposing the Griffin Building for a restaurant, cabaret, and a concert hall—will be complete by September 2017.

§  In Texas, the Austin City Council voted in favor on October 6 to require arts organizations that receive public money to work with labor unions. The majority of the city council passed the proposal with Council Members Don Zimmerman and Sheri Gallo dissenting and Council Member Ora Houston abstaining.

The issue came before the city council when stage hands at the Zach Theater testified that the theater was discouraging stagehands from unionizing by cutting hours and having uniforms changed, along with claims that a manager had told employees not to sign cards to organize. 

The proposed changes to the city's cultural services agreement will require organizations that take city money or use city property to recognize any labor organization designated via a card-check method and cooperate with it. If not, they could lose funding in future years. In February 2017, the Austin City Council will determine the consequences for organizations that do not comply.



SAANBox Recommended Reads: Social Justice

§  Massachusetts - Artists Ann Hirsch and Jeremy Angier created "SOS" (Safety Orange Swimmers), a public art piece of 22 bright orange figures clutching rafts in South Boston's Fort Point Channel. The artists said it is meant to recall the immigrant history of America and Boston, and to confront the refugee crisis facing the world today.

§  New Jersey - In a public and private partnership, the Elizabeth Youth Theater Ensemble, The Office of Youth, and HBO's Corporate Social Responsibility will implement "Walking the Beat: REmixing the Ritual" — an on-going arts-in-education residency with students from the Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy fromOctober 18 – December 16, with a community presentation on Saturday, December 17, 2016. The production will be a collaboration between local police officers and high school students to create a multimedia theatrical production on social justice issues. The program is also made possible with support by Mayor J. Christian Bollwage and Police Director James Cosgrove. To learn more about "Walking the Beat: REmixing the Ritual," click here.



Bulletin Board

§  Want to help spread the good word about National Arts and Humanities Month?

#ShowYourArt is a social media campaign designed to engage arts advocates on local, state, and national levels, and to bring awareness of National Arts and Humanities Month to the public. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to share images on Instagram (be sure to tag @americans4arts and use #showyourart). We'll repost some of our favorites throughout the month.

This year, the campaign will feature a unique theme every day in October, such as "dance," "art in your town," "tattoos," and many more. Share the theme graphic and challenge yourself, your friends, or your community members to post on as many different themes as you can! Join the fun on Instagram starting today!

§  New pARTnership Movement Tool-Kit: Partnering with Chambers of Commerce!
How does your mission align with that of your local chamber of commerce, and how can you partner to benefit the arts, business, and community development sectors? A new tool-kit from the pARTnership Movement, based off of interviews with several practitioners in the field, examines how your peers have formed working relationships with their local chambers, and outlines concrete steps and tips for doing the same in your community. Click here to read more

§  The 30th Annual Arts Advocacy Day will take place this spring on March 20–21, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Arts Advocacy Day is the largest conference of its kind and is the time to make your voice heard on Capitol Hill. Registration will launch in December. 

In the meantime, check out the highlights from Arts Advocacy Day 2016 and sign up to stay informed about legislative updates and opportunities to take action.

We look forward to seeing you in March 2017!



Tech Talk

ArtsU Learning Opportunities

§  Arts Advocacy Best Practices with Senator Stan Rosenberg: Pre and Post-Election Activities for 501(c)3 Organizations
Wednesday, October 19 at 3:00 pm ET

Join Americans for the Arts Fellow Senator Stan Rosenberg, President of the Massachusetts Senate as he discusses what arts organizations should be doing to prepare for the November elections. Senator Rosenberg will overview pre and post-election activities and highlight what election activities 501(c)3 organizations can legally engage in. The session will be moderated by Jay Dick, Americans for the Arts' Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs.

§  National Creative Conversation on Facebook
Tuesday, October 25 at 9:00 pm ET

October is National Arts & Humanities Month! Celebrate with us and join our National Creative Conversation on Facebook. This is your chance to connect and chat with other arts advocates across the country about the arts in our communities. The hour-long conversation will be driven by a series of questions around the topic "Where are the arts popping up in your community?"

To join the conversation simply register through the event page and visit it on October, 25 at 9:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm PT.

Learn more about National Arts & Humanities Month and how you can get involved

§  The CREATE Act: Artists, Entrepreneurs, and the Creative Economy
Wednesday, November 2 at 3:00 pm ET

Introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) at Art Advocacy Day on March 8th 2016, theComprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy (CREATE) Act aims to more thoroughly serve the people, places, and programs that make our nation's creative economy prosper in all its cultural, social, and commercial forms. Through minor adjustments to existing federal programs, the legislation takes steps to better invest in our country's workforce and creative industries, while empowering the entrepreneurial spirit of artists and encouraging their role as contributors to the small business community. Join this webinar to learn more about this bill, its implications and next steps in the legislative process.

Attendees will learn more about the provisions in the CREATE Act and how the bill seeks to empower artists and those in the creative economy across the country. Attendees will also learn how they can take action from home to encourage legislative movement on the bill.

§  The 2016 Election: What's Next?
Monday, November 21 at 3:00 pm ET
Americans for the Arts Government Affairs staff will provide a comprehensive analysis of federal, state, and local election results and discuss their impact on the future of the arts and arts education in the nation.



Spotlight: Sofia Klatzker


This week's SAANBox Spotlight features Sofia Klatzer (Executive Director, Arts for LA). Sofia is on the boards of Californians for the Arts andCalifornia Arts Advocates; she is the new State Arts Action Network representative for California. The following Spotlight is in Sofia's own words.

"Growing up in Los Angeles, I was raised to give back to my community, fight injustice, and celebrate the people in my life. In our family, the arts are not separate from how we live, but integrated into every aspect of our lives. While I cannot think of any single moment that pushed me into advocacy, the opportunities my parents made available for me to be part of the Los Angeles arts world as a young child deeply impact how I look at the work I get to do now.

I returned to Los Angeles 16 years ago, after my time as an undergraduate at Oberlin and moving to San Francisco in the late 90's to start a media company.

I have been the Executive Director at Arts for LA for the past 18 months. Prior to working in the nonprofit advocacy sector, I spent over a decade building a career in public arts administration at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. During that time, I had the distinct privilege of growing from a Program Coordinator focused on arts education into the Director of Grants and Professional Development for the entire arts commission, all of which provided me a deep understanding of the challenges facing the nonprofit arts sector as well as the triumphs and achievements we have made over the past decade. While at the LA County Arts Commission, I witnessed the formalization of Arts for LA into a separate nonprofit agency focused on advocating for arts and culture across LA County. This was also around the time I first became involved as a board member of California Arts Advocates and eventually Californians for the Arts.

At Arts for LA we are primarily focused on three programs this season – the launch of our third year of ACTIVATE, Arts for LA's innovative 9-month advocacy leadership training program; surveying all 80 candidates running in local elections for the November 8 election; and planning for our upcoming Convergence conference on November 3 focused on the theme "Amplifying Our Voices." As a catalyst for cross-sector conversations and collaboration, the LA Convergence will leverage storytelling as a way to articulate problems as well as to envision solutions. Our keynote speakers are Academy Award nominated filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña and poet and performer Mayda Del Valle.

When I came into this position last year, I wanted to expand our City of Los Angeles-focused legislative visits and city hall chamber presentation into a Countywide event. We transformed ArtsDay into ArtsWeek, three days of civic engagement. Last April, for the first time, we had the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors declare it Arts Week, followed by the City of Los Angeles declaring it Arts Day accompanied by the majority of city council members publicly stating the importance of the arts and their support. The third day of Arts Week focused on social media outreach to elected officials and resulted in over 1 million impressions. ArtsWeek concluded with my keynote on the state of the arts at a statewide conference. In the weeks following this advocacy activity, the City of LA supported an increased number of positions requested by the Department of Cultural Affairs, and one of the County Supervisors proposed an increase in support for arts education.  ArtsWeek demonstrated how powerful a little organization of four people can be when our constituents are organized and engaged. 

For advocates, we need to pace ourselves to build strong relationships with decision-makers over time and also have a large enough network of activated people who can respond quickly when we need to take action. I would remind us that the building of relationships is our most powerful tool, and that we in the arts are often the best equipped to build real connections through our shared arts and cultural experiences.

My background is as a pianist and composer, as well as an amateur print maker. Visual arts and music are the heart of my home, and when my daughter was born I picked up the ukulele for fun. Recently we were joking at work that I need a car ukulele, so that when I am in traffic, or early for that next meeting, I can take a moment to make some music before I head into a conversation about why what we do is so important."





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