October 26, 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

§  In a SAANBox update, Cook County officials in Illinois announced on October 14 that rap, rock, and dance music performances by bands, MCs, and DJs would qualify as "fine art." As previously reported, two small capacity venues in Chicago received demand notices in late August from the Cook County Department of Revenue that their DJ-centric line-up did not meet the tax exemption qualifications of providing "live cultural performances" and that they owed hundreds of thousands in back taxes to the county.

There was much public outcry with the county's ruling; many clubs feared they would have to shut down if the tax exemption was taken away. In response, "Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey met with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's administration, representatives from the City of Chicago, and industry stakeholders to investigate these claims and get to the bottom of the issue." At the end of the investigation, the panel decided that if the ruling was enforced causing clubs to shut down that Chicago would experience a loss in cultural identity.

After October 14, small music venues featuring rap, rock, and dance music performances by bands, MCs, and DJs will continue to be exempt from a three percent tax on ticket sales. Commissioner Fritchey commented, "This agreement makes it clear that it was never the intent of the Administration for the County to play culture police and make decisions on what is, or isn't, music or art."

§  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on October 24 that he will match every dollar city aldermen spend on public art installations next year—with a total cap of $500,000—as part of a new neighborhood arts project. Every year, city aldermen receive $1.3 million in menu money to spend on ward projects such as street lights. Now, as part of the new 50x50 Neighborhood Arts Project, aldermen can spend up to $10,000 of this money for art installations. Mayor Emanuel will match each dollar from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events budget. Program guidelines for artists will be posted in January. In addition, the mayor is establishing the Public Art Youth Corps, which will be a paid internship program matching young adults with community organizations to work on public art projects.


SAANBox Ballot Initiative Watch

The SAANBox is keeping its eye on the following are the 2016 election ballot initiatives that contain explicit language for arts and culture funding support. If you have any to add to the list, please contact Lizzie Dorman.

§  Arizona

- Pima County

1) Sahuarita Unified School District—Proposition 451 & 452
The property tax levy would provide capital money for facility upgrades and repairs, safe and reliable school buses and security systems, as well as instructional resources including books, technology, fine arts, athletics, etc. for the next 7 years. The proposition came about due to an 85% reduction of state funding for school districts.

2) Vail Unified School District—Proposition 449
It is also known as the "12.5 percent Maintenance & Operations Budget Override Continuation." If approved, the levy will continue a budget override, originally passed voters in 2011, for the next 7 years. The funding would be used to maintain 100 teaching positions, reduce class sizes, provide tutoring, fine arts classes, and salary increases for teachers and non-administrative staff to reduce turnover.

§  California

- San Francisco County

1) City of San Francisco—Proposition S
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.

- East Bay County

1) Pittsburg Unified—Measure S
This levy would be a $91 annual tax per parcel for 7 years with annual inflation adjustments of $6. It would raise $1.3 million for district art, music, athletic programs and materials.

§  Colorado

- Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties

1) Denver Metro Area—Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD)
The SCFD, first authorized in 1988, is up for renewal by voters; it dedicates one-tenth of a 1% sales and use tax to cultural facilities throughout the seven-county Denver, Colorado metropolitan area. The SCFD has since been reauthorized twice in 1994 and 2004 respectively. If voters say yes in November, the SCFD funding will be renewed through 2030. The SCFD currently generates about $55 million a year.

§  Florida

- Pinellas County 

1) Pinellas County Schools Referendum
The Referendum is a renewal of a half-mill property tax that has previously been approved by voters in 2004, 2008, and 2012. The tax funds strengthen art and music programs, technology, and recruit and retain quality teachers. The Referendum currently brings in $36 million. 

§  Utah

- Utah County

1) City of Payson—PARC tax
This sales tax would enact one cent for every $10 spent for the next ten years. Funds raised would put toward parks, arts, recreation and culture.

2) City of Cedar Hills—Proposition 6
This ballot question will ask voters to renew a sales and use tax for Cultural Arts and Recreational Organizations or Facilities (CARE) that has been in place for the last 8 years. The sales tax will be a one-cent tax for every $10 spent in the city.


Bulletin Board

§  Americans for the Arts is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Public Leadership in the Arts awards for Mayor and Governor. Please note that two awards will be awarded—one to a mayor of a city with a population of 100,000 or more and another to a mayor of a city with a population of less than 100,000. 

In bullet format, please identify your nominee's community arts contributions, measurable impact on the arts and arts education, facts and figures of accomplishments, innovative style and leadership. To fill out an electronic nomination form, please click here.

All nominations must be submitted by December 2, 2016.

For more information or questions, please contact Jay Dick at [email protected].

§  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 throughout October!

§  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

§  The on-demand recording of Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg webinar, "Pre and Post-Election Activities for 501(c)3 Organizations" from October 19 is now available on ArtsU. The copy of Sen. Rosenberg's slide deck can be foundhere.

§  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.


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

New York City Office
One East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
212.223.2787 | F 212.980.4857

Visit Us Online:
[email protected]