Arts activist group Americans for the Arts is at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., this week lobbying for the creative industries and providing a voice for nonprofit arts organizations at the convention, The Art Newspaper reports. Today, Americans for the Arts will hold a panel titled “ArtsSpeak,” at which politicians and activists, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, will consider the significance of arts education, the funding of the National Endowment for the Arts and the beneficial influence that arts jobs have on local economies.
Along with Madeleine Albright, the panel will present CEO of Duke Energy Jim Rogers (who is also the DNC committee co-chair), and Bernie Williams of the New York Yankees, among many other politicians and arts activists both from North Carolina and across the country.
From the story:
Federal and state arts spending has declined in the past decade. As the Pew Center on the States notes, state arts agencies have reduced funding by 37% since 2001. However, Americans for the Arts has been campaigning based on statistics that say arts-related jobs have a positive impact on local economies, and Pew says that it “is beginning to pay off”. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies estimates that state arts funding has increased 8.8% this financial year compared with 2011. The group has also produced a study that says the industry generates $135.2bn of economic activity every year. In June, the Republican-controlled House put forward a bill that would cut the NEA’s funding by $14m to $132m. But, according to the congressional staffer, “it’s unofficially known around [Washington] that the bill will never come to the House floor”. The House will probably pass a resolution this autumn extending the NEA’s current funding levels into 2013.
And the timing is great for an appearance by Ms. Albright, as the Mint Museum in Charlotte is the current host of the traveling exhibition “Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection,” which presents more than 200 pins, many of which were worn by Ms. Albright during her diplomatic tenure to convey a particular message or mood.