Arts Groups Draft Battle Plans

CT Arts Alliance Seeks Administrator

CAA Administrator Description

Part-time: 16-20 hours/mo. or roughly 240 hours annually maximum (2017 would be for 9 mos. or 140 hrs max.)

Reports to the CAA Board President

  1. I) Administration
  • Provide administrative support to President for material related to board meetings
  • Work with Treasurer to develop and track budget
  • Coordinate strategic planning with board
  • Monitor and update website
  • Report to grantees
  • Interface with cultural and nonprofit partners, and state and national advocacy organizations
  1. II) Arts Day
  • Help formulate and implement follow through to Arts Day 2017 in coordination with the CT Office of the Arts
  • In concert with CT Office of the Arts and other partners, coordinate Arts Day 2018 with a goal of increased engagement and participation levels and partnerships

III) Membership

  • Build membership program and work with DRSO’s to implement
  • Coordinate Calls to Action eblasts, etc.

Qualifications

Excellent communications skills; knowledge of electronic communications using email service providers; proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Excel; strong time management and organization skills; ability to work with a diverse group of professionals; experience with nonprofit organizations necessary. Remote position.

Because this is a new position, scope of duties may change according to organization’s needs.

TO APPLY

Please submit your resume and cover letter by March 3rd to: awhitford03@gmail.com.

Federal Funding Update from NEFA

NEFA Blog post

Save the Date: Connecticut Arts Day March 2, 2017 Hartford

Register Now!f3f60193-3598-4a59-b3e0-400aec51b911

March 22, 2016

FIRST ARTS DAY AT THE CAPITOL IN 20 YEARS A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS

image001A crowd of more than 350 arts workers, arts advocates, high-school students, performers, legislators and government officials celebrated the power of the arts to transform individual lives and stimulate the state’s economy at the first CT Arts Day in 20 years. Kristina Newman-Scott, Director of Culture for the State of CT, pushed for the concept of this gathering and rallied the indefatigable team at the Office of the Arts to make it happen.  The Office of the Arts collaborated with other organizations, including the Connecticut Arts Alliance and the nine regional cultural councils in the state.

“One of the outstanding and unforgettable aspects of this day-long gathering was hearing passionate testimony from our elected representatives about the transformative power of the arts,” stated Kristina Newman-Scott. From DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith to Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, who declared March 2nd CT Arts Day permanently, to Senators Beth Bye, Bob Duff, Tony Hwang, Representatives Robyn Porter and Matt Ritter – all testified to the power of the arts in their lives, to the arts being significantly instrumental in the state’s economy, and to the critical importance of intensifying the presence of the arts in our schools. Representative Roberta Willis also spoke up during a panel discussion, emphasizing the importance of the arts and how the regional cultural councils keep their communities connected with the arts.  Lt. Gov. Wyman in particular strongly endorsed the concept of STEAM (adding the arts to STEM curriculum).

Jay Dick from the Americans for the Arts in Washington DC spoke to the crowd about the economic impact of the arts, pointing out that the arts sector is the second, only to government, in Connecticut regarding number of employees.  Artist Titus Kaphar shared his story of struggling through the educational system only to bloom later as a successful artist graduating from Yale.  Theo Edmunds, co-founder of Ideas  XLab, gave the keynote address, which was sponsored by Cigna, at the end of the day, relaying instances when artists have made an impact in various non-arts industries and sectors.

Two workshops – one on advocacy and one on economic impact – were standing room only.  There were performances sprinkled throughout the scheduled gatherings, including dance, poetry, song, and theater.  There were different speed-presentations given by artists and organizations in three groups of six from throughout the state, telling with slide-shows, stories of how they approached transformative community projects and programs.  In addition to the scheduled activities, attendees networked with one another and found information about the Office of the Arts, the Office of Preservation, the CT Arts Alliance and the nine regional cultural councils.

Connecticut Arts Day was presented by the CT Office of the Arts in collaboration with the Connecticut Arts Alliance, Arts Council of Greater New Haven, Arts & Culture Collaborative of Waterbury, Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, Shoreline Arts Alliance,   Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, and Windham Arts.

OP-Ed piece from the Danbury News Times
http://www.newstimes.com/opinion/article/Ted-Killmer-Moving-the-arts-from-nice-to-6886304.php

Connecticut Arts Day

The Connecticut Office of the Arts in partnership with our nine Designated Regional Service Organizations, The Culture and Tourism Advisory Committee, The Connecticut Arts Council and the Connecticut Arts Alliance is organizing the first State hosted Arts Day in over a decade. Connecticut Arts Day, “Moving the Arts from Nice to Necessary” will be held on March 2, 2016, 9 a.m – 4 p.m., and will bring together a broad cross section of policy makers, arts, cultural and creative industry organizations and individuals from across Connecticut to the State Capitol.

The Connecticut Office of the Arts has been investing in Connecticut’s arts economy for over 50 years and this is your opportunity to join us to celebrate the significant role that the arts have and continue to play in our state.

Registration is now open, however, space is limited so please reserve your tickets early. Click here to register

January 7, 2016

FEDERAL FUNDING VICTORIES 

December brought some great federal funding news.   Thanks to Americans for the Arts for this update:

The budget for the NEA was increased to $147.949 million – to the President’s request. Earlier this year, both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House proposals were to level-fund the NEA for the fifth year in a row, but the success of the 2-year budget agreement to “raise the caps” enabled additional funding to reach the agency.

The budget for the U.S. Department of Educations’ Arts in Education program also increased to $27 million—a $2 million increase. In recent years this program had received level-funding and had also seen proposals for termination, but arts advocates once again made the case and in the next authorization beginning in Fiscal Year 2017, it continues under the “Assistance for Arts Education” program enacted under ESSA- the Every Student Succeeds Act, now signed into law.

On charitable giving, the non-profit arts community has been pursuing making permanent the IRA Charitable Rollover for over decade. Permanence will give certainty and spur new and increased charitable donations to social service programs, religious organizations, arts and culture institutions, schools, healthcare providers, and the full array of nonprofits that serve Americans every day. The eligibility in the agreement is the same as previous law: 70 ½ years of age and a maximum of up to $100,000 given directly to a charity of choice per taxpayer in any tax year.

December 21, 2015

Deficit Mitigation Agreement Reached

On December 1, 2015 the legislature passed a $350 million state budget deficit mitigation agreement. The Governor had proposed a plan that included drastic cuts to the arts sector (eliminating all line item allocations to arts and culture organizations), but the approved legislative plan made less severe, across-the-board-cuts of 5% to the arts grants in the Arts Office budget as well as direct service agreements. These cuts fall on the heels another 5% rescission made by Governor earlier in the fall.

DECD cuts can be found on pgs.  7- 10 of the bill
https://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/TOB/s/pdf/2015SB-01601-R00-SB.pdf

Good News for Arts Education
On December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law by President Obama, replacing No Child Left Behind. This new law is a victory for arts education retaining the arts as a “core academic subject”  This definition has been critical to helping bring time and resources to arts education in schools—and help close the gaps in access to a complete education for every child that includes the arts. Additionally the law includes the following provisions:

Dedicated funding for arts education through the “Assistance for Arts Education” grant program
Inclusion of the arts in the “Well-Rounded Education” definition with over a dozen references in the bill ensuring, among other things, that the arts continue to be eligible for Title I funds—the largest federal funding source to local educational agencies and schools.
Integration of the arts in STEM programs – recognized in the field as “STEM to STEAM”

Connecticut Arts Day planned for March 2, 2016
The Connecticut Office of the Arts, in partnership with the Connecticut Arts Alliance and our 9 regional service organizations, are planning to bring back Connecticut Arts Day at the Capitol on March 2nd, 2016. The last time this event took place was in 2002! Anyone interested in our Arts and Cultural Sector are invited to attend Arts Day to celebrate and underscore the importance of investing in Connecticut’s Arts and Cultural landscape to our legislators.

April 6, 2015

How the Tax Code Hurts Artists
April 1st editorial from the NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/01/opinion/how-the-tax-code-hurts-artists.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

March 3, 2015

Connecticut  Arts Alliance (CAA) Response to 2016-17 Governor’s Budget Proposal as of March  2, 2015

PERSPECTIVE ON GOVERNOR’S 2016-17 BIENNIUM BUDGET and the OFFICE OF THE ARTS
The CAA monitors trends in state funding in annual competitive grant programs, the availability of arts funding for operating support, and legislative designated funds for specific arts organizations.  The CAA also collectively and individually assists and advises the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)/Office of the Arts and participates in various arts-related committees.  We are familiar with the State budget process and recognize that the Governor’s Budget Proposal is also an invitation for legislative and public dialogue resulting in a final document that reflects the best interests of all parties in these difficult times.  While there is much to be alarmed about in this Budget Proposal, it is an opportunity for the arts sector and their constituents and partners, along with the legislative and executive branches, to more deeply deliberate and specifically allocate State resources for the final budget.

The Numbers
In this Governor’s administration, Arts, Culture, and Tourism funding is subsumed under the Department of Economic Development comprising about 53% of the DECD’s annual budget.  The Governor’s proposed budget cuts   Arts, Culture and Tourism by about 32% from the previous year, about $7.6 million dollars.  The Arts and Culture sectors in aggregate are being cut 40%.  The total DECD budget is proposed to decrease by 20%.  However, 88% of that decrease is on the backs of arts, cultural and tourism agencies and institutions.

In addition, the Governor’s DECD budget proposes to eliminate almost all legislatively-designated grants (Line Items), a total of $9.5 million in annual grants for major anchor institutions in every major cultural community throughout the State – except for the Amistad Vessel.   This does not even include the total elimination of the $2,049,752 budget for the CT Humanities Council, a critical partner and anchor for the arts, culture, tourism and education sectors.

The Governor’s budget proposes a reduction by about 16% off all arts funding, by eliminating $4.9million in legislatively-designated grants, and increasing the Arts Commission line item allocation by $3.9 million. The arts sector has on average been flat-funded since 2004.  The total funding for the Arts in the current year is 34% less than in FY2008.   In the Governor’s proposed budget the arts would receive 43% less than 2008.

The current arts funding of $6.7 million is .03% (3/100ths of 1%) of the entire State operating budget. The arts sector has operated extremely efficiently in very difficult times.  There reaches a point where once the financial oxygen becomes so depleted, long-term damage occurs, with multiplying negative effects on every aspect of the economic, educational and cultural quality of life of the state.

This budget proposes significant reductions to arts funding that will weaken the State’s cultural capacity at a time when it is most essential for near-term statewide economic recovery.   Decreasing and even flat funding will cause organizations to close, and jobs and programs to be eliminated at a time when cultural assets are critical tools to help protect the quality-of-life safety net, provide critical educational support for public schools, strengthen tourism in the face of increase out-of-state competition, and attract new innovative businesses and jobs.

The Office of the Arts
CAA as an organization and its member institutions have worked hard to support the staff, policy-making and program management of the Office of the Arts since it lost its status as a Commission of the Arts and became a smaller office when it was folded into DECD.   The arts sector recognizes the difficulties the Office of the Arts has faced coping with wholesale changes in policies and programs, with a $1.8 million arts budget.  In discussions with the Commissioner of DECD, it has been asserted that the Office of the Arts will not be seeing any additions beyond its currently skeletal staff.  In fact, the Office of the Arts will require even greater support and assistance from the CAA, the state’s regional arts councils, and the very institutions whose funds are once again being cut if not altogether eliminated in this proposed budget.  Wholesale change in the redistribution of dwindling appropriations at a time of fiscal austerity is most likely unwise and counterproductive.

PRIORITY RECOMMENDATIONS for 2016-17 Budget
To best support the social, cultural, educational and economic revitalization of Connecticut in 2016-17, the Board of CAA urges the General Assembly  to consider these following recommendations regarding the Biennial Budget:

1. Maintain the funding for the state-designated competitive grant programs in the Arts Commission to at least the current amount of $1.8 million.  Significant increases for Arts Commission granting are desired if sufficient COA staff and professional policy direction is provided.

2. Ensure that Arts Commission grant-making policies are consistent, fair and comprehensive and support and preserve existing cultural assets while allowing for new initiatives, with the necessary staff resources to best manage its grant-making and arts services.

3. Maintain support for legislatively designated annual funds for arts producing, presenting and service organizations by returning the $4.8 million in arts line items cut in the Governors’ Budget.  These arts line items maximize the efficiency, consistency, and impact of these grants in service to the public. Line items and Arts Commission grants are essential complements of the State funding policy.

4. Protect the Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund.  Allocate the previously authorized investments into the fund, and return to investing annually at least $500,000 a year. The last allocation to increase the fund was in 2003 in the amount of $1 million.

5.  Support state bonding to finance the capital improvement, restoration and modernization of cultural facilities.

6.  Expand on new joint arts-in-education initiatives and partnerships between the Department of Education and arts and cultural institutions to increase student achievement and educational excellence in the State’s public schools.


THE CONNECTICUT ARTS ALLIANCE (CAA)
is the leading statewide nonprofit arts advocacy organization seeking to broaden public and private understanding of and support for Connecticut arts and cultural policies and funding.  CAA is firmly committed to the critical importance of arts and cultural resources in attracting and retaining jobs and business investment, building vibrant communities, and nurturing student creativity and innovation in our schools.

Our priorities are aligned with the National Governors’ Association, which states “arts and culture are important to state economies.  Arts and culture-related industries, also known as ‘creative industries,’ provide direct economic benefits to states and communities.  They create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies through tourism and consumer purchases.”

The rich array of Connecticut arts and cultural organizations, together with the contribution of individual artists and the creative industries, contributes significantly to the vitality of communities large and small.  Over 22 million people per year experience Connecticut’s cultural attractions.  The arts and culture sector generates 3.8 billion in gross state product annually.  Like for-profit entities, these organizations maximize limited resources to sustain and grow operations.  But unlike their private counterparts, they are rooted in Connecticut’s communities and will not relocate to take advantage of more desirable business incentives or lower labor costs.  Connecticut’s arts and cultural organizations that employ 40,000 people – 18,314 full-time equivalent jobs – will contribute significantly to Connecticut’s revitalization long into the future