Federal Legislation Update
Several pieces of Federal legislation are pending which will affect the creative sector. Our thanks to Americans for the Arts for providing these updates through our State Advocacy Captain, CAA Administrator Darren Farrington.
In June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed ten appropriations bills, including an Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Bill which increases National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funding each by $12.5 million to a total of $167.5 million each.Â The U.S. Senate may now begin to consider Appropriations bills. The proposed White House budget had eliminated funding for the NEA and NEH for the third consecutive year.
On August 1, Representative Joe Courtney (CT-2) and Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition will host an Arts, Culture and Humanities Federal Grants Forum. Representatives from the NEA, NEH, and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will present information about current grant programs and processes and criteria for applying. All Connecticut arts organizations are welcome, but space is limited, and registration is required. To register, visit www.culturesect.org.
This spring, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) reintroduced the Comprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy (CREATE) Act in both the U.S. Senate and House. Among the goals of the CREATE Act are â€œto assist entrepreneurs, support development of the creative economy, and encourage international cultural exchange.â€ As described by Americans for the Arts, â€œthe CREATE Act aims to more thoroughly serve the people, places, and programs that make our nationâ€™s creative economy prosper in all its cultural, social, and commercial forms.â€
In June, Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) introduced the Saving Transit Art Resources (STAR) Act. In 2015, Congress prohibited the use of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds for including art in transit projects. Further, by accepting FTA funds, local government funding is restricted as well. The STAR Act would â€œallow certain funds to be used for incremental costs of incorporating art into facilities, and for other purposes,â€ thereby giving local communities the option of including the arts in federally funded transit projects.
No Connecticut Senators or Representatives have yet signed on as co-sponsors of the STAR Act. Click here to contact them.
RISE from Trauma Act
Also in June, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the bi-partisan RISE from Trauma Act â€œto improve the identification and support of children and families who experience trauma.â€ Americans Arts worked with Sen. Durbinâ€™s staff to draft arts-focused language into the bill which would include state and local arts agencies among those eligible for support and which would add a new grant-making category to the NEAâ€™s authorizing language for â€œprojects, programs, and workshops that provide therapy and creative expression opportunities through the arts for children, and their families as appropriate, who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing trauma.â€
CAA will continue to provide updates on these and other Federal bills affecting the creative sector.