Connecticut began 2019 with the inauguration of Governor Ned Lamont following an election in which CAA’s Create the Vote CT campaign encouraged candidates and voters to consider the impact of arts and culture on our towns and cities, schools, and economy. As a result of CAA’s efforts, the new Governor formed an Arts, Culture and Tourism Transition Policy Committee to present recommendations to his incoming administration.
Also this year, CAA kicked off its first membership campaign to support the organization and the arts and culture community throughout our state. By the end of the year, 60 Charter Members had joined CAA. The membership represents 25 towns and cities throughout Connecticut, all eight counties, and the artistic disciplines of dance, music, theater, visual arts, and arts education.
In March, CAA led a delegation of Connecticut artists, arts administrators, and advocates to Washington, D.C. for the Arts Action Summit and Arts Advocacy Day, hosted by Americans for the Arts. Our group visited the offices of both Senators and all five Representatives to advocate for increased funding for the NEA and arts-related legislation.
Connecticut’s own Arts, Culture and Tourism Advocacy Day was held in April, and over two hundred arts and tourism advocates attended. Among the accomplishments of the day, a unanimous vote to change the name of the legislative Tourism Caucus to the Arts, Culture and Tourism Caucus was a significant achievement for our industry.
In May, CAA hosted a reception for members and guests following Connecticut Arts Day , which was organized and operated by the Connecticut Office of the Arts, in New Haven. The day included special performances, panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and networking opportunities.
As Connecticut’s legislative session ended in June, CAA updated its members on General Assembly accomplishments . Calls to action and Federal legislative updates continued through the summer, and CAA published out-of-session advocacy tips in the fall.
Throughout the year, a significant project for CAA has been the development of a Strategic Plan. The plan’s actions—which include increasing fundraising, hiring a full-time executive director, changing the make-up of the board of directors, upgrading databases, developing state-wide educational campaigns, and establishing a sustainable business model—are aimed at positioning Connecticut Arts Alliance to ensure that the arts are valued as fundamental components of a vibrant, healthy, connected, and equitable Connecticut!