CT Arts Alliance Appoints New Administrator

Facebook logoThe Board of Directors of the Connecticut Arts Alliance (CAA) is pleased to announce that Darren Farrington has been appointed the first Administrator of the advocacy organization and has begun in the position this summer.

“I’m thrilled to have been selected as the first administrator for the CAA, and I’m prepared to take on the challenge of increasing the visibility, the efforts, and the impact of this organization in this new chapter of its history. It’s exciting to me too that this position combines my passion and experience in the arts with the advocacy skills I learned and used as an attorney.”

Farrington is a theater producer, director, and consultant who has worked in professional, community, and youth theaters for over two decades. Among the theaters and organizations that he has worked with are Manhattan Theatre Club, the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, the Warner Theatre in Torrington, and several small companies in New York City. Currently, he is Executive and Artistic Director of New Britain Youth Theater, and he will continue in that position while also with the CAA. As an arts management consultant, Farrington has worked with several Connecticut nonprofits independently and as an advisor for the Peer Advisor Network of the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

Farrington earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University School of the Arts in Theater Management and Production. He is also a non-practicing attorney with a degree from Fordham University School of Law, and his past practice included entertainment law, commercial litigation, and appeals. He received his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where his activities included serving as president of an extracurricular theater group and as mentor for bilingual inner-city children. Darren is a native of Litchfield County, where he again resides with his wife and daughter.

The CAA was founded in 2005 as an advocacy organization to ensure that the arts remain central to life in Connecticut. The organization strives to promote and underscore the value of all achievements of the arts industry and all of the ways in which the arts improve daily life for residents of the State. Among its most visible programs are assisting with workshops for the annual Connecticut Arts Day at the Capitol organized by the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and providing advocacy guidance and resources in concert with the Office of the Arts and regional arts service organizations. The Administrator will work with the CAA Board of Directors to foster public education and awareness of the arts, to increase funding for the arts, and to influence public funding decisions and actions that affect the arts.

48-Hour Advocacy Push to Save the State Arts Budget!

Join the Connecticut Arts Alliance in an important 48-hour advocacy push on June 5 and 6 in support of continued State arts funding. Please do what you can to take part, and please share this with other friends and supporters of the arts, encouraging them to participate too. Easy-to-follow instructions and a unified message appear below.

THE PLAN:
The budget process is no small challenge, but we cannot keep quiet for fear of very real damage to the arts sector in Connecticut.

CALL TO ACTION:
Please help the voice of the arts be heard by getting the message below to both the State’s Administration and the Legislature.

WHEN:
Please take this specific action during the 48 HOURS of June 5 & 6, 2017.

WHO:
For your convenience, a list of legislative and administrative leaders appears at the bottom of this message, along with their contact information.

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PLEASE GET THIS MESSAGE TO STATE GOVERNMENT LEADERS:

CT Arts Matter!

  • The CT FY18 & FY19 budgets MUST INCLUDE funding for the ARTS COMMISSION (the Connecticut Office of the Arts).

Without this funding, Connecticut will:

  • lose valued Federal Matching Funds
  • lose much needed state revenue

We ask that you:

  • Fund the State “Arts Commission” line (Connecticut Office of the Arts) which leverages vital Federal NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) matching funds.
  • Support maintaining total arts funding of $5,183,087 (less than 0.02% of the proposed budget)

And keep in mind:

  • For every State dollar invested in the Arts, $7 in state revenue is generated. The arts are good for Connecticut’s economy!
  • The arts sector employed over 57,000 people in the arts and cultural industries in 2014, which represented 3.4% of all employment in the state.  The arts industry led utilities and transportation in both compensation and employment.

Thank you for your consideration!

More information on the advocacy positions of the Connecticut Arts Alliance is on its website HERE.

More information on the impact of the arts on the economy is on the Office of the Arts website HERE.

PLEASE EMAIL OR CALL 4 OR MORE OF THOSE LISTED BELOW:

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

Governor Malloy   governor.malloy@ct.gov   860-566-4840
Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman   ltgovernor.wyman@ct.gov   860-524-7384
DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith   Catherine.Smith@ct.gov

AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP

Sen. Len Fasano   Len.Fasano@cga.ct.gov   860-240-8871
Sen. Martin Looney   Looney@senatedems.ct.gov   860-240-0375
Sen. Paul Formica   paul.formica@cga.ct.gov   860-240-8371
Sen. Cathy Osten   Catherine.Osten@cga.ct.gov   860-240-0579
Rep. Toni Walker   toni.walker@cga.ct.gov   860-240-8585
Sen. Joan Hartley   hartley@senatedems.ct.gov   860-240-0006
Sen. Craig Miner   Craig.Miner@cga.ct.gov   860-240-8816
Rep. Henry Genga   henry.genga@cga.ct.gov   860-240-8585
Rep. Ezequiel Santiago   ezequiel.santiago@cga.ct.gov   860-240-8585
Rep. Chris Soto   Chris.Soto@cga.ct.gov   860-240-8585
Rep. Melissa Ziobron   Melissa.Ziobron@housegop.ct.gov   860-240-8700

AND FIND YOUR OWN LEGISLATORS HERE!

 

Act Now #CT Arts Matter

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CAA Policy Statement Re: Proposed State Budget

Connecticut Arts Alliance 2017 POSITION STATEMENT

PERSPECTIVE ON the STATE BUDGET and the OFFICE OF THE ARTS

Call to Action:

Contact your legislators and request:

  • Support maintaining total arts funding of $5,183,087 (less than .02% of proposed budget)
  • Fund State “Arts Commission” (Connecticut Office of the Arts) which will leverage Federal NEA matching funds.

Activate constituents on social media to support arts funding – use #CTArtsMatter

Background Information and Supporting Data

Significant deductions in arts funding over the past ten years (over 50% in cuts from 2008 to 2017) have weakened the State’s cultural capacity and caused organizations to close, as well as eliminate jobs and programs.  Continued reductions to arts funding will further weaken the State’s cultural capacity at a time when it is most essential for near-term statewide economic recovery.   Decreasing funding will cause further loss of jobs and programs 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 increased out-of-state competition, and attract new innovative businesses and jobs.

  • Over 22 million people per year experience Connecticut’s cultural attractions.
  • The arts and culture sector generates $3.8 billion in gross state product
  • There is a 1 to 7 multiplier for every dollar arts organizations receive from state funding
  • Like for-profit entities, these organizations maximize limited resources to sustain and grow operations. Yet, they are rooted in Connecticut’s communities and will not relocate to take advantage of more desirable business incentives.
  • 9% out of state visitors say that cultural attractions are the primary reason for their visit.
  • Students involved with arts programs are three times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, high attendance, and participation in a math or science fair, and low-income students in arts programs are four times more likely to excel in these areas.
  • Connecticut’s arts and cultural organizations employ 40,000 people in 18,314 full-time equivalent jobs.

State Budget Recommendations:

To best support the social, cultural, educational and economic revitalization of Connecticut moving forward, the Board of CAA urges the General Assembly and the Administration to consider the following recommendations regarding the State Budget:

  1. Restore, over time, the total state arts funding to the levels of 2008 ($10,000,000) and to currently support total state arts funding at $5,183,087. This total prevents further cuts to the funding for arts and heritage line item organizations, as well as supports the Governor’s proposed increase of $554,217 to the Office of the Arts (“Arts Commission” line in the budget). This total also represents less than .02 % of the proposed State budget total.
  2. Support the Connecticut Office of the Arts (listed as “Arts Commission”) and its diverse initiatives. The “Arts Commission” is a 51-year old state agency that is currently under the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), and is referred to as the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA).  It administers grant-making programs and operational funding that are critical to overall health of the arts sector in Connecticut, and which bring in National Endowment for the Arts matching funds. In addition to grants, COA supports statewide arts education initiatives (including HOT Schools), professional development, workforce development, creative sector research, special projects focused on underserved and rural communities, poet laureate and state troubadour programs, and the Poetry Out Loud initiative.
  3. Change the way allocations are made from the Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund. CAA endorses Connecticut Bill 7226, which will enable the Arts Endowment Fund to operate more productively and more similarly to standard endowment funds at no additional expense to the state budget.
  1. Support state bonding to finance the capital improvement, restoration and modernization of cultural facilities.

 

 

Urge Congress to support the NEA

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Statement from National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu

Today we learned that the President’s FY 2018 budget blueprint proposes the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals of all ages in thousands of communities, large, small, urban and rural, and in every Congressional District in the nation.

We understand that the President’s budget request is a first step in a very long budget process; as part of that process we are working with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prepare information they have requested. At this time, the NEA continues to operate as usual and will do so until a new budget is enacted by Congress.

We expect this news to be an active topic of discussion among individuals and organizations that advocate for the arts. As a federal government agency, the NEA cannot engage in advocacy, either directly or indirectly. We will, however, continue our practice of educating about the NEA’s vital role in serving our nation’s communities.

 

 

Planning Strategies to Protect NEA

 

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.