March News

Arts Advocates gather in Speaker Pelosi's office during the National Arts Action Summit in Washington D.C.

Arts Advocates gather in Speaker Pelosi’s office during the National Arts Action Summit in Washington D.C.

March 2019

Dear Friends,

When was the last time you met with your representative and shared why you think the arts matter? Last week we participated in the National Arts Action Summit in Washington D.C. presented by Americans for the Arts. Brad Erickson, CFTA treasurer and Director of Theatre Bay Area and Executive Director Julie Baker led a delegation of ten eager advocates to eighteen meetings on Capitol Hill including a meeting in Speaker Pelosi’s office. We asked Congress to support an FY 2020 budget of $167.5 million (an increase of $12.5 million each) for both the NEA and NEH.

1903 Ro-Khanna_2019.jpg

In addition, we asked our members of Congress to fully fund at $38.6 million the Office of Museum Services, support an appropriation of $40 million to fund the Assistance for Arts Education program and fully fund the Every Student Succeeds Act’s Well-Rounded Education Program and federal after-school programs.We also introduced members to the CREATEact, intended to recognize artists, entrepreneurs and non-profit arts organizations as contributors to the small business community. We called attention to supporting the creative economy through federal programs and actions, a need for a universal charitable deductions, protecting net neutrality and supporting public broadcasting. We were encouraged by the reception we received on the Hill and celebrated that arts are a bipARTisan issue.
Not a claim most issues can make, especially now! There were many special moments over the two day summit but our highlights include a flawless lecture/performance by Rita Moreno, introduced by her friend Justice Sonia Sotomayer, visiting the Speaker’s office and meeting her brilliant legislative aides, gathering Arts Impact Stories from Congresswoman Jackie Speier and from Kendrick Davis, a legislative fellow in Senator Harris’ office. Davis recounted his childhood growing up in a low income neighborhood outside of Pittsburgh where he told us about his love for playing the trumpet in high school band. He reminded us why we must continue to fight for arts funding in schools and the public sector when he shared “No one could take the music away from me and the pathway it opened up for me for my future.” He concluded that his principal delivered the trumpet he still plays now to him before he left for college because she knew he could not afford one himself. This is the impact the arts make in our lives.

What do we need to do to make our case so legislators will listen?

Let’s start with the data. Nationally the arts are a $764 Billion dollar industry representing a 4.2% GDP share of the economy ahead of agriculture and transportation. In California, the U.S. Bureau of Analytics reports the arts & creative sectors contribute

1903-arts-ad_advocacyday_2019.jpg$176.4 billion and represent 7.1% share of GDP ahead of construction and education services. We know arts in communities, corrections, education, hospitals, transportation, housing, mental health and more makes a measurable and valuable impact on our economy and in our lives.

Want more specifics? Contact us and we can help provide data for your district and more.

How do we make the data “sing”?

We need to tell our stories and share the emotional and transformative impact the arts make in order to effectively advocate for increased public funding for the arts. Got a compelling video or narrative about your public arts program?

Share your “Arts Impact Story” and answer:

How has having access to public funding helped an arts program, artist or organization make a difference in your community?

How can the arts create a meaningful outcome on some of our state’s most pressing issues?

Your submission will help us bring public awareness of the importance of the arts; to ensure that the arts are an ongoing part of the public dialogue.

Watch Congressworman Jackie Speier and Kendrick Davis, Legislative Fellow, office of Senator Kamala Harris share their Arts Impact Stories below.


Join us in April as we launch the first annual Arts, Culture & Creativity Month.

ACCM Transparent Transparent Final low resOver 200 people are already registered to participate statewide and you should too! Let’s show our legislatures our political might and ensure the budget passes with the $10 million in increased permanent funding for the state arts agency. Don’t know what it means to be an arts advocate? Sign up for our FREE trainings across the state and webinar. Soon the training materials will be available in Spanish too.

Not sure how to participate? Check out our Ways to Engage guide.

Don’t have the time to participate but want to support the efforts to make our case to legislators about the value and impact of the arts? Donate or become a sponsor of ACCM today.

What are we advocating for?

  • Support Governor’s Newsom permanent funding increase of $10 million in the 2019 budget.
  • Recommend continued increased and permanent funding for the arts.

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    Your California Delegation at National Arts Advocacy Day

  • Value arts and culture as creative solutions to pressing societal issues.
  • Ensure all students have access to arts education and the ed code is enforced.
  • Support programs that provide for well rounded early childhood resources and to include arts & creativity.
  • Show our support for the Youth Poet Laureate pending legislation.
  • Build upon existing legislation for California’s Cultural Districts Program.
  • Budget request for the California Cultural and Historical Endowment’s Museum Grant Program.



Thank you for your passion and participation,

Julie Baker
Executive Director, CAA/CFTA
Victoria L. Hamilton
President of CAA/CFTA

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