Arts Advocacy Day 2011 Report


The National Arts Advocacy Day took place form April 3 – 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. DAA delivered soundly again this year.

Our participation solidified the organizations visibility as the Delaware’s advocacy organization and facilitated to carry out our mission of serving as a dynamic advocate for arts and culture throughout the state, asserting the importance of the arts in the development of livable communities, vibrant economies, and creative citizens. Please find below a summary of our activities:

Delaware delegation

·Henry Cox / Rehoboth Art League and Clear Space

·Dawn Ellis / Dawn M. Ellis & Associates

·Lauren Cahill / Delaware Shakespeare Festival

·Mark Fields / The Grand Opera House

·Maxine Gaiber / Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts

·Deb Hansen / Education Committee, Delaware Arts Alliance

·Guillermina Gonzalez / Delaware Arts Alliance

Advocacy Day highlights

·DAA participated in the State Arts Action Network (SAAN) council and networking meeting on Sunday April 3rd. All states shared experiences and lessons learned.

·Kevin Spacey was the keynote speaker during the Nancy Hanks Lecture Series on Monday April 4th. The lecture takes place the day before lobbying to legislators and after a day of advocacy training. Listening to his remarks is worth the time. You can access it at

·DAA had interesting conversations with legislator’s aides on April 5th:

o Senator Carper’s staff member Michael Santora at 10:30 a.m. / 513 Hart Building, Washington, DC 20510, Phone: (202) 224-2441. Deb Hansen led this meeting due to Senator Carper’s keen interest in education.

o Senator Coons’ staff Adam Weissmann at 1:00 p.m. / 383 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, Phone: (202) 224-5042. Lauren Cahill led this meeting.

o Rep. Carney’s staff Sheila Grant at 2:00 p.m. / 1429 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515, Phone: (202) 225-4165. Maxine Gaiber led this meeting. Rep. Carney had a brief conversation with the delegation.

o WHAT DAA ASKED FOR: Support the NEA and the arts as integral part of federal and Delaware’s economic development and education.

· Americans for the Arts support 15 pieces of legislation at this time. DAA decided to concentrate in three in lieu of time allotted for each interview:

* National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support a budget of $167.5 million for the NEA in the FY 2012 Interior Appropriations bill to widen citizen access to the cultural, educational, and economic benefits of the arts, and to advance creativity and innovation in communities across the United States.
* Strengthening Arts Education in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to retain the arts in the definition of core academic subjects, and strengthen equitable access to arts learning through the following actions:

o Improve the U.S. Department of Education’s national data collection and research regarding what students know and are able to do in the arts and the conditions for teaching and learning in arts education.

o Require states to report annually on student access to, and participation in, all core academic subjects.

o Improve student success in school, work, and life by strengthening arts education in provisions relating to afterschool/extended learning, teaching effectiveness, school turnaround, charter schools, and student assessment.

* Arts Education Funding and Research through the U.S. Department of Education (AEI) to appropriate $40 million for the Arts in Education programs in the FY 2012 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, and retain the Arts in Education program as a distinct grant competition.

· Although all of our legislators are essentially supportive of the arts, they acknowledged other priorities and lack of consensus regarding the budget on Capitol Hill.

NOTE AS OF April, 15: The battle for the 2012 budget continues but the Congress yesterday passed a long-awaited budget funding the government for the rest of the fiscal year. The final budget agreement for FY 2011 negotiated by President Obama with House and Senate leaders includes $155 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This represents a cut of $12.5 million from the FY 2010 enacted level of $167.5 million. Also included in this bill is $25.5 million in funding for the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, which had been zeroed-out in a previous continuing resolution.