Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

City Arts Groups Ready to Fight for Fed Funds Artists, Groups Meet to Discuss Strategy

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

City Arts Groups Ready to Fight for Fed Funds Artists, Groups Meet to Discuss Strategy

Article excerpt

The threat of a shutdown of federal funding for the arts is being met with solidarity and strategic planning by members of the Pittsburgh arts community,

Individual artists and members of groups big and small convened Thursday at the invitation of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, which facilitated a Skype exchange with Americans for the Arts representatives Ruby Lopez Harper, Narric Rome and Lizzie Dorman.

On the minds of the 40 people gathered at American Image Resources on the North Side was the current climate in Washington, D.C., regarding federal arts policies, and what they can do about it.

The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council held the meeting to educate the arts community "on how they can become very active in upcoming issues regarding federal arts policies having to do with funding and potential defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and potential changes in the tax code having to do with charitable giving," said Mitch Swain, head of GPAC. "Nothing substantive has been changed yet, but we have a lot of indicators that would give us some cause for concern."

In his address to Congress this week, President Donald Trump did not say funding for the NEA and NEH are endangered. He did say he would push for millions more in military spending without touching Social Security or Medicare, and more spending on infrastructure, and that would mean other programs would have to go.

David Pankratz, GPAC's research and policy director, offered insights on the history and scope of federal arts policy, and how to be an effective advocate. "Data plus story equal impact," was how he put it.

Being armed with information when speaking to an elected official is one step, then "explain why funding for the arts is important to you -add a personal story of how life has made a difference in your life or the life of someone you know," Mr. …

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