November 8, 2006
Americans showed their overwhelming
support for the arts and arts education by approving local and state
ballot measures and by electing pro-arts candidates at the local, state,
and federal levels.
Funding prospects for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and for
arts education improve significantly with the replacement of current
Republican House leaders, who received grades of D and F on Americans for
the Arts Action Fund PAC’s 2006 Congressional Arts Report Card, by
arts-friendly Democrats. Top Democratic House leaders Nancy Pelosi
(D-CA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) each received a grade of A.
We will see dramatic changes in the
chairmanships of both the House and Senate Interior Appropriations
Subcommittees, which has funding jurisdiction over NEA. Both Rep.
Charles Taylor (R-NC) and Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) were defeated in their
bids for re-election. Neither had ever proposed an increase for the
NEA. By contrast, longtime House Subcommittee Ranking Member Norm Dicks
(D-WA), received an A on the 2006 report card and has consistently
pledged significant increases for the NEA if he ever became chairman.
Burns’s victorious challenger Jon Tester (D-MT) is a former music
teacher, who responded favorably to the Action Fund PAC’s candidate
The State and Local
While the 2006 mid-term elections predominantly attracted
voters who where interested in voicing their concerns
about national issues, thousands of voters turned out
to support critical local ballot measures that had a direct
impact on the arts. All eleven of the local ballot measures
tracked and supported by Americans for the Arts Action
Fund passed overwhelmingly, as did a state ballot measure
on the arts in Louisiana. The cities and counties
with local arts ballot measures include Akron (OH); Alameda
County/San Leandro (CA); Alameda County/Berkeley
(CA); Austin (TX); Cuyahoga County/Cleveland (OH); Dallas,
(TX); Marin County (CA); Portland (OR); Salt Lake County
(UT); San Francisco(CA); and Santa Clara County (CA).
These local and state
measures will infuse millions of dollars for arts
education programs in local schools and increased funding for cultural
facilities and general operating support for nonprofit arts
Americans for the Arts and its Arts Action Fund will be implementing a
comprehensive initiative to welcome and educate new members of the House
and Senate. But we can’t do this without you. We will be
contacting you soon with how you can actively participate in this
important grassroots initiative and make sure that campaign pledges for
the arts are fulfilled.
to remove your name from receiving e-mails regarding arts advocacy
to also remove your name from receiving other e-mails from Americans for
the Arts or its Arts Action Fund