The Arts Council's advocacy efforts are focused on a variety of issues that impact the sector and its offerings. Here's a little background information to let you know where we've been and what's currently at stake.
Funding For Arts & Culture
Established in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is a federal agency whose purpose is to "advance artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities."
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) was also established in 1965. Its mission states that, "Because democracy demands wisdom, the National Endowment for the Humanities serves and strengthens our Republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans."
Housed in the Office of the Governor, since being established in 1966, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) has been working to "foster the excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state."
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission "preserves the Commonwealth's memory as a teacher and champion of its heritage for citizens of Pennsylvania and the nation."
Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) supports and finances regional assets in the areas of libraries, parks, cultural, sports and civic facilities and programs.
Tax Fairness for Artists and Writers
This issue is usually introduced in Congress as a bill known as the Artist-Museum Partnership Act. It addresses that fact that in 1969, Congress repealed the rights of artists and writers to deduct a fair-market tax value for their works. Currently, artists and writers can deduct on their taxes only the value or amount the materials that they used in creating the work. A purchaser of the art, however, can deduct the value of the art work's worth.
Arts in Education
Arts in Education policy and funding issues arise in all three levels of government. On the Federal level, we work with Americans for the Arts to improve access to arts education through funding in the Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education appropriations bill as well as program authorization under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). On the State and Local levels, we partner with groups such as ArtsRising and Public Citizens for Children and Youth to ensure support through our State and City budgets.