ST. GEORGE, UTAH – Washington County voters will have the opportunity this fall to decide if they want to see a sales tax increase in order to fund local arts and recreation programs.
During its meeting Tuesday, the Washington County Commission approved posing the question on November’s ballot, framing an initiative similar to the Recreation Arts and Park Tax established by Cedar City in 2005 to help fund cultural and outdoor projects.Read more
Before heading home for its August district work period, the Senate released its FY15 Interior Appropriations bill that proposes $150 million each for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. This exceeds the current funding level of $146 million. This bill sets a “marker” that may be helpful for negotiating final funding levels for the NEA and NEH with the House, which will likely happen in September.Read more
On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved by voice vote the nomination of Dr. Jane Chu to be the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This ends the nearly 18 month vacancy at this important agency. Jane Chu said, "I’m honored to receive the Senate’s vote of confirmation, and I look forward to serving our nation as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Together, we have the opportunity to show the value of connecting the arts to all Americans, and the importance of the arts in bringing communities together.”Read more
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee on July 15 approved legislation on a voice vote restoring $8 million in FY15 funding cut from both the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) secured the funding restoration within the non-controversial manager’s amendment offered by Interior Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA). Heading into the committee markup, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) was also prepared to offer an amendment to restore the cuts.Read more
As cities continue to recover from the recession, creative and innovative cultural entrepreneurs have been sought across the U.S. Now, an important paper has been released from the Mayors Conference during the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Week. Titled “How Cities Can Nurture Cultural Entrepreneurs,” author Ann Markusen (University of Minnesota) has studied and specified seven strategies that mayors and city council members may champion to foster this important and dynamic group of within their cities:
· Know who your local artists are.Read more
On July 8, the House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the nation’s cultural agencies proposed a FY15 budget for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), reducing its funding to $138 million from the current budget of $146 million. The figure is lower than the $155 million level supported by national arts advocacy leadership. Any significant cut would affect the NEA’s ability to support the arts across the nation, and could reduce NAC grants and services offered to communities, schools and organizations. Action Alert information will be forthcoming.Read more
The Congressional Arts Caucus is a bipartisan organization for Members of Congress who support the arts through federal initiatives. The Caucus is registered as a Congressional Member Organization in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 113th Congress.Read more
Augusta voters narrowly rejected a $194.3 million sales tax package, just the second of its kind to fail since the city’s first special purpose local option sales tax in 1988.
The sales tax failed with 51.1 percent voting against the package. Just 643 votes separated the final tally.
The failed tax package, criticized by opponents for its hasty compilation and lack of funds to improve infrastructure, would have been Augusta’s seventh SPLOST. The city must wait until November 2015 to present it again to voters.Read more
Leaders across the country are increasingly recognizing that the arts and culture sector provides not only social and cultural benefits, but also economic ones. Local investments in arts and culture can help improve quality of life and revitalize neighborhoods, attract businesses and residents to previously neglected urban areas, increase tourism revenues, and create jobs for artists, designers, and makers.Read more
Each year, there’s at least one meeting of the Chipola Regional Arts Association that’s guaranteed to draw a big crowd.
On Tuesday, when a batch of nine teachers came to show the CRAA how they spent their share of the many $250 mini-grants that the arts-support organization bestowed upon area schools this year, there were few empty seats in the dining room where the session was held. Jackson County Superintendent of Schools Steve Benton was a special guest at the event.Read more