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Friday, August 23, 2013

NEWS: The SAANbox (Aug. 19)

State & Local News
Buffalo, New York’s Mayor Byron Brown announced that he will be investing $400,000 from the city's budget to save the Buffalo music programs. The district had planned to eliminate instrumental music lessons at 14 city schools and reduce programs in others to save money. "The money will come from the general city budget and feel confident we can reallocate the money from other areas," says Mayor Brown. Brown also says it is not guaranteed that the money will save jobs, but it will restore the programs and that it is up to the school district to decide how many jobs to save.
Maine’s Kittery Art Association and The Dance Hall have reached a settlement with the town of Kittery that will give them property tax-exempt status and ends pending legal action. The two arts organizations had filed documents in county court seeking relief from a decision by Town Assessor Bruce Kerns that neither met the definition of a “charitable and benevolent” nonprofit organization under Maine law. Under terms of the agreement, the organizations will pay property taxes for 2012-13. However, due to documentation supplied since Kerns made his determination, they will both be granted nonprofit status by the town going forward.
Last decade, multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art performing-arts centers opened in the Arizona cities of Mesa, Tempe and Peoria. Today the centers’ outlook is slightly less stable with at least eight of the region’s largest cultural nonprofits, including the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Opera, are experiencing changes in leadership. Lingering financial fallout from the Great Recession contributed to some of the recent shake-ups, while others have been long-planned and orderly. But even if the rash of departures and arrivals is partly coincidental, the sheer number is unprecedented. “I don’t remember any time we had that many changes at the same time,” said Shelley Cohn, former director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and a longtime supporter of cultural organizations in metro Phoenix. With a new generation of leadership taking shape across the Valley, everything about the business model for arts non-profits is up for examination: programming, fundraising, marketing, community connection and the role of technology.
Many in the entertainment industry are apprehensive about bringing their productions to North Carolina as the film tax credit is due to expire Jan. 1, 2015. Under state law, films can receive a tax credit good for 25 percent of qualified in-state spending up to $20 million. If the production earns more in credits than it owes in taxes, which is frequently the case, the remaining amount is refundable, which means the company gets a check from the state. However, an analysis of North Carolina's film incentives by the legislature's nonpartisan fiscal research staff estimated that film credits created only 55 to 70 jobs in the state in 2011. Backers of the credit say the fiscal research study doesn't measure the true impact of the movie and television business. "It does create jobs. It does induce spending in North Carolina. That's real economic impact," said Aaron Syrett, director of the North Carolina Film Commission.  Many of the state’s small towns have noticed an influx of younger tourists, ages 14 to 25, as a result of popular films, such as The Hunger Games, which filmed in Asheville, and Save Haven, which filmed in Southport and saw an increase of more than 40 percent in the visitor center. Lawmakers may have to return for a special session to deal with a pair of gubernatorial vetoes, but they are unlikely to tackle any tax policy bills until the General Assembly's next session begins next May.

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) continues to gain headway across the country.
Kansas Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker confirmed that the state agency has a "STEAM team" working on developing curricula that combines the left-brain and right-brain disciplines. The strategy appears to be that as the state of Kansas and local school districts develop curricula centered around career clusters and pathways to prepare students for jobs in these emerging fields, they need to encourage students to take things like art and music just as strongly as they emphasize science and math. The influence is beginning to trickle down to the districts. The Lawrence Public School’s Board of Education met earlier this summer and included STEAM as a teaching and learning strategy to help achieve the Board’s top goal of raising student achievement.
With their respective governors at opposite ends of the political spectrum, the differences between Wisconsin and Minnesota seem stark and nowhere is the difference more glaring than in state support for the arts. Minnesota ranks No. 1 in the nation in spending $6.36 per capita on its state arts agency, whereas Wisconsin nears the bottom of the list at just 13 cents per capita. Despite their close proximity, nonprofit arts groups and their audiences directly spent $535 million in Wisconsin in 2010 versus an estimated $1 billion in Minnesota. State support in Wisconsin has eroded over time and took a hit in 2011 when Gov. Scott Walker cut funding for the Wisconsin Arts Board from $2.4 million to $850,000 while rolling it into the Department of Tourism. “Other states are moving forward with investment in creative infrastructure and endeavors but Wisconsin is woefully behind when it comes to this kind of 21st century economic sector investment,” says Anne Katz, executive director of Arts Wisconsin.
Last week, the J. Paul Getty Trust launched their Open Content Program, making more than 4,600 high-quality images of artwork available for free online. The digital images -- of paintings by Van Gogh, drawings by Rembrandt, and watercolors by Dürer -- had already fallen into the public domain, but the Getty's program makes their digital reproductions much easier to use on the web. The Getty isn’t the only museum to emancipate images, click here for links to other museums and research institutions that have large, high-quality, free-to-use collection of historically or aesthetically notable images online.
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Tech Talk
Lessons In How To Build A Successful Contest, From The Knight FoundationInstead of waiting for interesting projects to apply for money, the Knight Foundation has started offering competitions to find ways to give away funds. Here’s how they make it work.
Nonprofit 911: Plan a Successful Fundraising EventTuesday, August 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM EDT
Are you planning a fundraising event like an auction, gala, golf tournament, luncheon, or alumni reunion? Would you like to sell tickets online (even on your Facebook page)? Do you want to create and sell event sponsorships online? This free webinar will show you how to easily set up and promote your event online, plus we’ll share the secrets to generating excitement and boosting engagement from your supporters. Experts from givezooks! and Network for Good will show how you can drive event registrations, increase event attendance, and get more donations for your cause. Register now for this free webinar and improve your next fundraising event!
The Rutgers Center for Management Development has announced that it is offering a Mini-MBA program focused on Social Media for Non-Profit Leaders and Public Officials. The one-week, accelerated program will be held Oct. 21-25, 2013, in New Brunswick, NJ. This nine-module program will present a new citizen-centric communication model that will engage, serve and connect constituents through social media channels. Through case studies, interactive sessions and class exercises, participants will learn about the latest research and best practices. Topics that will be covered include social media strategies, mobile engagement, economic development, micro blogging, community engagement, emergency management, disaster preparedness and disaster recovery, YouTube engagement, user generated content, measurement and ROI tracking, and multichannel integration.
Webinars Hosted by Americans for the Arts
An Introduction to the Engagement Spectrum
August 27, 2013 at 3:00 PM EDT
Take a closer look at participation conditions and behaviors to consider when developing audience engagement programming. Artist and engagement strategist Rachel Grossman will review categories of participant-types, environmental factors, and communication tools, and share examples of tactics and activities with multiple points of entry for a range of audience members. This webinar will also provide insight into drawing connecting threads from your artistic programming to your marketing and advertising.
Are you Prepared? Emergency PreparednessSeptember 4, 2013 at 3:00 PM EDT
None of us want to believe that "it" could happen to our arts organization - our passion, our labor of love, our career, and our future. Reality happens. Whether "it" is a hurricane, technology failure, scandal, fire or flood, accident or crime, pandemic, tornado, or physical infrastructure failure, crises can and do occur, which is why preparedness is key to sustainability. As we face constant natural and made disasters, do you have a plan? Is your data safe? Join us as we learn about how local arts agencies are preparing for disasters? What you need to know.
Business Speak: Can We Talk? Series
With the launch of The pARTnership Movement in 2012 we explored mutually beneficial ways of partnering with business to further both arts and business goals. With this series we will provide detailed instructions for the methods and models to create successful partnerships.
§  Meet the Real Shakespeare of LitigationSeptember 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM EDT
The real Shakespeares of Litigation, Coltranes of Chemistry and Picassos of Accounting will discuss how arts education, arts programs at the workplace and their own participation in an art form have enhanced their work. Learn from business people in different industries about how partnerships with the arts makes business sense.
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Bulletin Board
Americans for the Arts has partnered with Destination Marketing Association International to establish the 2013 Arts Destination Marketing Award. The Arts Destination Marketing Award is presented annually to leaders from destination marketing organizations and/or convention and visitor bureaus and local arts agencies that work collaboratively using the arts to market the community as a travel destination. This award recognizes the importance of a strong relationship between a community’s destination marketing organizations and its local arts agency. A total of two awards will be presented at The National Arts Marketing Conference, November 9-11, 2013, Portland, OR. The application deadline is September 9, 2013.  Click here to apply.
[New eBook!] Let’s Get Weird: Lessons on How to Innovate, Motivate, and Take a Leap of Faith
For arts marketers, it’s no secret that the engagement models of yesterday are being cast off in favor of fresh, bold ideas to boost audience development and revenue. If we’re keeping track, however, some of the new approaches that have been successful for organizations across the country would have seemed downright weird in decades past. With three case studies showcasing the wonder of weird and sharing advice from innovators who make unconventionality a priority, Let’s Get Weird: Lessons on How to Innovate, Motivate, and Take a Leap of Faith reveals the amazing things that can happen when you create opportunities for oddities in the arts.
Tell Congress to Support Arts in Education
Arts education funding is under threat in a House GOP budget proposal and in the Administration's FY 2014 budget request. The Arts in Education program has survived threats like these in previous years through support of grassroots advocates and support by Senate champions like Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS). The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee FY 2014 legislation provides $27 million for the federal Arts in Education program which we hope will be enacted into law. Please take a few minutes to write to your members of Congress and ask them to support strengthening arts education in federal policy.

Urge Members of Congress to Support the NEA
The U.S. House of Representatives Interior Appropriations Subcommittee approved a FY 2014 funding bill that calls for a 49% cut to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This would bring funding of the NEA down to $75 million, a level not seen since 1974! The NEA funds grants in every congressional district in the country. A cut of this size would immediately end that ability to support the arts in all communities. The NEA supports funding in dance, design, folk & traditional arts, literature, local arts agencies, media arts, multidisciplinary, museums, music, musical theater, opera, presenting, theater, and visual arts. Please take a few minutes to write to your Members of Congress to urge them to support the NEA in widening citizen access to the cultural, educational, and economic benefits of the arts, and advancing creativity and innovation in communities across the United States.
Now Accepting State Legislator Nominations for Public Leadership in the Arts Award
Public Leadership in the Arts awards are given in recognition of an elected official or artist who plays an important role in the advancement of the arts and arts education within his or her community, and whose vision and leadership provide heightened visibility to the value of the arts. Applications are now being accepted for State Legislators and the award will be presented in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislature’s at their Fall Forum, December 4-6, 2013 in Washington, DC. If you have questions, please e-mail Jay Dick, the Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs at Americans for the Arts.
Registration Now Open! The 2013 National Arts Marketing Project Conference
Community empowers your art. What does it take for your arts organization to deeply connect with the people that matter? At the 2013 National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference in Portland, OR, you’ll learn the marketing strategies that your organization needs to revolutionize the way communities engage with your organization. Join us in a city infused with a DIY atmosphere and a strong collaborative spirit, where you’ll embrace the interactive tools and forward-thinking strategies needed to create a sense of community around your work. The early bird deadline of September 13 is fast approaching- lock in the best rates now!
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Spotlight on... Arizona Citizens for the Arts
With upcoming city council elections in Arizona’s capital city of Phoenix, Arizona Citizens for the Arts recognized what was at stake. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Phoenix are responsible for $300 million in annual economic activity, employing almost 10,000 citizens and contributing about $6.8 million in local tax revenue and $8.3 million in state taxes. While the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture has started to recover from the Great Recession, when the agency’s funding dropped from $793,000 in FY2002-03 to a low of $156,346 in FY2011, there is still work to be done and it’s crucial that City Council members value and promote the role of the arts.
Arizona Citizens for the Arts conducted a candidate survey to help inform voters. Candidate’s responses were positive overall, with candidates expressing support for the arts and sharing the ways that they are involved with the arts. Candidates described themselves as children of artists, parents of artists and patrons of the arts—all understanding the value that the arts provide in a community.

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