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Portrait of Donna S. Collins by Richard Duarte Brown

Love + Money = Arts Impact Ohio!

Portrait of Donna S. Collins by Duarte Brown. Brown, a  Columbus-based mixed media artist, is a master artist with TRANSIT ARTS and the Ohio Alliance for the Arts Education, an art educator, and a mentor to many of his students.Valentine’s Day held a special treat for the arts when the U.S. Congress passed legislation providing funding to federal agencies now through the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30, 2019. The National Endowment for the Arts was funded at $155 million. This is a $2 million increase over the current funding level. The bill was signed into law by the president, assuring that the National Endowment for the Arts can continue its work.

The money is in the bank—and it’s because of you! Ohioans joined arts advocates from around the nation to discuss the positive impact of public funding for the arts and arts education with members of Congress. Thank you to every single one of you who visited, called, or emailed your congressman or congresswoman. You make it possible for our lawmakers to fully appreciate the huge impact this relatively meager appropriation has on our communities statewide. In the context of a $4.4 trillion federal budget, $155 million for the National Endowment for the Arts goes a long way.

Advocacy continues as we begin the work of the federal fiscal year 2020 appropriations process. Next week, Ohioans will be in Washington, DC, led by Ohio Citizens for the Arts, to participate in the National Arts Action Summit on March 4-5. The National Arts Action Summit is a multi-day event bringing together arts advocates from across the country. Attendees will attend a full day of advocacy training to learn the latest research and legislative arts priorities from the experts on March 4. The following day, March 5, is Arts Advocacy Day, when advocates take their passion, knowledge, and stories to Capitol Hill for meetings with their congressional leaders. Americans for the Arts anticipates more than 500 grassroots advocates will participate from across the country to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts. Thank you to Ohio’s arts advocates for your voice and action on behalf of the arts.

At the state level, which is especially critical for the Ohio Arts Council, we are in the process of securing needed state appropriations to carry out our vision to provide leadership and voice for the arts to transform people and communities. Our agency submitted our budget proposal to the Ohio Office of Budget and Management in October, and we anticipate testifying before an Ohio House Finance subcommittee in the spring, followed by the Finance subcommittee in the Senate shortly thereafter. We are excited for the opportunity to tell the story of the arts in Ohio—how your engagement, investment, innovation, and leadership helps us all. Talking points about our agency’s work and the importance of public funding for the arts are available on our website.

I’ll update you on the federal and state budget process each step of the way. After all, we’re in this work together because we know the arts are economically sound, culturally significant, and essential to the education of every Ohioan.

Until next time,

Donna S. Collins' signature

Donna S. Collins
Executive Director

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