President Trump's FY19 Budget calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts

 

Dear Members,


The White House has released its FY19 Budget calling for the elimination of The National Endowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting.


Earlier this week, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced that it has awarded $3 million to 149 theatres and a total of $24 million to 936 nonprofit arts organizations throughout the country in its first round of grants for 2019.


The President claims that he is trying to reduce domestic spending, but these cuts will actually hurt the Federal Economy. The NEA accounts for only .004 percent of the Federal Budget while every dollar awarded by the NEA generates $7 in private funding! The NEA stimulates local economies by supporting dozens of small, local businesses and providing free arts education to students and seniors!

 


 

TAKE ACTION NOW

Let's make our voices heard.
Alert your Board and Staff and ask them to call their elected officials!

 

Call your Congressman and tell them:
  1. how much money you get from the NEA;

  2. how much private funding matches it; and

  3. how many audiences members you serve.
Remind your Congressperson that cutting the NEA funding will have a limited impact on the Federal Budget, but will be a tremendous loss to the Arts, especially in New York City!

 

 

 

Call the Congressperson who represents your theatre AND the Congressperson you vote for!

 

To find out the name of your Congressperson go to: House.gov

 

Please ask your board members, friends, and family in other states to call as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call Your Senators about the proposed Tax Reform Bills!

There has been a great deal of activity in Congress as both houses work on developing a Tax Bill. The House has already passed their bill. The Senate’s bill is somewhat different, but both of them, if passed as is, could dramatically reduce the amount of contributions nonprofits receive from individuals.

KEY ISSUES OF CONCERN REGARDING THE PROPOSED TAX BILL:
  1. The House and Senate recommend doubling the Standard Tax Deduction which would eliminate charitable deductions for 95% of Americans.
  2. This will cost nonprofits a loss of $12-20 BILLION in Charitable Donations
A RAY OF HOPE: Universal Charitable Giving Act

On Tuesday, November 14, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the Senate companion to the Universal Charitable Giving Act, which was originally introduced by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) in the House in October. The bill would extend an above-the-line charitable deduction to non-itemizers that would be capped at one-third of the standard deduction. So, although nothing was included in the Senate tax package that would ensure more Americans have access to a tax benefit for charitable giving, Sen. Lankford’s universal charitable a deduction bill can still be considered by the full Senate, and perhaps even included in their final tax reform bill.

But it won’t happen without your help.

Momentum for tax reform is at a level not seen in 30 years and in its current iteration, charities will lose billions of dollars in charitable donations. Contact your senators and urge them to protect charitable giving in the Senate tax reform bill. Explain how doubling of the standard deduction will eliminate the charitable deduction for 95 percent of Americans and result in a loss of $12-20 billion in charitable giving. Tell your senator that the way to avoid this devastating consequence is to expand the charitable deduction to all Americans.

Even though the House has already passed its version of tax reform, contact your representative and relay the same information. The House and Senate versions of tax reform still need to be reconciled and your elected officials need to understand what the current proposals will do to charitable giving. More than ever before, now is the time for you to tell them how tax reform will affect your charities and community.

CALL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES
  1. Tell them to vote NO to DOUBLING THE STANDARD TAX DEDUCTION because doing so will deny 95% of taxpayers the opportunity to itemize their charitable donations; and cost the nonprofit community $12-20 billion in donations.
  2. Urge them to pass the Universal Charitable Giving Act proposed by Senator Lankford and Congressman Walker.
  3. Tell them how many individual donors you have and how much you rely on their support so that you can produce your work for and provide affordable tickets to children and seniors!

You may want to also include these items:

  • Tell them that you do not support a Tax Plan that would, according to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, increase taxes for every group that earns less than $75,000 a year.
  • Tell your Senators that you do not want the Senate to pass a Tax Bill that repeals the Affordable Care Act! Remind them that many freelance workers and artists need the ACA to get health insurance.

 

NY: Chuck Schumer (212) 486-4430        Kirsten Gillibrand: (212) 688-6262

NJ: Bob Menendez (973) 645-3030          Cory Booker (856) 338-8922

CT: Richard Blumenthal (203) 330-0598   Chris Murphy (860) 549-8463

 

To find the name and contact information of your representatives go to https://ziplook.house.gov/htbin/findrep_house

Click on the link to get to your Representative's website and call their Washington DC phone number.

 

 

IF YOU HAVE FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN OTHER STATES, PLEASE ASK THEM TO CALL THEIR SENATORS AS WELL.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Protect Access To Wireless Microphone Technology in White Space

Share your support! Copy & Paste these sample tweets:
 We're joining @artny72 in support of an @FCC proceeding to ensure theatres can continue operating wireless mics. http://bit.ly/2uNhQLg
  Theatres need access to White Space, and Microsoft filed a statement with the @FCC to block our access. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2uNhQLg
Dear A.R.T./New York Members,

For the past few years, A.R.T./New York has been part of the Performing Arts Wireless Microphone Working Group in an effort to ensure that the FCC continue to allow nonprofit theatres free access to "white space" so that wireless microphones can be used without interference.

What is "white space"? Wireless microphones, backstage communication, and many sound systems for hearing impaired audiences rely on the "white space" frequencies between broadcast channels of the television band. 
On July 3rd, Microsoft filed a statement trying to block our access to "white space".
 
Here is a link to a statement and a history of our endeavors to protect your "white space", that is on TCG's website: http://bit.ly/2sILjV7

Please amplify our message by posting our statement below on your websites, and also posting on Twitter and other social media! If you have connections to influential figures who can help spread the word, so much the better!
 
Please let me know if you have any questions.
 
Yours,
 

Ginny

A.R.T./New York's Statement

 

new opportunity for interference protection for wireless microphones used in theatre is possible! To preserve and promote high standards of artistry onstage; safety for stagehands, actors, and audiences; and accessibility for hearing-impaired patrons in our audiences, A.R.T./New York​ supports an imminent FCC proceeding that has been opposed by Microsoft.

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold its July Open Meeting and has proposed to consider a new proceeding prompted by petitions filed by Shure and Sennheiser, two wireless microphone manufacturers. This new proceeding would propose permitting certain qualifying professional theatre, music, performing arts organizations, and similar organizations to obtain Part 74 licenses to operate wireless mics based on the applicant’s demonstrated need and requisite professional ability to operate in the bands, even if they routinely use fewer than 50 wireless microphones.

 
 
#NYCInspires

 
#NYCInspires: A.R.T./New York's City Council Testimony

The following is A.R.T./New York's testimony to the New York City Council, delivered by Director of Programs Ann Marie Lonsdale, on March 23rd, 2016.

Good afternoon. My name is Ann Marie Lonsdale and I am the Director of Programs for the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York) the leading service and advocacy organization representing 370 nonprofit theatre companies and professional affiliates in New York City.

I want to thank Chairperson Van Bramer and the Committee on Cultural Affairs for allowing me to testify before you today.

A.R.T./New York supports the #NYCInspires campaign and respectfully asks the City Council for a $40 million increase in funding to the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs expense budget in Fiscal Year 2017. Under the Leadership of Commissioner Finkelpearl, the DCLA has embarked on several ambitious initiatives that have enabled the agency to identify dozens of community-based, artist-driven organizations that are eligible for DCLA funding, and the agency will need additional funding to support this broader cultural eco-system, which will be made up of both current grantees and first-time awardees.

At A.R.T./New York we think a lot about this eco-system because more than 75% of our membership consists of small organizations with annual operating budgets below $500,000. These companies represent the most culturally diverse section of our membership. Though their budgets are small, their ambitions are not—these companies are creating boundary-breaking work that impact the face of the American Theatre and serve hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers annually, in all five boroughs. Though their operating budgets are modest, these companies’ artists are using theatre to heal the wounds of refugees from Syria; to empower young women and girls through writing and storytelling workshops; to expand the canon of Latino Theatre; to tell the stories of immigrants in Jackson Heights; to bring professional theatre to Staten Island; to foster connections between young people and their elders; to invite international artists to New York City to create dialogue; to increase visibility for Asian-American playwrights and performers. These are but a few examples of the incredible work that is undertaken every day by New York City’s nonprofit theatres.

Our member companies are deeply grounded in their communities, a characteristic that has not only helped them to survive, but thrive. These companies provide jobs and benefits to artists and arts administrators, education and services to their communities, and astoundingly creative, boundary pushing, and exciting theatre to the residents of this city.

But at A.R.T./New York, we continue to ask ourselves how long these artist-led companies can survive without additional support to create programming and pay living wages to their artists. Our members face financial challenges, like the rising cost of rehearsal and theatre space, with ongoing resourcefulness and creativity, but filling these budget gaps by raising ticket prices will alienate the very audiences they seek to serve.

A.R.T./New York is grateful to the City Council, the Manhattan Borough President and the Administration for their support of our organization, particularly our new Theatre construction project on West 53rd Street, and the City’s support of so many of our member companies.

We look forward to our ongoing work with the City to ensure that the nonprofit theatre community continues to inspire future generations. That is why we are here today to strongly voice our wholehearted support for a $40 million increase to the DCLA budget, which will go a long way towards helping small theatres thrive in the New York arts ecosystem. Equally important, it will provide valuable funding to the many artist-led, community-based, and culturally specific companies that make this City’s nonprofit theatre community so vibrant and critical to our cultural landscape.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to testify today.

 

Join us in showing your support of the #NYCInspires campaign to urge City Hall to support an in crease in funding for the arts in New York City. Go to http://www.nycinspires.org now to sign the petition or to have your organization listed as a partner

 
 
City Partnership Opportunity: ID NYC

 
ADVOCACY ALERT--TIME SENSITIVE

Dear A.R.T./New York Members
 
As many of you know, the City's Municipal ID Card program (ID NYC) has become extremely popular, with over 650,000 individuals signing up in the first year.  Many New Yorkers signed up in order to access the discounts and benefits offered to cardholders by some the City's largest cultural institutions in the inaugural year of the program.
 
The City is gearing up for a second year of NYC ID program, and A.R.T./New York has been asked to invite YOU to participate by offering a discount (which can be subject to availability) to NYC ID Cardholders. The discounts will apply to those 650,000 who have already registered for an NYC ID card, as well as those who register for a Municipal ID between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.
 
We are asking you to consider joining the city's other participating cultural institutions in offering a discount to the NYC ID Cardholders.  Your discounts should apply for productions taking place in calendar year 2016.  You may offer a discount on single tickets, subscriptions, or membership packages. 
 
The ID NYC program is a great way to reach new audiences in all five boroughs, so I hope all of you will participate.  The City has a special website where ID NYC cardholders can learn which special offers apply to them.  This site is updated on a monthly basis, but you must have your card and list your ID to learn about the benefits. 
 
There will be a press release, as well as video that will go live on or before Tuesday, December 15th; so if possible, please send your information (see directions below) NO LATER THAN NOON ON DECEMBER 11TH.  You may choose to participate at a later date, you just won't make the announcement.  Also, we will be working on the January website, and since we are closed from 12/24 to January 4, we'd like to get a jump on listing as many of you as possible.
 
Here is how you can sign up:
 
E-mail my assistant Rachel Haspel at [email protected] and tell her:
  • the name of your theatre, 
  • your venue address, 
  • staff contact person for the ID NYC  program, along with their e-mail address and phone number,
  • what type of a discount you will be offering (i.e. 25% off tickets - subject to availability, to the following shows [name of show, dates])
  • and your theatre company's website.
I apologize for the short notice, but we were just notified about the fact that there will be a second push for ID NYC registrations.  While you may find that certain individuals who already attend your theatre have ID NYC cards (they offer incredible discounts at gyms, movie theaters and Broadway) I know that many others have applied for these cards as well.
 
We all know that New York City is an expensive city in which to live.  For many New Yorkers, the cost of living in this city is so high that middle class and working class New Yorkers cannot afford to attend our theaters like the generations before them.  With all the wonderful work you have done to bring the arts to public schools, and, community and senior centers, wouldn't it be great if more members of these communities could experience your work?
 
In this holiday season, let's all make an effort to give the greatest gift we have, the gift of affordable theatre, to all New York City residents (who have a ID NYC card).
 
Happy Holidays from your biggest fan,

Ginny
 
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