Taken from the Huffington Post article “Goals Worth Fighting For,” by Americans for the Arts CEO Robert L. Lynch, below are eight goals that could strengthen our country through the arts. Great reminders to the business community and leaders everywhere as the status of federal funding for the arts is called into question.
1. Every person in the United States deserves to have access to the broad range of arts in his or her life. The way to do that is increase federal funding for the arts to $1 per capita for a more creative America;
2. Every child in the United States deserves to have access to every art form, grades K-12. The way to do that is fully fund and implement the Well-Rounded Education provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act to close gaps in access to arts education for all students;
3. Our country needs to be competitive and the arts provide a great opportunity for economic development, including tourism and support for small arts businesses run by entrepreneurs. One way to get there is by establishing a cabinet-level position to advise President Trump on the $704 billion arts and culture economy;
4. The creation of millions of jobs would be helped by boosting economic and community development programs, like those proposed in Senator Tom Udall’s CREATE Act, which promote the role of the arts in serving the American public through federal agencies such as the Small Business Administration, Rural Development Administration, FEMA disaster recovery centers—to name just a few. The job numbers speak loudly: the nation’s arts and culture sector employed 4.7 million wage and salary workers in 2013, with a total compensation of $339 billion;
5. Our military service members and veterans deserve to be fully supported during and after valiantly serving our country. Two ways to do that are to support the arts as they are integrated into health and wellness programs, which has shown much success in the past, and to increase access to arts therapists and artist-directed programs to help provide a pathway for re-entry and re-integration of our service members and veterans into the workforce. The NEA’s Creative Forces program is a shining example of this work;
6. Preserve or expand charitable tax deduction incentives;
7. Support creative youth development by strengthening community-based organizations working in youth development and the arts; and
8. Promote cultural exchange programs that advance diplomatic objectives and cultural cooperation through the exchange of art and other aspects of culture among nations.
As business leaders continue to share why they value the arts, the arts' impact to and improvement of society remains notably strong. Additional resources and information about supporting and advocating for the arts are here.
Photo: Courtesy of Milliken & Company 2014 BCA 10 Award winner. Fountain by Krisel. Sculpture located at the Roger Milliken Center.
Sheila Pree Bright’s Young American series from The Amistad Center for Art & Culture. A program made possible by 2011 BCA 10 and 2016 BCA Hall of Fame Award winner Aetna Inc.
Courtesy of Corning Incorporated 2015 BCA 10 Award winner. Dancers at 171 Cedar Arts Center, a multi-arts center supported by Corning Incorporated Foundation.