Advocacy Report: May 2015

Monthly Advocacy Report

Take Action: Protect Performing Arts Wireless Technology!


The FCC has two open proceedings affecting wireless microphone operations. One proposes that entities using fewer than 50 microphones would not be able to register in a geo­location database which provides interference protection. This will affect many performing arts organizations, venues, and productions.

Another proceeding proposes that wireless microphones move to a longer­term home in a different area of the broadcast spectrum. This move would mean arts organizations would have to purchase expensive new equipment. Many performing arts organizations already did this in 2010­­spending $25K­$100K­­when the FCC mandated wireless microphones vacate the 700 MHz band of the broadcast spectrum.

Ask your Representative to sign on to a letter by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D­NY) and Rep. Leonard Lance (R­NJ), cochairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus, urging the FCC to protect wireless microphones. The deadline for signatures is COB Thursday, May 21!


New PAA Website!


PAA is launching a new website on June 1! Here’s what you’ll find:

  • A re­designed Issue Center with blog posts, news from the field, and advocacy updates on federal policies related to the performing arts
  • Social sharing options for Advocacy Reports and Action Alerts including Facebook and Twitter
  • An updated elected officials search tool complete with lawmakers’ verified social media accounts
  • …and more! Check back on June 1 to see our fresh new look!

NEA Announces $74M in Grants Nationwide


Earlier this month, the National Endowment for the Arts announced that it awarded more than $74 million in grants to over 1,023 recipients in all 50 states plus five U.S. jurisdictions. The funding was distributed via the Art Works and State and Regional Partnerships grant categories.

PAA congratulates its members and their constituents among the recipients in this round. Contact your lawmakers to share your achievement. Write them a thank you letter for supporting the NEA and tell them how their community will benefit from the funding you received.

Click here to read the full list of grantees and their projects. The next deadline for Art Works funding is July 23, 2015.

Appropriations Season is Coming Soon


In the coming months, Congressional appropriators will soon meet to decide the distribution of the federal budget for FY16 which begins October 1. PAA will keep you informed throughout the process with updates and opportunities to take action. In FY16 appropriations, PAA is advocating for:

  • National Endowment for the Arts: $155 million in the Interior Appropriations bill
  • Cultural Exchange: $110 million to the Office of Citizen Exchanges at the State Department in the State and Foreign Operations bill
  • Arts Education: $30 million for the Arts in Education (AIE) programs at the Department of Education in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill.

How can you get involved? Gather your stories and statements about the community impact of your programs and projects supported by NEA or Dept. of Education funding, and the benefits of artists going abroad as cultural ambassadors. Contact your legislators with this information and share this in PAA Action Alerts. Stay tuned for opportunities to speak up for the arts this appropriation season.

(Photo Credit: StockMonkeys.com via Flickr Creative Commons)

Memorial Day Recess for Congress

The House and Senate are at recess for the Memorial Day holiday May 25­29. While your legislator is at home, take the time to schedule a meeting or make a phone call to thank them for their support of the arts or to tell them about the work your organization is doing to impact your community. This is also a great time to invite them to see an education program in action, or to see a performance. Visit the PAA Advocacy Toolkit for tips on setting up meetings with legislators, inviting them to performances, and more.

(Photo Credit: Selena N.B.H. Flickr Creative Commons)