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Thank you for being our Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of GBCA’s friends and supporters! The Board of Directors and staff are grateful for your partnership and for your commitment to the cultural community.

Today was Maryland Arts Day! The entire GBCA staff joined hundreds of advocates in Annapolis to highlight the extraordinary impact of the arts in our state. Our message to legislators was to thank them for their support of last year's record funding for the arts and for passing SB 377, which wrote into law a new funding formula for the arts. Further, advocates asked legislators to support the Governor's proposed budget for the arts this year: $21 million for FY 2018! Even if you weren’t able to join us today, we need you to continue reaching out to your elected officials. A big thank you to Maryland Citizens for the Arts for their amazing work.

In a follow up to the newsletter last week, GBCA encourages you to continue honoring Black History Month with a visit to one of the region’s many extraordinary events or venues. This week we recommend, Maryland Historical Society’s “Paul Henderson: Baltimore's Civil Rights Era in Photographs.” Baltimore's Civil Rights movement began in the early to mid-1930s. The lynching of George Armwood on Maryland's Eastern Shore in 1933 sparked revamping of the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP and intense activism among residents of Baltimore. Along with education, church, sports, NAACP, politicians, and the Afro-American newspaper, Pennsylvania Avenue is one of the many subjects featured in Henderson’s photographs.

Many people are asking what they can do to help demonstrate the power and importance of the arts and humanities. In addition to calling your state officials, here are a few other suggestions:

Come Share Your Views
This Thursday, February 16, at 4:00 at the War Memorial (101 North Gay Street), attend the community listening session for the Mayor’s Task Force on Safe Art Spaces. This initiative was created by Mayor Catherine Pugh “… to create a citywide network of safe, cost-effective, contemporary, living, live/work, studio, and performance spaces for artists.” Many artists and other leaders have been joining the Task Force meetings, and Thursday will be completely devoted to community input. Let your voice be heard!

Act on Behalf of Arts Education
Baltimore Arts Education Coalition will be making a presentation before the Baltimore City School Board at its meeting on February 28th. Let’s pack the room to show our support. The Coalition will be presenting recent findings about the decline in arts teacher positions within the district over the past four years. RSVP here.

Support Americans for the Arts (AFTA) and the Arts Action Fund
We rely on AFTA for arts advocacy with the federal government and in 2017 they are more important than ever. Go to the website and sign the petition encouraging President Trump to support the arts. The 30th annual Arts Advocacy Day activities will take place March 20-21, 2017 in Washington, D.C. For last year's event highlights and advocacy resources, check out the Arts Advocacy Day 2016 wrap up page. AFTA also recently launched a brand-new Arts Mobilization Center providing information on top issues affecting the arts today.

Keeping the arts and humanities in my heart,

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As a member of GBCA, you will not only gain access to wonderful benefits, but you will also become an active participant in a broader cultural community. Your organization and employees will directly benefit from opportunities to collaborate, connect, learn, network and share with your colleagues in the cultural community. Join our growing constituency of over 300 individual artists and organizations representing the region's extraordinary range of arts, culture, history, heritage, humanities, and attractions.

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