As most of you are aware, funding for important federal agencies that support the arts and humanities are anticipated targets of budget cuts under the new administration. Many of us are looking for ways to help our members of Congress understand how important it is to preserve these agencies. We can also arm our government advocates with the information they need to convince their peers to join them in their support.
Last week, I participated in Museum Advocacy Day sponsored by the American Alliance for Museums. In our many conversations, our elected officials were excited to hear the ways in which the impact of our sector can be demonstrated. Funding from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute of Museum and Library Studies is often the first money secured for innovative and impactful programming. This money validates initiatives and, while often covering just a fraction of the costs, are critical in leveraging the investments of private philanthropy. Federal funding distributed locally by state arts agencies and humanities councils make a tremendous impact in every state. Right here in Maryland, we know that each dollar amount granted through the Maryland State Arts Council returns $3 in economic impact. Nationally, museums alone contribute $21 billion to local economies and billions more by spurring local tourism.
But arts and humanities are much more than economic drivers. They help tell our stories, embrace beauty and conflict, educate our children, and connect our communities to one another and to our humanity. They contribute to our ability to conduct civil discourse and understand our government. So, what can you do to help? Go to the websites of Americans for the Arts, American Alliance of Museums, and the Humanities Alliance and take advantage of their calls to action. They are great resources for talking points as well. We have also collected a listing of these resources on a special Call to Action page on the GBCA website.
Locally? We have a few surveys circulating that still need your attention, one for safe spaces for artists and the other to help understand how you participate in cultural activities. Both will provide important information for decision-making.
Lastly, thank you to all who joined us for a spectacular Happy Hour at Everyman Theatre. Special thanks to the Everyman team including Director of Marketing, Michele Alexander, and Managing Director and GBCA Board member, Jonathan Waller.
Is it spring?