Georgia Advocacy Update: April 2015

A summary of Arts Advocacy happenings over the last year.

At the State Level:

  1. Georgia Department of Education announced a Fine Arts Coordinator position. GDOE has not had such a position in over 20 years
  2. HB 76, the Fiscal Year 2016 budget, went to Conference Committee after the Senate Finance Committee, led by Senator Jack Hill, added $300,000 to the Georgia Council for the Arts budget. The increase was retained in the final budget bill and is effectively a 50 percent increase in the initial proposed budget, which was basically flat funding. The total budget now is $900,360. While Georgia has now surpassed Kansas to reach the 49th rank among the states for arts funding, the increase means our state funds the arts at just $0.09 per capita. We should celebrate the first significant increase in 7 years, but there is still much work to do!
  3. Governor Deal appointed an Arts Learning Task Force that is studying how to improve arts education in our state.

At the National Level:

  1. A trio of studenst from the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra performs for a national audience at the 2015 National Arts Advocacy Day.

    Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra students perform at National Arts Advocacy Day.

    The Georgia Arts Network led the state delegation at National Arts Advocacy Day on March 24. There were 23 advocates in the delegation – Georgia was in the top 5 states participating by size of delegation. Of the 16 Georgia Congressional offices, delegates were able to meet both of the Senatorial offices and ten of the House offices.

  2. The primary emphases for Congressional visits were:
    • Support for an NEA allocation of $155M in the FY2016 budget
    • Protection of deductibility levels for charitable contributions
    • Urging the reinstatement and making permanent the IRA Charitable Rollover
    • Support for reauthorization and strengthening of the arts components in the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
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  1. Pingback: 2015 Annual Meeting: Learning & Voting! | Georgia Arts Network

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