As Laurie Baskin says at the TCG site, “It is vitally important that you actively participate in advocacy this week regarding the NEA.”

Click through to her post where you will find several links for action and advocacy. Do check them out, sign onto the lists, send messages to your congressmen. Also check out Americans for the Arts’ advocacy page.

But, while you can personalize the messages, each one is just one form letter at a time.

Let’s create a living document of projects, a growing list that we can all share.

Tell us about a project–or multiple projects–that enriched your community, projects that would not have been possible without support from the NEA.

Use the comments here and, if you’re on Twitter, take a moment and post there using the hashtag #NEA365.

Why 365? Because that’s one project for every day of the year. I’m thinking we can find more than that…

I’ll put my money where my mouth is. My company, Riverrun Theatre, would not have been able to produce as much as we have in the last seven years if not for support from the NEA. This includes supporting theatre artists and designers who live locally, developing and producing new work, providing the occasional workshops for local students whose school arts education budgets have been slashed repeatedly in recent years, supporting the businesses who sponsor us and partner with us for events…

We’d love to do more, but we’ve done what we can. And let me tell you, it’s easier to approach a potential sponsor or donor with an NEA grant in hand that needs matching.

The county where I live and work has a total population of around 25,000. We’re not far from Louisville or Cincinnati, but we’re just far enough. Sadly, our newly-elected representative may be part of the group of freshmen representatives pushing for more and more budget cuts.

So let’s get going. Give us concrete examples of the NEA helping your community. They can be projects you’ve taken part in, project you’ve originated, anything. Tell us not just what the NEA is worth but why it’s worth supporting.

As the list grows, let your congressmen know about this, show them what kind of impact the NEA has on real people. And remind them how the arts can be the engine for revitalizing local economies, again thanks to Americans for the Arts.

This isn’t just a call to arms, it’s a call to arts.


  • February 15, 2011