NAMTA Advocates for Art on Capitol Hill

NAMTA Members on Capital Hill

Hosted by Americans for the Arts ( and cosponsored by 85+ national arts organizations, including NAMTA, National Arts Advocacy Day brought more than 500 grassroots advocates from across the country to Washington DC last week to meet with their members of Congress in support of issues like arts education policy, the charitable tax deduction, and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. NAMTA President Hayley Prendergast, Executive Director Reggie Hall and NAMTA's Art Advocacy Manager Leah Siffringer, represented NAMTA in advocating for the arts with members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

"This was NAMTA's first real venture into art advocacy on a national level," said NAMTA Executive Director Reggie Hall. "NAMTA and its members share many of the same concerns as hundreds of other local, state and national groups who support the arts and this event is a great way for NAMTA to step up its advocacy agenda through a nationally recognized and effective program."

The two day event started with sessions on strategizing for meetings with members of congress, updates on the latest research and figures to help make a case for supporting the arts, wide-range networking through small round table discussions and specialized policy briefings. All of this was followed by a day of meetings on Capitol Hill with members of Congress and their staffs. Actor Alec Baldwin, a longtime vocal supporter of the arts, along with several members of Congress addressed the group to express their support.

"The Board of Directors has made art advocacy one of NAMTA's key strategic priorities and being a part of this national effort is just one piece of that agenda," said NAMTA President Hayley Prendergast, who also represented NAMTA at a special White House briefing where representatives of the National Endowment for the Arts and other senior level officials representing White House and federal agencies discussed how the arts are being incorporated into their respective agendas.

"We will be unveiling a new website, logo and a wide array of art advocacy tools in Pittsburgh at NAMTA's annual convention plus we will have one of Americans For The Arts’ senior executives addressing NAMTA at Wednesday's Opening General Session."

Keynoting the Art Materials World Exhibition and Conference will be Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts -- the nation's advocacy organization for the arts. He’s a highly sought-after speaker who regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

Additionally, Leah Siffringer, who manages NAMTA's Art Advocacy efforts, has developed a special breakout program session Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh to provide specific information on how you can support and advocate for the arts in your community. The session will feature Samantha Steelman, Arts Action Fund Program Coordinator for Americans for the Arts – learn more about Samantha

For more information on Art Advocacy Day and Americans For The Arts visit these websites:

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NEA Funding once again Saved!


Earlier this month, the House of Representatives brought to the floor the FY’24 Interior appropriations bill with two floor amendments introduced by Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Scott Perry (PA-10) that would have eliminated all future funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Both amendments were soundly defeated in a bipartisan fashion with 100% support of Democrats and nearly 40% of Republicans voting against the amendments.

This victory is due, in no small part, to the hard work of arts advocates, like you, across the country. While more work needs to be done for the House to match the Senate's higher appropriations amount of $207 million each for the NEA and NEH for FY'24, this vote demonstrates the influence arts advocates have when united to support important federal arts and humanities programs.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, it is important to take a moment to thank the House Members who voted against these egregious amendments. These 292 House Members worked in a bipartisan fashion to protect arts funding and puts Congress on a path to match last year’s funding levels of $207 million each.

Please thank Members of Congress today who voted down these amendments on the House floor that would have eliminated NEA and NEH funding.

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