NAMTA Advocates for Art on Capitol Hill

NAMTA Members on Capital Hill

Hosted by Americans for the Arts (www.artsusa.com) 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: www.americansforthearts.org

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