Good News from Americans for the Arts

Posted by: Dave Douglas on February 13, 2009 @ 4:33 pm
Filed under: Culture

Dear Dave:

Just moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives approved their final version of the Economic Recovery bill by a vote of 246-183. We can now confirm that the package DOES include $50 million in direct support for arts jobs through National Endowment for the Arts grants. We are also happy to report that the exclusionary Coburn Amendment language banning certain arts groups from receiving any other economic recovery funds has also been successfully removed. Tonight the Senate is scheduled to have their final vote, and President Obama plans to sign the bill on Monday – President’s Day.

More than 85,000 letters were sent to Congress, thousands of calls were made, and hundreds of op-eds, letters to the editor, news stories, and blog entries were generated in print and online media about the role of the arts in the economy. Artists, business leaders, mayors, governors, and a full range of national, state, and local arts groups all united together on this advocacy issue. This outcome marks a stunning turnaround of events and exemplifies the power of grassroots arts advocacy.


  1. I wrote a letter to my representatives and was thrilled to see that the Arts money was included in the bill. Go us!

    Comment by Jason Parker — February 28, 2009 @ 3:15 am

  2. Hi Jason,

    Yes, it’s amazing when things work, isn’t it? The Arts are a huge industry, creating many thousands of jobs (and that’s aside from all the other immeasurable contributions). Good to see this recognized in Washington.

    State-wide there are still funding issues to be decided. is waging a campaign to make sure our representatives are aware of the strength of arts in education and presentation. You can visit them to learn about more letters to be written.


    Comment by Dave — February 28, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

Leave a comment