Performing Arts Alliance Newsletter
    July 23, 2015

In this issue:

NEA Appropriations Update
Senate Committee Extends IRA Rollover
ESEA Rewrite Passes in Senate
FCC Plans for Spectrum Auctions
Upcoming PAA Events

NEA Appropriations Update

On July 7, the House resumed consideration of the FY16 Interior Appropriations Bill which contains the budget for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Talks were stalled and the bill was pulled from the floor on July 9 after controversy erupted surrounding a vote about the confederate flag being displayed on cemeteries on federal land.

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved level funding for the NEA at $146 million. With Congress approaching the August recess, the status of all appropriations bills is uncertain. We encourage you to contact your elected officials now and throughout the recess to make the case for the importance of NEA funding in your communities.


Senate Committee Passes IRA Rollover Extension

The Senate Finance Committee advanced a bill for temporary reinstatement of tax extenders--including the IRA Charitable Rollover--during a markup on July 21. The IRA rollover allows donors ages 70 1/2 and older to make tax-free contributions to charitable organizations of up to $100,000 directly from their IRA. This provision expired at the end of 2014 and has been in a cycle of expiration and reinstatement for the past several years. PAA will join other national nonprofits in visits to Senate offices this week, urging lawmakers to support this important provision (more). 


Senate Passes Education Law Rewrite

On July 16, the Senate passed the "Every Child Achieves Act" (S.1177), its version of legislation to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA is the federal education law that funds primary and secondary education. The law aims to provide all students with fair and equal opportunities to achieve a high quality education. It was last reauthorized in 2002 as "No Child Left Behind."

The Senate's bill contains several "wins" for arts education, including retention of the arts in the definition of "core academic subject" (more).


FCC to Discuss Wireless Microphones

The next Open Meeting of the FCC will take place on August 6, 2015. The agenda includes adoption of rules to govern the spectrum incentive auction in 2016 and rules affecting the future distribution of services in the broadcast spectrum. 

In these auctions, the FCC is offering broadcasters the opportunity to put up for sale the rights/licenses to certain bands of broadcast spectrum where wireless microphones currently operate. Broadcasters will receive a share of the auction proceeds. PAA advocates for performing arts wireless technology as a part of the Performing Arts Wireless Microphone Working Group. The group recently filed an Ex Parte letter outlining the needs of wireless microphones in the performing arts (more). 


Upcoming Events

PAA is on the road this year!

We've been meeting with and learning from independent artists and local performing arts organizations about the policy issues and various matters impacting their work in their communities. In April, we met with artists and organizations at a town hall meeting in Austin, TX. In August, we're travelling to Alternate ROOTS' ROOTS Week in Arden, NC and Network of Ensemble Theater's National Gathering in Fayette, ME to learn from artists there.

Attending one of these events? Send us an email; we look forward to meeting you! 

The Performing Arts Alliance (PAA) is a 501c4 multi-disciplinary coalition of national service organizations from the professional nonprofit performing arts field. Through legislative and grassroots action, PAA advocates before the U.S. Congress and key policy makers for national policies that enhance and foster the contributions the performing arts make to America.