Performing Arts Alliance Newsletter
    January 26, 2016



A New Year for Arts Advocacy

Last year heralded great progress on issues important to performing arts communities across the country. Our voices rallied together to achieve many exciting victories! This progress is energizing as we enter a new year for arts advocacy!


After several years of level funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, our advocacy efforts helped increase FY16 NEA funding to a five-year high of $147,949,000 and have increased U.S. Department of Education appropriations for arts education by $2 million. We sent a strong message to Washington that art remains a vital, nourishing force for education, building communities, and celebrating culture, in spite of these economically and politically uncertain times.

Our collective efforts led to several other arts policy wins in 2015:

  • The IRA Charitable Rollover was made permanent; this important tax incentive had previously been burdened by cycles of expiration and reinstatement.

  • The new Every Student Succeeds Act, which will replace No Child Left Behind, defines the arts as part of a "well-rounded" education. Well-rounded subjects are eligible uses of Title I funds and other federal resources for education. ESSA also contains several arts education-friendly provisions.

  • The Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation issued improved regulations that would protect musical instruments transported in-cabin on all domestic airlines.


Just a few days into 2016, we celebrated another advocacy win: the IRS withdrew its regulatory proposal for nonprofits' "voluntary" substantiation of individual donor gifts. Again, the voices of arts and nonprofit advocates promoted positive change on policies that affect our work, resources, and ability to serve our communities.

PAA looks forward to another year of working with you to advance policies that highlight, enhance, and support the contribution the nonprofit performing arts sector makes to America.


PAA Submits Comments to the Deptartment of Education


A fundamental change to our nation's education law is likely to have significant effects on the education programs of arts and cultural organizations nationwide. The U.S. Department of Education recently held two public stakeholder meetings seeking recommendations on the implementation and operation of Title I programs under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the new federal education law replacing No Child Left Behind. This new law aims to provide all elementary and secondary students with fair and equal opportunities to achieve a high-quality education.


Title I of ESSA provides federal financial assistance to schools and school districts with high percentages of children from low-income families to support students' academic success. PAA's recommendations to the Department of Education include advice on arts education data collection, transparency regarding student access to the arts in Title I schools, and arts assessment models. You can read PAA's comments here.



Save the Date: Arts Advocacy Day 2016!


Arts Advocacy Day 2016 is March 7-8 in Washington, DC. The annual event, organized by Americans for the Arts, brings together hundreds of arts and cultural advocates from around the nation to speak up for the arts on Capitol Hill.


PAA is a National Partner for this year's event, helping to shape the legislative agenda and training materials for arts advocates. Read our "Dear Member of Congress" letter to be distributed Senators and Representatives in this year's Arts Advocacy Day Policy Handbook.

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.