Performing Arts Alliance Newsletter
    December 21, 2016

In this issue:

Happy Holidays from PAA
FY17 Continuing Resolution
NEA Awards $30M in Grants
Nominations Open for NAHYP Awards
Arts Advocacy Day 2017
Meet with Congress During Recess  

Happy Holidays from PAA

We at the Performing Arts Alliance wish you a happy hoiday season. We look forward to working with you in the new year to support and advocate for the performing arts in our nation. Please note that the PAA office will be closed Dec. 26-27 and will reopen on Dec. 28. 

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Continuing Resolution in Effect through April 28

On December 9, Congress passed another continuing resolution (CR) for FY17, a spending agreement to keep the government running through April 28, 2017. President Obama signed the bill into law on December 12th. This is the second continuing resolution for FY17; the first was signed into law in September and expired on December 9.

The CR allows agencies and programs to operate at near FY16 levels while Congress continues to consider government funding for the rest of fiscal 2017, which began October 1st. Through this bill, arts and culture-related agencies and programs are funded at these levels:

  • National Endowment for the Arts: $148 million
  • Arts in Education at the Department of Education: $27 million
  • Exchange programs at the State Department: $102 million

All programs and initiatives that were authorized during FY16 are permitted to continue, however, agencies and departments are not permitted to fund new initiatives during the term of the continuing resolution. This latest CR is set to expire in April, leaving up for discussion government funding through the rest of FY17. April is also around the time of year that Congress is expected to begin appropriations discussions for FY18, meaning that the arts community may be advocating for both FY17 and FY18 at the same time.  PAA will keep you informed on arts and culture-related appropriations as they unfold and alert you to key opportunities to take action with your legislators.

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NEA Awards First Grants of FY17

This month, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced the first round of grant awards in the FY17 funding cycle. Over $30 million was awarded to projects in 48 states.

Awards were granted in the Challenge America and Art Works categories, and Creative Writing Fellowships were also awarded. The Art Works category included "Creativity Connects" projects, Chairman Jane Chu's signature initiative that supports partnerships between arts and non-arts organizations, such as those in science, technology, and healthcare.

More information about NEA grant programs, upcoming deadlines, and application details is available here on the NEA's website.

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Apply for the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards

Do you know of a nonprofit arts organization that's doing outstanding work in creative youth development? Could that be your organization? If so, nominate an organization (or apply) for the 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program (NAHYP) Awards.

This program-a partnership between The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services-honors after-school arts and humanities programs that engage at-risk youth in opportunities that promote creative expression and personal and academic success. NAHYP awardees will receive a $10,000 prize and be recognized in a special ceremony at the White House in the summer of 2017.

Application instructions and eligibility requirements can be found here. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 5:00 p.m. PST.

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Save the Date for Arts Advocacy Day 2017

Arts Advocacy Day 2017, the annual event sponsored by Americans for the Arts, is March 20-21. PAA is a National Partner of this year's event and is also a member of the legislative planning committee.

At this annual event, advocates will come together from across the nation for the latest information about top national arts policy issues, training and tips for meeting with legislators, networking with fellow advocates, and meeting with lawmakers and staffers to educate them about the importance of the arts in our nation.

You can learn more about Arts Advocacy Day and register for the event here.

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Meet with Congress During Recess

Congress is on recess until after the new year; take time to meet with your lawmakers and speak up for the arts!

We encourage you to speak up for the issues impacting your communities and the work of your arts organizations and to build relationships with new and returning lawmakers. Nonprofits are allowed by law to participate in advocacy (efforts to educate lawmakers about particular issues) and lobbying (activities aimed to influence lawmakers' positions on specific pieces of legislation). There are legal limits to lobbying based on the amount of funds expended, but there is no limit on educational advocacy activities.

PAA has prepared a detailed toolkit explaining lobbying and advocacy, how to meet with legislators, and how to build your case about the issues that matter to you. You can also visit the PAA Arts Advocacy Issue Center for facts and talking points on topics such as the National Endowment for the Arts, arts education, and more.

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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.