Include the Arts in the National Economic Recovery Plan – ACT NOW

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Include the Arts in the National Economic Recovery Plan – ACT NOW

To remain competitive in the global economy, America needs to reinvigorate the kind of creativity and innovation that has made this country great.  To do so, we must create an environment that fosters art as essential to the health and vitality of our communities, both economically and socially. 

Congress is currently considering the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, which includes funding for the arts and culture to help revitalize American’s economy. 

However, an Amendment to the Recovery Plan has recently been introduced by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).  The Coburn Limitation on Funds Amendment No. 175 would prohibit ANY funds in the economic stimulus bill from going to local theatre and arts centers. 

Local theatres and art centers throughout the nation are essential components of America's cultural fabric.  They not only educate and entertain people in communities throughout this nation, they nurture aspiring artists and performers, instruct and inspire children, and provide employment to tens of thousands of Americans across a wide range of careers.  In tough economic times, these local theaters and arts centers often suffer disproportionately as a result of families having to tighten their belts.

We urge you go to the link below and send a message to your lawmakers urging them to oppose the Coburn Limitation of Funds Amendment No. 175.  We must act quickly to be heard on this, as these measures are being fast-tracked through the Senate. 

Please feel free to use the following message and to add your own comments: 

As a member of Screen Actors Guild, I urge you to oppose the Coburn Limitation of Funds Amendment No. 175.   Investing in the arts and cultural sectors is thoughtful economic policy and must be included in the Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. 

In a report released in mid-January, the National Governor's Association stated, "Arts and culture are important to state economies. Arts and culture-related industries, also known as "creative industries," provide direct economic benefits to states and communities: They create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies.

There are approximately 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations, which spend $63.1 billion annually. Without an economic stimulus for the nonprofit arts industry, experts expect about 10% of these organizations (ranging from large arts institutions like museums and orchestras to small community-based organizations in suburban, urban and rural areas) to shut their doors in 2009 – a loss of 260,000 jobs.

Thank you. 

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