Music Education Advocacy Alert: House Votes on Friday!
February 25, 2015
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on proposals to rewrite our nation's education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Hundreds of orchestra advocates weighed in on a Senate draft ESEA bill last month, urging support for more equitable access to music education. It's now time to reach out to your member of Congress to deliver these key messages:
- The arts are currently listed as a core academic subject in federal law. Any rewrite of ESEA must retain the arts in the definition of "core academic subjects," enabling access to critical federal resources that address inequalities and strengthen education.
- Federal law should require transparency in how much or how little arts education is being offered to our nation's students. Collecting and publicly reporting the status and condition of arts education and other core academic subjects on an annual basis at the state level is critical to ensuring equitable access to a comprehensive education for all students.
- Arts education must be supported in provisions relating to early childhood education, afterschool/out-of-school learning, teaching effectiveness, school turnaround, charter schools, and student assessment.
- The U.S. Department of Education should continue to administer a direct, nationally funded competitive Arts in Education grant program that advances the capacity of the arts to strengthen learning and improve teaching.
The House majority's ESEA proposal (HR 5) recommends broad changes to the federal leadership role in education reform, and an alternative developed by House Democrats is likely to also be considered on the House floor. The vote on each measure is expected to largely take place along party lines. Members of Congress will be paying attention to what matters to their constituents, so a message sent by you today will inform ongoing education reform discussions.
Your message to your elected official will have the most impact if you customize it to include details about the urgent need for improved access to arts education in your community.
The League is partnering with dozens of national arts and arts education organizations in advancing the four key messages above. Please contact your members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Click here to customize and send an email by this Friday, February 27, and urge support for the arts in ESEA reauthorization!
Contact Congress Today
, director of government affairs & education advocacy.
The League is a member of the Performing Arts Alliance, a coalition of national performing arts service organizations dedicated to advocating for national policies that recognize, enhance, and foster the contributions the performing arts make to America.
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New Congress to Vote on Giving Incentives - Make it Personal!
February 9, 2015
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a package of charitable giving provisions, including one that would make the IRA Charitable Rollover permanent. Advocacy is working, bipartisan support is growing, and your stories about the impact of charitable giving in your community will make a difference.
The opportunity to donate tax-free distributions from retirement accounts to charities was unavailable to donors in 2014, right up until the last two weeks of the year, when Congress and the White House agreed to a short-term reinstatement that again expired on December 31, 2014.
Twice in 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of permanently enacting the IRA Charitable Rollover, but the second vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to overcome a White House veto threat over how to pay for the package of provisions. With the House poised to vote once again on making the IRA Rollover permanent, your organization has an excellent opportunity to describe what transpired in those last two weeks of 2014 when the IRA Rollover was available to donors. Did your orchestra experience a surge of new contributions? Did donors say they would have made contributions with more time to plan their giving? What untapped potential to increase your orchestra's impact in your community would be met by making the IRA Rollover permanent?
The League's online campaign portal, linked below, provides a sample letter to your member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Please take a few moments to send a message, personalizing it with examples of the impact of charitable giving to your orchestra, in your community. Thank you!
Essentials Heads West!
This year, the League is partnering with USC to host our 10-day immersive leadership seminar, Essentials of Orchestra Management, in LA. Learn more!
New Free eBook!
Get the best from your board with our new BoardSource eBook The Board Building Cycle: Nine Steps to Finding, Recruiting, and Engaging Nonprofit Board Members. Free for League members!
Join us in Cleveland for Conference 2015!
Register now for the League’s Annual Conference—May 27-29 in Cleveland, OH! Visit our Conference 2015 website for more information.
NEA FY16 Grant Application Deadlines and Guidelines Now Posted
January 7, 2015
The League has prepared specialized tips to help orchestras navigate the new FY16 National Endowment for the Arts guidelines. Grant application deadlines are earlier than usual, and the NEA has created a new grant opportunity.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the NEA in 2015, and the National Park Service's (NPS) Centennial in 2016, the two agencies are working together to encourage the creation of and greater public engagement with art relating to the work and mission of our national park system. Interested applicants might consider projects commissioning and presenting new work in or adjacent to a national park, performances, or festivals in these settings, for example. Applicants also may consider NPS-managed trails, rivers, designated landmarks, historic sites, and heritage areas as sites of activity in a project proposal. Collaborative partnerships with the selected park area or program are strongly encouraged. For a project being proposed within a national park, applicants must first consult with the appropriate NPS official. See "NEA-NPS Funding Collaboration" for more details, and note that this opportunity is subject to the single application rule.
The NEA's FY16 Application deadlines are February 19, 2015 for Art Works, Part 1; July 23, 2015 for Art Works Part 2; and April 15, 2015 for Challenge America.
Final Rules for Musical Instrument Air Travel Released by USDOT
December 31, 2014
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued final regulations to improve travel by air with musical instruments. The rules become effective within 60 days of being published and require major airlines to update their policies and practices. This action comes nearly three years after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act was signed into law, including a section mandating improved airline policies for musicians traveling with their instruments.
This major policy development is the result of intense and prolonged advocacy efforts by the music community, reinforced by dozens of Congressional leaders, including Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI).
The new rules require airlines to adequately accommodate musical instruments in their formal policies for checked and carry-on baggage, and to ensure that front-line airline personnel consistently apply the policies. The next crucial step will be for the airlines to adopt new policies, make them publicly accessible, and thoroughly train airline personnel. The League continues to partner closely with the American Federation of Musicians, Chamber Music America, the Recording Academy, the Performing Arts Alliance, and other national music organizations in conversation with senior USDOT and aviation industry officials, advocating for swift implementation, and immediate relief for traveling musicians.
As the airlines take action to implement the new rules, the League will update our online hub of resources to explain the impact on travel with musical instruments.