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The League’s fiscal year ends June 30th. Make your gift to the Annual Fund here today! Your support makes the League’s work possible. Thank you!

Speak up today! Congress advances NEA funding this week

June 14, 2016

The House Interior Subcommittee has approved a $2 million increase for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in FY2017, matching the President's budget request. Today, the Senate Interior Subcommittee approved an increase of $500,000. Every dollar matters - and so does your voice - as both the House and Senate move the NEA's funding forward for further consideration. The full House Appropriations Committee acts tomorrow, and the Senate Appropriations Committee plans to take up the bill on Thursday. Now is the time for you, as a constituent of these key decision makers, to weigh in and remind your members of Congress just how important the NEA is in bringing the transformative power of the arts to all corners of the country.  

CONTACT CONGRESS TODAY: Join us in urging Appropriators to support increased funding for the NEA in FY17!

New League guide on orchestra governance

Smart, succinct advice–Effective Orchestra Governance: A Guide for Boards is a new book from the League, free for members to download.

New ivory rules support musical instruments

On July 6, new rules will take effect for int’l travel and domestic commerce with musical instruments that contain African elephant ivory. Read our overview here.

Take Action to Support Music Education. Write to Your Senator!

June 6, 2016

You are receiving this alert because your orchestra is located in the state of a Senator who will be considering funding levels for the U.S. Department of Education this week! On Thursday, June 9, the Senate Appropriations Committee will consider the first funding bill to implement the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act.
 
We are asking Senators to take the following actions to help close huge disparities in access to music education in our nation's schools as they consider funding levels in the FY17 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill:

Please use the League's online email campaign to send a customized message to your Senator today.
 
Thank you for your ongoing advocacy in support of music education!

Effective Orchestra Governance: A Guide for Boards – free to members

Effective Orchestra Governance: A Guide for Boards is a new book from the League of American Orchestras, filled with smart, succinct advice and free for members to download. (The League mailed a hard copy in June 2016 to member orchestra board chairs and executive directors.)

As Jesse Rosen, the League’s President and CEO writes in the foreword, “We are fortunate to bring forward the expert voices of Ellen Hirzy, Lowell Noteboom, and David Nygren, that combine to convey governance guidance that is both grounded in the most recent research and practice, and field-tested against the reality of orchestras in the 21st century.

“This book is just one recent example of the League’s many resources designed to support orchestra board members and excellence in governance practice. I hope it will be useful, and I encourage readers to take advantage of all the resources we have available through our Noteboom Governance Center.”

Register to download your copy through this link.

New Ivory Rules Support Musical Instruments

June 2, 2016

On July 6, 2016, new rules will take effect for both international travel and domestic commerce with musical instruments that contain small quantities of African elephant ivory. Finalizing new rules under the Endangered Species Act to institute a near-total ban on the domestic commercial trade of African elephant ivory has been a top priority of the Obama Administration. Since the plan to issue new rules was announced in February 2014, the League and its member orchestras have played a key leadership role in national conversations with White House officials, top leadership at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Congress, and conservation organizations to successfully seek solutions that would address the ongoing use of legally crafted musical instruments.

The final rules broaden access to travel permits, allow for domestic interstate commerce in existing musical instruments containing "de minimis" quantities of ivory weighing less than 200 grams, and very helpfully clarify that legally-crafted musical instruments are not contributing to the poaching and trafficking crisis. 

In announcing the rules to reverse a current travel restriction and provide opportunities for ongoing domestic interstate commerce in musical instruments, USFWS Director Dan Ashe said, "We listened carefully to the legitimate concerns raised by various stakeholder groups and, as a result, are allowing commonsense, narrow exceptions for musicians, musical instrument makers and dealers...to trade items that have minimal amounts of ivory and satisfy other conditions. These items are not drivers of elephant poaching and do not provide cover for traffickers."

League President and CEO Jesse Rosen said, "We look forward to ongoing engagement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as further guidance is crafted to inform orchestra musicians about the de minimis sales exemption and expanded travel permit eligibility. The Administration's ultimate approach to the African elephant ivory rule demonstrates that it is possible to address urgent conservation needs while also supporting global cultural activity."

Between now and July 6, USFWS will be working on creating new resources to guide compliance with the new requirements. In the meantime, the League has analyzed the 114-page rule and new USFWS Q & A to provide a summary of the top items that relate to musical instruments.

See the League's Overview on the Ivory Ban and Musical Instruments

The League is grateful to our partners at Chamber Music America, The Recording Academy, the American Federation of Violin and Bowmakers, NAMM, the American Federation of Musicians, Carnegie Hall, and our other national collaborators in ongoing efforts to make progress on this complex policy issue.

Further action is still to come on a broader array issues related to international travel with protected species material, particularly as the U.S. prepares to enter into international negotiations on this topic at this September's Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

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NEA Funding Update: Subcommittee Speedily Advances Bill to Appropriations Committee

May 25, 2016

On Monday, we alerted you to plans for the House Interior Appropriators subcommittee to begin deliberations for FY17 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Today, the Subcommittee advanced its recommended bill without amendments at this time, which includes an approximately $2 million increase in funding for the NEA to a level of $149.849 million. This amount equals the President's request.
 
The next step will be for the larger Appropriations committee to take up the Interior bill for debate, at which time amendments for the various funding priorities within the bill are likely to be offered. We will let you know when this next step is scheduled, so you can voice your support and urge your Representative to do the same. Thank you for your advocacy!

Special Alert! YOUR U.S. Rep. Begins NEA Funding Process

May 23, 2016

This Wednesday, your member of Congress will be at the table when the House Interior Subcommittee considers a bill that includes the FY17 budget for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
 
The total amount of money that the Subcommittee can allocate to various accounts is subject to budget caps, which means all non-defense spending continues to be vulnerable to reductions. Grants awarded to orchestras by the NEA, and support provided to orchestras through NEA funds administered by state arts agencies, provide critical funding for projects that increase access to music in communities nationwide.
 
Orchestras and the broader arts community are requesting $155 million for the NEA. Please use the League's online Advocacy Center to tell your Representative how vital NEA funding is to your community and to the nation. Your voice matters!

Click Here to Contact Your Representative Today!