In 2015, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) celebrated its 50th anniversary–and there’s plenty to celebrate.
This year, the NEA made 1,023 awards totaling $74,326,900 to nonprofit arts organizations in all 50 states and five U.S. jurisdictions, including many Americans for the Arts member organizations. It’s that nationwide reach and impact that Americans for the Arts amplifies with our essential work, building partnerships and bringing together such disparate groups as school teachers and principals, members of the military, doctors, congressional representatives, and community leaders. Each connection we make shares an end goal: promoting a greater understanding of the value of the arts and ensuring every American has the opportunity to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.
Throughout 2015, Americans for the Arts continued to engage with stakeholders and grassroots organizers through our signature events including Arts Advocacy Day, the Annual Convention, the BCA 10 Awards, and the National Arts Marketing Project Conference, while developing new strategies to reach out and form new connections through programs such as our three-year Transforming America’s Communities Through the Arts Initiative, a comprehensive, three-year initiative to increase understanding of the value of the arts and investment in the arts.
Always with an eye to the future, Americans for the Arts was also one of many supporters of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law by President Obama in December 2015. This new legislation affecting the next generation of students represents a new opportunity for state governments to ensure that dedicated funding providing for arts education is included in our nation’s public schools. By recognizing the arts as an essential component of a “well-rounded education,” ESSA includes provisions to provide arts education programs and teachers with federal funds through provisions such as Title I, ensuring continued access for all.
Moving forward, we will continue to innovate and engage with our partners across the arts and non-arts sectors to as we continue our mission of supporting access to all of the arts for all of the people into the future.