Archive for the ‘action alert’ Category

Call to Action for the Arts before 6/16 – Wake County

We have just received the following Call to Action from Arts NC:

Thank you for being a part of our action network!

Both the House and the Senate have appointed Conferees who will resolve differences in the two budgets. (The House budget included a $500,000 increase for Grassroots Arts Program as allocate by the North Carolina Arts Council. The Senate budget did not concur with the House.)

We now have a final opportunity–
and a real one–to encourage House Representatives to hold firm to their recommendation and for the Senate members to agree. Arts funding will be an issue in the Conference process. The game could go either way. It depends on what you are willing to do.

Sen. Chad Barefoot, Rep. Chris Malone & Rep. Marilyn Avila of Wake County…
…hold very important positions in the upcoming Conference process. We are counting on arts advocates to contact their key General Assembly member and help us secure the Grassroots Arts funding increase.

If you know these legislators personally, please place a telephone call and talk to the Legislative Assistant or leave your name on their message machine.
Sen Chad Barefoot: (919) 715-3036
Rep. Chris Malone: (919) 715-3010
​Rep: Marilyn Avila: (919) 733-5530

If you do NOT know these legislators personally,

Please drop a short, hard copy letter in the mail by noon on Thursday, June 16.

Sen Chad Barefoot: 300 N. Salisbury Street, Rm. 308, Raleigh, NC 27603-5925

Rep. Chris Malone: 300 N. Salisbury Street, Rm. 603, Raleigh, NC 27603-5925

Rep: Marilyn Avila: 16 West Jones Street, Rm. 2217, Raleigh, NC 27601-1096
Make the letters short but personal, such as:

Congratulations on your appointment to the Conference Committee for the 2016-2017 State Budget. As a citizen of your district, I am asking that you hold firm to the House recommendation of a $500,000 increase for Grassroots Arts as allocated by the North Carolina Arts Council (or to your Senator…please concur with the House recommendation of a $500,000 increase for Grassroots Arts as allocated by the North Carolina Arts Council). Over 650 organizations in all 100 counties will benefit and 3.5 million citizens will be served by this remarkably efficient and effective grant program.

(Please conclude your written communications with a short paragraph about what the increase would mean in your county. This is important because we do not want the Legislator to think your communications are a form letter. Always end with a sentence of gratitude for their service.)

Thank you for your dedicated service to the citizens of North Carolina.

And please send an email to Arts NC at this address if you receive a response.

What’s at stake?

A resounding response to this Call to Action could have a major impact on the arts where you live. Wake County currently receives $203,047 in Grassroots Arts funding. The $500,000 increase would bring that amount to $244,422.
Take action no later than noon on Thursday, June 16.

Thank you, advocate!

Karen Wells
Executive Director

 

Learn more about the background of these issues on Arts NC’s Arts Advocacy page.

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Call to Action – June 7 @ 7pm – Support Raleigh Arts Funding

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Its once again time to show up and stand up for the Arts.

If you live in Raleigh and work in or just support the Arts community, the Raleigh Arts Commission needs you.  Its time to start to implement the Raleigh Arts Plan and the Raleigh Arts Commission is asking the City Council for increased funding at Council’s budget meeting TOMORROW NIGHT!

 

Here is some specific information about how you can help from Nancy Novell, Raleigh Arts Commission Chair.

Funding the arts plan will kick-start the plan’s top five priorities, ensuring the entire community is included in the arts and included in enriching the identity of Raleigh.

  1. Create neighborhood arts programs
  2. Build capacity for ADA accessibility, cultural equity and audience
    diversity
  3. Increase quality and quantity of public art and accelerate its
    appearance across the city
  4. Design arts marketing and community resources
  5. Grow arts partner (grant) programs

How can you help? 

 

Attend the Budget Hearing

Please attend the City’s budget hearing on Tuesday, June
7th at 7pm in the City Council Chamber.  Join the crowd and stand
when called upon to show your support for the arts. Please help spread the
word!!

Email the Mayor and City Council

Send an email message to the Mayor and City Council members showing your support. Messages should be short – quick and easy to read! Here’s some basic info, feel free to personalize:

Subject Line: Support for Arts Funding

I encourage you to increase arts funding to support the Raleigh Arts Plan:

  • CREATE POSITION IN THE GENERAL FUND: Community Arts Program
    Coordinator ($60,000)
  • INCREASE THE PERCENT-FOR-ART PUBLIC ART PROGRAM: 1/2% – 1% (CIP
    Funds)
  • INCREASE PER CAPITA: $.50 – $.75 to support implementation of the
    Raleigh Arts Plan

Here are the email addresses:  

Mayor: nancy.mcfarlane@raleighnc.gov, cc: MayorStaff <mayorstaff@raleighnc.gov>
City Council: @raleighnc.gov and cc: councilstaff@raleighnc.gov – It
will get to everyone.

On behalf of the Arts Commission, many, many thanks for your passion and
dedication and sharing your love of the arts. Your hard work is reflected in
making Raleigh so creative, inviting, exciting, unique and THE BEST!! 

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Big Changes to Statewide Arts in the Budget

Thanks to the statewide Advocacy group, Arts NC, for this update on how the newly passed 2017/2017 Biennieum Budget affects how the arts are funded and regulated across the state.  To get the information out to you quickly, I attach the contents of their latest email, in totality, below:

 

NORTH CAROLINA
2015-2017BIENNIUM BUDGET
Newly Formed Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Did You Feel the Earth Shift?

When Governor McCrory signed the 2015-2017 Budget into law last week, the Department of Cultural Resources was merged with programs from Natural Resources to become the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Secretary Susan Kluttz, thankfully, remains in charge.

What does this mean for the arts? Frankly, we don’t know. We have been assured that “nothing will change”. But we want change. We have long been positioning our arts agenda to become a priority with our Governor and Legislature and to ensure increases in public support.

To that end, the budget contains an additional $1,015,422 in the two year budget to support Grassroots Arts increases ($300,000 total) and A+ Schools ($715,422). Thanks to your amazing work as advocates, this represents the first increase (6.5%) the North Carolina Arts Council has received for program support in the past eight years.

Please note that not all departments received increases, and many saw additional cuts. Advocates, be proud of your informed, effective, and passionate work that has helped make arts support a priority with the Legislature!

Department of Natural
and Cultural Resources

To realize the historic shift in Cultural Resources you just have to consider the magnitude of programs that have been incorporated into the newly formed department: State Parks, the Zoo, The Aquariums, The Museum of Natural Science, Grassroots Science Museums, Historic Preservation, and Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

The Numbers:
2015-2016 Cultural Resources $64,231,047
2016-2017 Natural and Cultural Resources $169,289,403
The Logical Conclusion:

The non-profit arts sector in North Carolina must respond to these changes with a corresponding increase in advocacy for public value and position. Our voices must be louder, clearer, more informed, more passionate, more strategic, more organized, more consistent, and more effective. Remember the national slogan, Art Asks for More? Yes we do.
 

We will work to keep you informed as news progresses.  You can also follow Arts NC on Facebook or twitter, or check out their website Action Center for more information.

 

Beth

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Arts Day – Putting Advocacy into Action at Arts Day

L-R - Beth Yerxa, Triangle Artworks; Cong. Alma Adams (12th District); Karen Well, Arts NC; Rebecca Scoggins, Arts & Business Council.

L-R – Beth Yerxa, Triangle Artworks; Cong. Alma Adams (12th District); Karen Well, Arts NC; Rebecca Scoggins, Arts & Business Council.

From March 22 to 24 this year, I took the train to Washington DC, on my time and my dime, to participate in Americans for the Arts Arts Advocacy Day 2015.  I joined Karen Wells from Arts NC, and Rebecca Scoggin from Arts and Science Council of Mecklenburg County and arts advocates from all across the Country.  We spent a day hearing statistics and stories of how arts impact not only the economy of our country, but our country’s cultural heritage, quality of life….and its soul  We met with Congresspeople from North Carolina and their staffers, we told them our stories about how arts were impacting our regions of the State, gave them hand outs with statistics from their districts and asked how we could help further.  At a federal level, the future of federal arts funding for the likes of the NEA, NPR, PBS and other great programs are on the line, as well as arts education.

Walking the tunnels on Capital Hill.

Walking the tunnels on Capital Hill.

Is it a tough sell in this political climate?  Yes.  Is it easy to get discouraged?  Absolutely!  But still we walked, and talked, and handed out information,  and we will do it again next year.  Because the arts matter.  And we need to make sure that those in political power see the numbers and hear our stories STRONGLY and REPEATEDLY.  It may not seem like it sometimes, but it makes a difference.  Advocating for the Arts matters.

Just ask Karen Wells.

Karen runs the statewide arts advocacy group Arts North Carolina.  She can tell you a lot of stories about how talking to legislators and telling them how what you all do every day makes a difference to people in their districts CAN make a difference in legislative outcomes. Karen has the statistics, but she needs YOU there to help tell our stories to YOUR legislators.

That is why ALL OF YOU need to participate in North Carolina Arts Day on May 19 and 20, 2015.

Living in the Triangle, we are lucky, because it is easy for us to participate in Arts Day.  The General Assembly is right here in the Triangle.  Arts supporters from across NC are loading up on buses, staying in hotels rooms…but all you have to do is drive over.

Mike Wiley gets the statewide crowd fired up at Arts Day 2014.

Mike Wiley gets the statewide crowd fired up at Arts Day 2014.

Arts Day is a two day event.   On the first day, Arts NC will give us the statistics and training we need to know to tell our stories.  And you will also get to hear from Frank Statsio, Shana Tucker, and Baba Chuck Davis about why the arts matter to them.  You will be educated, you will be moved, you will be inspired.  As a bonus, you get to be in a room with arts leaders, artists and arts lovers from all over the State.  What more could you ask for? (A social event that evening to chat with them all?  Got that too!)

Mike Wiley gets us fired up on Arts Day 1 in 2014.  ""

Part of the Wake County delegation meets with Rep. Avila (R. Wake) on the Legislative Day of Arts Day 2014.

Then on the Legislative Day on May 20, we will meet at the Legislature and hear from some of our biggest supporters in the Legislature, to get the tools and tips we need to advocate and GET FIRED UP!  Then you will join others from your county and go meet with members of your County’s delegation.

You can come both days or just the Legislative Day.  We REALLY need numbers for office visits on Legislative Day on May 20.  The arts voice needs to be strong and loud!  Do not worry that you have never done it before – there will be plenty of people, plus information and training,  to show you how!

Plus, Arts NC has an online Advocacy Tool-Kit!

Living in the Triangle, we have few excuses for not being there.  If you love the arts, you need to be willing to fight for the arts. Please join me at Arts Day. Register here.

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Update on Tax Reform -Tax on ticketing for performances, live events, films

New NC Sales Tax on “Amusements”

As most of you know, the amazing folks at Arts NC keep up with the actions of the NC General Assembly and how it affects the arts community across our State. Last session, the General Assembly pass a Tax Reform Bill which included a requirement that, starting in January of 2014, sales tax be charged for the following:

G.S. 105-164.4(a)(10) imposes a privilege tax on a retailer at the 4.75% general State and applicable local and transit rates of sales and use tax to admission charges to an entertainment activity listed below:

a. A live performance or other live event of any kind.

b. A motion picture or film.

c. A museum, a cultural site, a garden, an exhibit, a show, or a similar attraction or a guided tour at any of these 
attractions.

An admission charge includes a charge for a single ticket, a multioccasion ticket, a seasonal pass, an annual pass, and a cover charge. An admission charge does not include a charge for amenities. If charges for amenities are not separately stated on the face of an admission ticket, then the charge for admission is considered to be equal to the admission charge for a ticket to the same event that does not include amenities and is for a seat located directly in front of or closest to a seat that includes amenities. When an admission ticket is resold and the price of the admission ticket is printed on the face of the ticket, the tax does not apply to the face price at the time of the resale of the ticket. When an admission ticket is resold and the price of the admission ticket is not printed on the face of the ticket, the tax applies to the difference between the amount the reseller paid for the ticket and the amount the reseller charges for the ticket. The reseller must retain in its books and records the amount originally paid for the ticket to be able to substantiate the amount of the resold ticket that is to be excluded from the tax at the time of resale.

Clearly, this new tax is a logistical, not to mention financial, issue for artist and arts groups, particularly ones with small staffs that now have to deal with collecting this tax.

Need help understanding the new law and its application?

NC Center for Nonprofits is hosting a webinar to help explain the impact of this bill.  Topics covered will include:

  1. Explaining which nonprofits and what types of events are subject to the tax and what is exempt.
  2. Describing the process for collecting and remitting sales tax.
  3. Answering all of your questions about the application and implementation of the sales tax on admission fees.

For more information and to sign up, click here.

Arts NC still working on possible delay or clarifications to the law.

Although the bill passed in the last Legislative Session, and is now law, Arts NC holds out hope that, due to the confusion about interpretation of the law, that there may be some movement regarding its application.  They have been working with other advocacy groups to get, at least, a delay in application of parts of the Bill.  So far, with no luck.

Here is the latest update from Arts NC.

The Revenue Laws Study Committee met this morning (Tuesday, October 8) to consider a number of issues related to Tax Reform including the amusements tax on cultural nonprofit organizations.

To follow is a “stream of thought” from meeting notes:

  • Legislative and Department of Revenue staff made presentations to the Committee on the Amusements Tax issue which can be found at NC Leg.net.  You will need to scroll through to the middle of the presentation to get to our issue. Department of Revenue staff also made a presentation on their opinion of who is exempt and who is not exempt under the definition of “state attraction”.  Exempt organizations according to DOR include but are not limited to Museums of Art, History, Science, the Aquariums, the Zoo, Historic Sites, the Battleship, and Grassroots Science Museums.  The 164 grantees of the North Carolina Arts Council that receive yearly state funding and the North Carolina Symphony were ruled by DOR staff to NOT be exempt. 
  • Representative Becky Carney of Mecklenburg was the first to speak and introduce the issue of confusion over the term “state attraction”, the unintended consequences of “winners and losers”, and the suggestion to delay implementation until a better definition of “state attraction” could be developed.  Other Legislators (Rucho, Moffitt, McKissick, Clodfelter, and Rabon) were adamant calling for a more narrow definition or completely eliminating the exemption for “state attractions”.  Please note that this issue does not fall into partisan divide.  
  • Carney also introduced the idea of a “delay”, but it was ruled the Revenue Laws Study Committee does not have the authority to change the law which mandates a January 1, 2014, start date.  However, there is a provision in the tax law that if an entity is making all efforts to implement the law but is unable to do so by the January deadline, the Secretary of Revenue could allow an extension if it is in “the best interest of the state.”
  • A small task force of Representatives Carney and Moffitt and Senator Rucho was appointed by Chair Julia Howard to meet and bring a recommendation on “state attractions” to the full Revenue Laws Study Committee which will meet again in November. 

Arts North Carolina will continue to work with the newly appointed “state attractions” Committee, other Legislative leadership, and the Department of Revenue to fully explore the position of “delay” until a final definition of state attraction is agreed upon and Legislation introduced in the short session to clarify the law as it is written.

Follow the Revenue Laws Study Committee at ncleg.net.

Latest Clarification

Here is the latest info from Arts NC, as of October 28, 2013:

All organizations that sell tickets to live events should pay attention to this information: 
TICKETS SOLD IN 2014 WHICH WENT ON SALE IN 2013 ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE SALES TAX ON AMUSEMENTS WHICH IS SLATED TO BE IMPLEMENTED ON JANUARY 1, 2014.  

This interpretation was noted and verified by the Department of Revenue and should be passed along to legal departments, marketing departments, and ticketing services.   Find this information in the Tax Reform Bill at –http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/House/PDF/H998v7.pdf – Section 5 (f).

The Revenue Laws Committee will meet on November 11, 9:30am, at the North Carolina General Assembly.  The ad hoc committee charged with making a recommendation on “state attractions” (Representatives Carney and Moffitt and Senator Rucho) is slated to have a report for this meeting. 

_________________________________________________________________

Beth

 

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Arts NC Call for Action on Pending Tax bill

Karen Wells at Arts NC has issued a Call for Action regarding the NC Senate’s current tax bill.  As always, Karen and Arts NC have done great work in informing you of the issues and providing resources to take action, so I will just repeat their work here:

What is at stake – 

From Karen Wells email:  “I am writing with an urgent request for you to become actively and quickly involved in the Call to Action sent yesterday about Senate Tax Reform.  Let me spell out what is possible in Senate actions within the next few weeks:

  • If the Senate tax plan were to pass and if they base the budget on tax plan revenues, we will be short hundreds of millions of dollars from the current year’s revenue.  Add the Medicaid surprises and the cuts to the budget will be unprecedented.  If this goes through, we should expect debilitating cuts to the grants programs of the North Carolina Arts Council.
  • The Senate plan calls for a phase out of sales tax refunds over three years.  That would add 6.5% to the cost of goods and services that your purchase.
  • The Senate plan could require a collection of 6.5% sales tax on admissions, classes, registrations, and memberships.  Imagine the response to rising prices and your administration costs.The Senate plan would eliminate the charitable deduction for individuals.
  • The Senate plan would eliminate the charitable deduction for individuals.

Now think for a moment what these collective actions would do to our industry.  Almost unimaginable.  We are working with the NC Non Profit Center through the Alliance of Non Profits to fight, and there could potentially be a tsunami of responses.  But only if everyone does their part.”

What you should do now.
1.  Forward the Call to Action immediately to your listservs and email addresses with a personal request to take action.  While the Call is timed to complete on Friday at noon, it can continue into early next week
2.  Go to our Facebook page and share the Call with your Facebook followers and ask them to take action.
3.   Make your own phone call.

4.  If you receive a response from your Legislator’s office, please send information to Karen Wells at Karen@artsnc.org.

Tips for contacting the Senate/Talking Points

Contact your Senator and Representative about tax reform and the impact on non-profit organizations.  Call their Legislative office no later than Friday, May 17th, 12 noon, and ask to speak to your Legislator.  If you must leave a message, state your name and address and leave this message:
I am concerned that the Senate’s tax reform proposal phases out the sales tax refund allowed to nonprofit organizations.  I am equally concerned that some proposals suggest that nonprofit organizations collect and pay 6.5% sales tax on their admissions and performances, registrations to classes and events, and memberships. I ask that (name of Senator or Representative) NOT support any proposal that includes these two provisions.

If you speak to your Senator or Representative in person, use these talking points in addition to the message above:

  • I understand and support tax reform. As a citizen of North Carolina, I expect to be impacted by tax reform.
    However, nonprofit organizations should not be penalized in the tax reform process as suggested in the Senate’s proposal introduced last week.
  • Any tax proposal should be revenue neutral.  The Senate proposal would cut hundreds of millions of dollars from our current budget, which will likely mean additional and debilitating cuts to nonprofit organizations.
  • Nonprofit organizations will pay their fair share in tax reform if the sales tax is applied to a broader array of services such as legal and accounting fees.  Any additional impact on nonprofit organizations such as eliminating sales tax refunds or mandating nonprofits to charge sales tax on their programs is punitive.

For additional information on tax reform and its impact on nonprofit organizations, Go to our Legislative Agenda Page –http://www.artsnc.org/action-center/agenda/

CONTACT INFO:

To look up contact information for your Senator, go to:  http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=senate

To look up contact information for your Representative, go to:  http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=House

If you are not sure who your Senator or Representative is, go to:  http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx

TAKE ACTION NOW.

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Chapel Hill Council candidates weigh in on the arts.

Part of ArtWork’s mission is to keep the arts and creative community informed on political and civic issues, so that you can be better engaged in those issues. Voting for candidates that are aware of the importance of the arts to our community’s economic future and quality of life is a large part of that. Following the success of our article on the Raleigh mayoral race last month, here is more voter information from ArtWorks.

ArtWorks writer, Lindsay Gordon, monitored forums and contacted the Chapel Hill Town Council candidates to determine their views on the importance of the arts to Chapel Hill and its future.   Frustrating to say, but only three of the candidates responded to her inquiries.  As always, we will let you infer what you want from the lack of response from the other candidates.  One thing this limited response makes clear is that ArtWorks has lots of work to do to increase the perception of the relevance and power of the arts community in our area….but I digress……

We did receive helpful responses from candidates Augustus Cho, Jason Baker and Lee Storow, and thank them for these responses.

Question: What is your position on the role of the arts community in the future of Chapel Hill and your position on public funding of the arts in general.

Augustus Cho (non-incumbent, Republican, find out more about Cho here)

“ Arts play an important function in any society.  The history of the arts clearly demonstrate how it can and has impacted the human quality of life.  Beyond that, having a successful arts program can be a positive economic engine – in terms of increasing revenue for the community. Cities/towns that have understood this have done well in bringing in art lovers to their part of the world resulting in a win-win situation.  You are welcome to ask Jeff York (Director of Public Arts for the Town of Chapel Hill) and he will confirm that I am a supporter of the arts as we have work together to bring it to the forefront.”

Jason Baker (non-incumbent, Democrat, find out more about Baker here.)

“I support the arts. I support our public art program, and am disappointed to have heard one of my fellow candidates say that the program would be his first priority for cutting if he is re-elected.  Chapel Hill’s artistic culture is an important part of the vibrancy we must protect in order to protect our long term economic vitality.  I subscribe to Richard Florida’s notion of the creative class being an economic driver for the kinds of new economy jobs that we want to attract and keep here in Chapel Hill.  In order to retain the best and the brightest, we need to make sure Chapel Hill is a diverse and exciting town, and to do this, we must protect the arts.  Our competitors aren’t just our local and regional neighbors, they are cities and towns across the country.  We need to find ways to keep our town competitive not just with Raleigh, Durham, or Greensboro, but with Austin, Seattle, and Ann Arbor.  The arts are an important part of this.  Our public art program does an awful lot on a shoestring budget.  The projects it has worked to develop make our downtown, our public buildings, our greenways, and our entire town a more exciting place to live.”

Lee Storrow (non-incumbent, Democrat, find out more about Storrow here)

“The arts are incredibly important in our community. Chapel Hill is lucky to have strong arts programs, from both the community and the university. In times of austerity, we need to find new ways for arts organizations to work together, and find ways for the town to support the arts.”

Again, we appreciate these responses and for these candidates’ support of arts in Chapel Hill.

Now, get out there and vote!

For complete information on all of the Chapel Hill Town Council and Mayoral candidates, as well as other voter information (such as precinct locations) for the November 8 Orange County elections, click here.  Learn about your candidates, and get out there and VOTE!

November 8 is also election day in Durham County.  As an all-volunteer organization, ArtWorks did not have a volunteer offer to research the Durham elections, but you can find information on the races and candidates, as well as information about how to vote here.

So, Durham and Orange County, get out there and be informed voters!

Do you have information that would be helpful for others voting in Durham or Orange Counties?  Feel free to provide it the comments below, or send us an email.

Information for this article was compiled by Lindsay Gordon.  Lindsay has her B.A. in English and Art History from the University of Florida and her M.A. in Art History from UNC Chapel Hill.  She enjoys writing about art and food on her blog, The Dilettantista and tweets occasionally at LindsayHGordon.  She was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida, and currently lives in Chapel Hill in an apartment run by a black cat named Dexter.

Raleigh mayoral elections – An arts perspective

As those of you who live in Raleigh know, October 11 is Election Day.   Last Thursday, I attended an event put on by Raleigh Downtown Marketing called “Three Candidates – One Stage” where Raleigh’s mayoral candidates answered questions from Facebook and Twitter.  This event was covered by WRAL and there is a good overview, including interviews of the candidates on the issues of economic development and the bond issue by here.

In case you don’t know, the candidates are Nancy McFarlane (I), Billie Redmond (R), and Randall Williams(R). I have to say, after listening to all of them talk, my main thought was that they were ALL incredibly smart, capable people who were ALL very passionate about the City of Raleigh and its future.  I think it is a credit to Raleigh that its citizens have such a great candidate field to choose from.   If you want more specifics on their backgrounds, the N&O has done in-depth articles on each of them. (Williams, Redmond, McFarlane)

Candidates postion on the importance of the arts community?

At the Thursday night “twitter” candidate forum, I sought to determine how each candidate felt about public funding of the arts and, more broadly, the role of the arts and creative community in Raleigh’s future.  I tweeted, I Facebooked, I tweeted again, but only Nancy McFarlane was specifically asked an arts related question.

Nancy McFarlane

Nancy McFarlane replied that Raleigh needs to support its arts community because of its role in creating a “sense of place” for the City.  She said, “The best way to create jobs is to make this the best place to live in America”, and went on to talk about her love of the arts and her past work with arts groups.  Looking forward, she mentioned other cities she has been visiting in her role on City Council, such as Phoenix and New Orleans, and how she learned new methods for supporting arts businesses, such as special zoning or financing, that Raleigh could look into for the future.

I should note here that, as an ex-member of the Raleigh Arts Commission, I got to know Nancy in her work as the Council liason, and she was the only liason during my 6 year term that showed up to all of the Comission meetings and was truly a partner in the work we did.

Randall Williams

When neither Williams nor Redmond were given an arts-related question at the Forum, I contacted them directly through their campaign websites.  Randall Williams got back to me quickly and personally, which in my book, is BIG. In response to my question about his position on public funding of the arts, and the relationship between the arts and Raleigh’s future, he responded:

“Anyone who has seen the statue of David in Florence should be for public and private support of the arts.  I would be against $750,000 funding of public art in public safety center in this economy.

I have talked with Dr. Meymandi who is a good friend and sought out his thoughts on further private funding of art in public places (such as Dix property) and think that is something a Mayor should vigorously pursue”

I thank Dr. Williams for the quick response and great information.

Billie Redmond

I never heard back from Billie Redmond or her campaign.  Take from that what you will.

VOTE!

Look at the candidates backgrounds and websites, consider their positions on the role of the arts in our greater community, and GET OUT THERE AND VOTE!  If you need information about where or how to vote, click here.

And Orange County folks, watch here for information on your elections soon!

Beth

Part of ArtWork’s mission is to keep the arts and creative community informed on political and civic issues, so that they can be engaged in those issues.  Obviously, voting for candidates that are aware of the importance of the arts to our community’s economic future and quality of life is a large part of that.  

We look forward to the future of ArtWorks, where we can provide information about all races in the Region. But as a volunteer run organization at this point, we are covering the elections we had voluteers offer to cover…Raleigh and Durham.  If you have information that you can share about any candidates in upcoming elections in the Triangle,  feel free to share it below.

 

The Federal Artist Deduction Bill- What it means to artists and what you can do.

by Joan Blazich

It seems like a variation of this bill comes around every few years in Congress, yet it never makes it past the committee level. But it should, because it will have a massive impact on ALL artists. Why?  Because, as of right now, there exists a disparate gap between how artists and collectors are treated when it comes to claiming IRS tax deductions for donating works of art. This definition of art includes literary, musical, artistic, and scholarly creations.

Under current laws, a collector who chooses to donate an artistic work to a nonprofit institution such as a school, museum, etc., may deduct the fair market value of that piece for tax purposes. So, if the going rate for the artists work is, say, $5000, that collector can deduct $5000. However, if an artist chooses to donate one of their works to a nonprofit entity, as the law stands now, they are only entitled to deduct the costs of creating that work.

So, a visual artist can deduct the costs of construction materials such as canvas, paint, clay, etc., but nothing more. For musical compositions, you could donate the cost of staff paper; for literary compositions, the cost of typing paper, etc… you get the general idea. Given the ever-increasing costs of artistic supplies, as well as the time and effort that goes into creating every artistic creation, it doesn’t make much sense for artists to not receive full deduction credits for their donations. After all, that creation has value, something which remains regardless of whether the item in question is sold or donated.

Thankfully, a bipartisan group of Representatives in the U.S. House is again working on a bill that would help correct this imbalance. Known as the Artist Deduction Bill, H.R. 1190, this legislation would end this disparity by granting artists the same deduction allowances as collectors.  This would not only offer an immediate benefit to artists, but may also help to increase donations to nonprofit entities in the future.

This sounds like a great idea! How can I show my support?

The great people at American’s for the Arts have made it very easy to help support this legislation- all it takes are a few clicks of a mouse. Click here to petition your Representative online to support this bill. I just did it, and it literally took less than one minute to make my support of this bill known to my local Representative, David Price. Americans for the Arts provides a form letter.  However, as always when sending such letters, if you have time, providing personal stories or examples of the impact of the issue on your life and work would make the letter more effective.

Taxes are never enjoyable for anyone, and we all want every deduction we can claim. This includes artists, whose creative endeavors make our communities a better, brighter, more intellectually-stimulating place. So why not give our artists the same tax deduction opportunity as collectors? Please take a few moments to contact your local Representative in support of H.R. 1190. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it will make a significant difference for all of our artists.

Joan Blazich, who is interning for Triangle ArtWorks this summer, is a second-year law student at the University of North Carolina School of Law. She also holds a Doctorate in Music and is an active performer in numerous local ensembles. She can be reached by email

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