2015: what a year for the arts!

Posted by Ms. Kate O. McClanahan, Eleanor Shingleton , Dec 23, 2015 0 comments

2015 was a huge year for the arts! From the monumental new federal K-12 education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, to a funding increase of $2 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, to key federal charitable tax provisions being made permanent, arts and arts education policy have progressed immensely this past year. Take a look at everything arts advocates and the arts community have achieved in 2015:

Arts education policy ENACTED After 14 years, new federal K-12 education authorization, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is now law. This long overdue reauthorization holds great promise for restoring arts education as central to the school day and ending the current patchwork waiver system.
Dedicated funding for arts education SECURED The new “Assistance for Arts Education” program in ESSA ensures continued authorization of a distinct arts education grant program, a huge victory after fighting against annual termination and consolidation efforts. Funding for the current program also INCREASED by $2 million in the year-end appropriations agreement.
New funding for the NEA The agency will receive nearly $2 million in INCREASED funds, breaking a cycle of what would have been five years in a row of stagnant, level-funding.
Key charitable giving tax provisions PERMANENT This year marks the end of nearly a decade of attempts to make permanent key incentives for charitable giving, including the IRA Charitable Rollover. Donors can now take advantage of this permanency in the tax code, spurring new and increased charitable donations to the full array of nonprofits that serve Americans every day.
New opportunities for STEAM education SECURED
STEAM advocates at White House
The integration of the arts into STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs is supported under new well-rounded educational opportunities in ESSA.
Arts eligibility in Title I funding RETAINED Title I funds are the largest pool of federal resources dedicated to ensuring equitable access to a complete education for all students.
Afterschool programs PRESERVED The $1 billion 21st Century Community Learning Centers program continues in ESSA, supporting afterschool, out-of-school, and expanded learning time in schools—key areas in which arts organizations partner with schools to support student learning in the arts.
Airline carry-on rules for musical instruments FINALIZED Aviation rule changes enable passengers to safely stow musical instruments in accordance with all domestic airline carry-on baggage requirements. The Department of Transportation estimated that 127,000 professional musicians benefit from the rule, along with upwards of 5.8 million school-age children who play.


Want to join the cause? Sign up to receive arts action updates in 2016 to receive emails regarding federal legislation affecting arts and arts education and how you can lend your voice in support of the arts.

Better yet, take your advocacy to Capitol Hill during Arts Advocacy Day, on March 7-8, 2016 in Washington! Learn more about the National Arts Action Summit: Arts Advocacy Day and register to attend here.




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