Giving Time and Treasure to the Arts

Posted by Mr. Abel Lopez, Mr. Edgar L. Smith, Jr., Oct 20, 2014 0 comments

Edgar Smith Edgar Smith


Welcome to Americans for the Arts’ latest blog salon, hosted by a hybrid of development and private sector partners. “Giving Time and Treasure to the Arts” can be interpreted in many ways depending on who’s doing the talking. It can mean raising support from corporate partners, building relationships with passionate individual philanthropists, engaging employee volunteers, or harnessing the power of creativity to increase productivity and happiness in the workplace. We welcome you to join us throughout the week to learn what “giving time and treasure to the arts” means to our members around the country, as well as some of our sector’s greatest supporters.

The role played by volunteers and philanthropists from the largest city to the smallest town is key to fostering a thriving arts sector in America. Both elements that this blog salon focuses on are important: the time and talent of volunteers provide capabilities and experiences that many arts organizations do not have the resources to procure; and the donation of funds, services, and other “treasures” allows the field not only to produce great art, but also to be the economic drivers and job creators that we know the arts to be. The decision to give to the arts is essential, and we make that choice and encourage others to make the same one because the arts themselves are essential.

Although competition for our time, attention, and resources has never been greater, we recognize that the arts have the power to inspire, educate, and heal. Because the arts are part of our everyday lives–everyone’s lives–we choose to share that knowledge through the dedication of our time, our voices, and our philanthropic resources.

The Board of Directors for Americans for the Arts (AFTA) serves the arts by providing visionary leadership for the key initiatives and core programming that Americans for the Arts contributes to the field, day in and day out. AFTA’s private sector work seeks to encourage, inspire, and stimulate businesses to support the arts in the workplace, in education, and in the community. The Business Committee for the Arts Executive Board drills down to the more pointed focus of AFTA’s private sector initiatives, and its members provide leadership on key initiatives including messaging, advocacy, and strategic alliances within the for profit community.

During this National Arts and Humanities Month (and Pro Bono Week!) we are proud to bring together voices from the many people around the country who choose to commit what they have to give the arts and arts education a stronger role in America. We’ll hear personal stories from individual philanthropists, case studies from thriving volunteer programs, profiles of corporate sponsors, updates on the latest developments in Congress on the tax treatment of charitable gifts, and explorations of current trends like micro-giving and young donor programs. Along the way, feel free to add your voice to the conversation by sharing your own comments, ideas, challenges, and more on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Please enjoy this week-long opportunity to explore how volunteers, donors, and arts lovers contribute to and strengthen the arts across America. Tell us how you give time and treasure to the arts in your community!

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