Blog Posts for Robert Lynch

The Arts Add Powerful Voice and Vibrancy to Corporate America

Posted by Robert Lynch, Apr 29, 2016 0 comments

Fifty years ago, David Rockefeller, Chairman and CEO of the Chase Manhattan Corporation, gave an address to the National Industrial Conference Board (now The Conference Board). It was The Conference Board’s 50th anniversary, and his words changed how the business community viewed the arts world.

Rockefeller has always been a visionary who understood a half century ago that the arts could go a long way towards helping businesses as well as humanity. He called for businesses to assume a much larger role in supporting the arts for the many ways that they improve both the business and the community. He helped lead the formation of the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA)—since merged with Americans for the Arts—which has encouraged, inspired, and paved the way for businesses to support the arts in the workplace, in education, and in the community.

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Starting an Arts Caucus Doesn’t Happen Overnight…

Posted by Jenny Hershour, Apr 13, 2016 1 comment

South Carolina Arts Alliance’s Betty Plumb, always an inspiration to me, had spoken for years about the Arts Caucus in South Carolina’s legislature. It was large and seemed very responsive to Betty and her arts advocates. To be honest, I was slightly jealous. But after speaking for some length with Betty about the caucus, I was determined to start one in Pennsylvania. I mean, how hard could it be, with the largest full-time legislature in the nation? 

I first knew we—the Pennsylvania Citizens for the Arts Board of Directors at and I—had to identify the initial contact in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Our likely candidate was Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny). He had served on the Council of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and was on the board of directors at several Pittsburgh area arts and culture organizations. My board chair, Mitch Swain, approached Sen. Costa about this idea to start a bi-cameral, bi-partisan Arts Caucus. We were positive the only way the caucus would work is for both Houses and political caucus to work together. To our delight, Sen. Costa thought the idea was great, agreed to act as a co-chair, and took on the task of identifying the other three Arts Caucus leaders.

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The Passion of Arts Advocates Driving Change: Kennedy, U.S. Lawmakers, and You

Posted by Robert Lynch, Mar 30, 2016 0 comments

Earlier this month I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, giving a lecture on arts and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Policy. In lieu of standard hotel accommodations, I was offered the chance to stay in John F. Kennedy's senior year suite in Winthrop House—and of course I jumped at it. Sitting down at Kennedy’s desk—complete with an Underwood portable typewriter—I was profoundly moved. I thought of his inspiring words and they resonated with the event and work of the week to come, Arts Advocacy Day, when citizen advocates take to Capitol Hill to make the case for federal support for the arts and arts education.

I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.

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Five Macro Trends That Arts Organizations Need to Watch

Posted by Robert Lynch, Feb 17, 2016 0 comments

2016 is off and running, and guaranteed to be a dynamic presidential election year. Along with a new administration in Washington, five broad cultural and economic trends are sure to impact sectors across America--affecting our work in the arts in the coming years. Candidates at all levels of government will need to evolve positions on each of these trends so we can work more strategically to ensure that the arts continue to thrive and enrich the lives of every American.

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The Arts Help Us Find Comfort, Peace, and Unity

Posted by Robert Lynch, Dec 30, 2015 0 comments

2015 is almost over, and what a year of successes and changes we've had as a country. The unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in more than seven years; the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide; a landmark climate change agreement was approved; the U.S. embassy reopened in Cuba after 54 years; and a week ago, the Every Student Succeeds Act passed--a tremendous win for arts education. The arts won a number of other legislative victories too, such as increased federal arts funding and arts-friendly legislation regarding both IRA tax rollovers and visa law along with key successes at the state and local levels.

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