Public Policy & Advocacy

Grantmakers in the Arts holds public policy and advocacy as one of its core funding focus areas and believes one of the most important roles we can serve in benefitting our members and the arts grantmaking community – maximizing the impact our sector can have toward increasing access to the arts and realizing racial justice through the arts – comes by way of our public policy and advocacy work. In GIA’s vision for the future, foundations have shifted their foci to increasingly include advocacy and public sector policy and practice.

As part of realizing this vision, we provide programs to teach our members about advocacy and lobbying, the difference between the two, and how grantmakers can support both. GIA advocates for lifelong learning through the arts from early childhood through K-12 and into senior years. Knowing that the arts and arts education cannot be provided without artists, we necessarily advocate for economic justice for artists and other workers.

We are committed to invigorate funding and support for arts education within federal policy, and defend that every resident has access to the arts as part of well-rounded, life-long education. Over the past several years, raising the visibility of the arts in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in its legislative form. GIA and Penn Hill Group continue these advocacy efforts around the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), guiding GIA members and their grantees in advocating for new or expanded arts programs at their local schools and districts. Organized since 2012, GIA’s Arts Education Funders Coalition (AEFC) has worked to address identified needs in comprehensive arts education and to strengthen communication and networking among arts education funders.

The AEFC includes members from Americans for the Arts, Arts Education Partnership, Center for Cultural Innovation, The George Gund Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Wallace Foundation, among others. Advised by a committee of Coalition members, GIA engaged the services of Washington, D.C.-based Penn Hill Group, a firm with education policy expertise and experience working with diverse education groups to research, develop, and promote educational policy strategies.

Most recently, GIA worked with Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) on the development of the Arts Education for All Act, the broadest arts education policy bill ever introduced in Congress. In Spring 2021, GIA influenced the U.S. Department of Education to highlight the importance of equitable access to arts and culture when determining how to reopen schools. Additionally, GIA emphasized the need to make explicit how this access was racialized prior to the pandemic. Addressing this inequity was essential to effective reopening and remains essential to the adequate provision of comprehensive, well-rounded education.

GIA advocates and lobbies for lifelong learning. GIA is delighted that, in 2020, Congress passed the Supporting Older Americans Act including our recommendations that the Administration on Aging include the arts in the issues to be identified and addressed and be included among supportive services for older Americans.

GIA continues to advocate and lobby for economic justice for workers, including artists. GIA has successfully lobbied to include arts-related provisions in the Child Care for Working Families Act, which proposes to better help low-income families pay for childcare and expand high-quality state preschool options. GIA advocated for AmeriCorps to make national volunteer service more accessible by offering an increase in living allowances. We have also called for arts grantmakers to advocate for portable benefits for workers and has released a call for our stakeholders to endorse the Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act. GIA advocates for changing public policies to allow people with disabilities, including artists, to secure greater resources for their work without being rendered ineligible for public supports and is endorsing the re-introduced SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act. The bill raises the limits on assets people with disabilities can hold before being disqualified from public benefits while also indexing those limits to inflation.

GIA is realizing our vision through the GIA Cultural Policy Learning Series and Action Lab, which focuses on such issues as racial equity & transformational practice in the public sector, translating between sectors and planning toward action.

GIA is eager to continue informing the field’s support for advocacy, to advocate for national policies that enhance lifelong access to the transformative power of arts and culture that create economic justice for artists and other workers.

January 31, 2001 by giarts-ts-admin

1965, Partisan Review, also published in Against Interpretation and Other Essays, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York (1966), 304 pages.

In Susan Sontag's essay, "Styles," published by Partisan Review in 1965 and reprinted in Against Interpretation, a collection of her essays about art, she states:

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January 31, 2001 by giarts-ts-admin

November 2000. Benton Foundation, 950 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006, (202) 638-5770.

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September 30, 2000 by giarts-ts-admin

2000, 122 pages; Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), Denver Colorado, 303-629-1166.

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September 30, 2000 by giarts-ts-admin

The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) is a private, nonprofit coalition of education, arts, business, philanthropic, and government organizations that was formed in 1995 through a cooperative agreement among four agencies: the NEA, the U.S. Education Department, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Its purpose is "to demonstrate and promote the essential role of arts education in enabling all students to succeed in school, life, and work.”

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May 31, 2000 by giarts-ts-admin

1999, 316 pages, $22.50 (softcover); New York University Press, New York and London

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May 31, 2000 by giarts-ts-admin

The Philadelphia arts sector has been a hotbed of activity recently, on both a political and civic level, with some exciting developments underway as well as some new challenges. Last November, the city elected a new mayor — John F. Street, former city council president during the Rendell administration. Philadelphians had enjoyed broad support of the arts from former Mayor Edward Rendell, who was especially tuned into its economic impact. Mr.

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May 31, 2000 by giarts-ts-admin
“Cultural indicators” increasingly pepper the conversation of some arts grantmakers and the concept seems to be emerging as an important conceptual and methodological tool. Josephine Ramirez, at the Getty Center, accepted the challenge of describing the idea and beginning to put it in context.

The need to better understand and articulate the broad societal value of arts and culture is at the heart of a discussion among a growing circle of arts grantmakers and scholars in the U.S.

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May 31, 2000 by giarts-ts-admin

I have had, with my friend Wes Jackson, a number of useful conversations about the necessity of getting out of movements — even movements that have seemed necessary and dear to us — when they have lapsed into self-righteousness and self-betrayal, as movements seem almost invariably to do. People in movements too readily learn to deny to others the rights and privileges they demand for themselves. They too easily become unable to mean their own language, as when a “peace movement” becomes violent.

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March 11, 1996 by giarts-ts-admin

As the Twentieth Century approaches a finale, the arts in America exist in a vast array of styles, disciplines and organizational structures. The purpose here is to examine one major organizational component of the American arts scene, the nonprofit sector, as an organic system that has progressed through three distinct stages over the past century.

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