Maria Lopez De Leon meets with Rep. Lloyd Doggett on the steps of the Capitol

Advocate with us.

NALAC actively shapes cultural policy and uses its voice to advocate for policies benefiting Latinx cultural workers, communities of color, and the wider arts and culture sector.

Maria Lopez De Leon meets with Rep. Lloyd Doggett on the steps of the Capitol

Fighting for support of the arts.

At the federal level, we’ve seen repeated calls for the elimination of key arts agencies that provide direct funding support for the arts like the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). While the Administration’s FY 2019 budget called for termination, the House and Senate both approved $155 million-a $2 million increase.  The arts drive our economy, contributing $730 billion to our GDP and employing 4.8 million Americans.

CONTRA-TIEMPO, 2017 NALAC Fund for the Arts Organization Project Grantee.
CONTRA-TIEMPO, 2017 NALAC Fund for the Arts Organization Project Grantee.

Everyone can advocate.

Being an arts advocate is as easy as reaching out to your representatives at the local, state or federal level. For cultural workers interested in approaching lawmakers, NALAC offers training through the Advocacy Leadership Institute (ALI ) program in Washington, D.C.

“The Advocacy Leadership Institute was not just an opportunity to learn and exercise direct policy tools; it was also a time to meet other leaders at a national scope.  These are imperative times to strategically coalesce across disciplines and priorities–the ALI is a response and an asset to the future of Latino Arts and Cultures.”

~ J. Gibran Villalobos, Illinois ALI Fellow

Advocacy Leadership Institute

2017 ALI Fellows engage with Representatives Jose E. Serrano.
2017 ALI Fellows engage with Representatives Jose E. Serrano.

Key facts for arts advocates.

  • Arts unify communities. 72 percent of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity”—a perspective observed across all demographic and economic categories.
  • Arts strengthen the economy.  The production of all arts and cultural goods in the U.S. added $764 billion to the economy in 2015—a larger share of the nation’s economy (4.2 percent) than transportation, tourism, and agriculture (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis).
  • Arts improve academic performance. Students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs, standardized test scores, and college-going rates as well as lower drop-out rates, regardless of socio-economic status. Yet, the Department of Education reports that access to arts education for students of color is significantly lower than for their white peers.
  • Arts drive the creative industries. The Creative Industries are arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. A 2017 analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data counts 673,656 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts.
  • Arts have social impact. University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower poverty rates.
  • Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff because of their healing benefits to patients.

 

2017 Advocacy Leadership Institute fellows view presentation at the National Archives in Washington DC
2017 Advocacy Leadership Institute fellows view presentation at the National Archives in Washington DC

Take action.

Contact your elected representatives directly to tell them about the impact of the arts in your community. Find sample letters and helpful facts and figures here.

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