How You Can Help Deepen Elected Officials’ Understanding of the Cultural Sector

The Maryland General Assembly session closed last night with highs and at least one low for the cultural sector.  First the great news: Governor Martin O’Malley’s historic $16.2 million appropriation for the Maryland State Arts Council endured.  The General Assembly also voted to increase urgently needed tax incentives for the state’s film industry. Unfortunately, the $2.5 million in a special fund for cultural preservation for 2014 and 2015 was used to fund the tax credits instead of the purpose for which it was created. The dust is still settling, but you can learn more details from Maryland Citizens for the Art and in the newsfeed below.

How can you help deepen elected officials’ understanding of the cultural sector? Americans for the Arts (AFTA) is collecting data for its Creative Industries reports, the first to include both for-profit and non-profit businesses. If you represent or support a cultural organization, be sure they are registered with Dun & Bradstreet. AFTA Creative Industries research uses Dun & Bradstreet’s data to document the number of arts-related businesses and employees in any geographical region or political jurisdiction. AFTA has found a uniform under-representation of non-profit arts organizations in the Dun & Bradstreet database, and consequently, in its data. If your organization doesn’t have a D&B number, then you are not represented in the data. Do you part to help advance the arts in America – Sign up and be counted!You need to be a member to access the tools ($50 for individuals), but the reports are a terrific way to report impact and can be narrowed by state, city, county, and legislative districts.
The next round of Rubys grants, Visual Arts and Literary Arts, open on May 1st.  Program manager, Sonja Cendak will be presenting a series of information sessions throughout the region.  Check out the listings below.
P.S.  GBCA is co-sponsoring “An Evening With Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald” on Thursday, April 10 at the University of Baltimore Student Center’s Wright Theater. Hope to see you there!

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