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Election Impact on the Arts Highlights

Posted on: Nov 7, 2018

Midterm elections definitely reshuffled the political deck last night with Democrats regaining control of the House of Representatives and Republicans increasing their control in the Senate. Female candidates did especially well this year, unseating long term male incumbents and sitting committee chairmen, breaking the previous record of 107 female Members of Congress. Additionally, this freshman class represents the most diverse group in race, religion, age, and profession.

On November 19th at 3:00pm ET, the Arts Action Fund will present a detailed post-election impact on the arts webinar for its members in partnership with Americans for the Arts. This webinar is free for members by entering promo code: ArtsActionPromo. We will discuss changes to the U.S. Congress, as well as Governorships and state and local arts ballot measures.

Here is some topline analysis of how yesterday’s election will impact the arts in the future.

  • House Democrats will become the new chairmen of the various appropriations subcommittees and policy and tax committees, including Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) becoming chair of Interior Appropriations overseeing arts funding, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) on Labor-Education Appropriations, and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) on the House Ways and Means tax committee, all of whom earned an “A+” in our 2018 Congressional Arts Report Card.
  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will likely become the Speaker of House. She also earned an “A+” arts voting record.
  • Unfortunately, we lose Congressional Arts Caucus Chairman Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), who was narrowly defeated yesterday and had an “A+” arts record.
  • It’s important to note that 86% of the 36 House seats that went from Red to Blue were Republican members with a good arts record of “B” or better.
  • Most Senate Republican Chairs will stay in place, including pro-arts Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) remaining as chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate Majority Leader gavel will also remain in the hands of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who, unfortunately, does not have a good arts voting record.
  • The Arts Action Fund PAC supported a total of 64 congressional candidates and one ballot measure this election cycle. 95 percent of the pro-arts incumbents that we supported won, and 50% of the challengers and open seat candidates that we supported won their races as well.
  • I’m very pleased to share that San Francisco Prop E ballot measure passed overwhelmingly by 74% of the vote, which will direct millions of dollars in hotel tax revenue to support the nonprofit arts and culture in San Francisco.  Additionally, pro-arts ballots in Tempe, AZ; Culver City, CA; and Tacoma, WA all passed.

Want to learn more?  Register for our November 19th at 3:00pm ET webinar for FREE, click here and enter promo code ArtsActionPromo.

Please e-mail us at ArtsActionFund@artsusa.org before November 19th to inform us of any interesting election results or ballot measures that will impact the arts in your state.