2022 Year End Letter

Date of News Item

Thank you!

Download the PDF version of the letter here. 

Dear Arts Action Fund Members,

As we enjoy the holiday season following the midterm elections and wait in anticipation for the results of the Georgia Senate runoff on December 6th, I want to share highlights of the significant impact that the Arts Action Fund community made this year. Your involvement makes a difference. Whether it’s taking action in arts advocacy campaigns, uplifting our messages on social media, or making financial contributions to support programming and pro-arts candidates, members, like you, are directly empowering arts visibility in public policy. For instance, kudos to California for passing state Prop 28 overwhelmingly on November 8th, which will now guarantee over $1 billion for arts and music education in schools!


Would you make a financial contribution today to the Arts Action Fund’s Year-End campaign to help us advance arts policies that matter most to you?


2022 Arts Advocacy Highlights

We kicked off 2022 with a set of four bold Arts Policy Platforms that Arts Action Fund members not only voted overwhelmingly in favor of, but also made significant progress on.


 1. Federal Arts Legislation

A groundbreaking number of 10 federal arts-specific legislative bills were introduced into Congress this year, from the Creative Economy Revitalization Act and the Arts Education for All Act to the Advancing Equity through the Arts and Humanities Act. Many of these bills have secured dozens of Congressional Co-Sponsors, and we will work to double that next year, when they are reintroduced.


 2. White House Executive Orders

The Executive branch proved itself a great supporter of the arts with President Biden’s Executive Order to reinstate the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities with a focus on equity after the previous administration had allowed this arts advisory committee's authority to lapse. This is a huge win for arts advocates across the country allowing all arts advocates to be recognized and represented in the White House. bit.ly/ArtsExecutiveOrder


 3. Federal Funding for the Arts and Humanities

For the first time, national arts services organizations, the nation’s arts unions, and the Arts Action Fund made a unified ask to Congress to build a path to indexing annual federal funding for the arts at $1 per person. For FY 2023, if enacted, funding for both the NEA and NEH would increase to $207 million each (bringing it up to 62.5 cents per person).


 4. COVID-19 Economic Relief for the Arts

In the third COVID-19 economic relief package, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Arts Action Fund was part of a successful campaign to secure an extra $145 million each for the NEA and NEH to administer COVID relief grants to nonprofit arts and culture organizations. Additionally, ARPA’s much larger block grants to state and local governments were flexible enough for state and local arts agencies to request a portion of these additional funds to regrant to artists and arts groups.


ArtsVote 2022

Our 2022 ArtsVote: Make Your Vote Count campaign empowered our 428,000 members to take the ArtsVote Pledge to vote early and become ArtsVote champions. At the heart of the campaign were our customized State Voter Factsheets for all 50 states featuring unique election rules and regulations enacted since the pandemic.

But we didn’t stop there. With the importance of social media in our political climate and the need to reach new voters, we made it our goal to create customized social media toolkits with engaging designs to highlight key voter deadlines in each state.


Arts Action Fund Political Action Committee (PAC)

I also want to share with you how we invested in pro-arts federal candidates with your contributions to the Arts Action Fund PAC. Guided by the grading system in our Congressional Arts Report Card, we supported 47 pro-arts candidates in this 2021-2022 election cycle with $71,500.  We supported federal candidates both in the House and Senate, pro-arts Democrats and Republicans, and incumbents as well as open seat candidates. We had an impressive 95% success rate, in contributing to winning congressional leaders who will shape arts policy in the next Congress! www.ArtsActionFund.org/PAC-Giving-Successs


With your Year-End financial contribution, we will now rebuild our PAC war chest to prepare for the 2023-24 presidential election cycle.


Here is a list of some of the Congressional arts leaders the Arts Action Fund PAC supported in the previous election cycle:

  • Rep. Chellie Pingree allocated the highest funding level for cultural agencies
  • Rep. Suzanne Bonamici sponsored the Arts Education for All Act
  • Rep. Barbara Lee sponsored Advancing Equity through Arts and Humanities
  • Rep. Judy Chu sponsored the Performing Arts Tax Parity Act
  • Sen. Susan Collins is the Republican Co-Chair of Senate cultural caucus
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski is the Republican leader on Senate arts and culture funding


Connecting with Our Members

As the country begins to peak its head out from under the weight of the pandemic, we took the opportunity to form deeper connections with our members. After more than two years of hosting Zoom Office Hours with Nina, we were lucky enough to start attending in-person conferences, meetings, and more to meet and support our most dedicated members.

“Nina helped us change minds! She lent credence, as a national expert on arts and advocacy to Creative Washtenaw’s Arts and Creative Industries 411 for Candidates, Elected Officials and Public Policymakers event on July 8, 2022. She complimented our campaign to inform and persuade public officials of the value and impact of the sector,” said Deb Polich, president/CEO, Creative Washtenaw, serving the greater Ann Arbor, MI area.

Through the supportive online community built in Office Hours with Nina, two regular participants, photographer Bob Lubell of Toledo, OH (pictured on the left) and talent representative Manuel Prestamo of Miami, FL (pictured on the right), were able to meet in-person at a regional arts conference. Both Arts Action Fund members regained financial footing by securing pandemic unemployment, paycheck protection funds, and EIDL loans.

I had the chance to meet talent representative Robert Besen of New Jersey in-person at the opening night performance of the Formosa Quartet, which he represents, at the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art in Washington, D.C. on October 1, 2022. With the assistance of SVOG funding, this was the group’s first return to live performance since the pandemic.


What’s Our Plan for 2023?


We are going to firmly center equity in our legislative agenda in support of artists and arts groups when the new Congress is sworn-in on January 3, 2023. We will also continue providing valuable technical assistance to help our Arts Action Fund members succeed.


Please support the Arts Action Fund with a Year-End contribution for our programming and to our Political Action Committee (PAC).


Without your investment in us, this work would not be possible. We have been able to make great political strides, achieve major legislative goals, and produce dynamic educational materials, all because of your support. But with every election, we need to raise more money for the Arts Action Fund and its PAC to help support pro-arts candidates financially in their next election. You can help us keep the momentum going. Your generosity during this holiday season is so very appreciated.  


Nina Ozlu Tunceli 

Executive Director