Yay! Finally- a reinvestment in the arts!

Remember when the NEA was a dirty word in some halls of Congress? Well, apparently, the Recovery and Reinvestment in our economy is going to include the arts. My state arts organization, (the same one that has previously, but no more, dispensed grants to individual artists like me) is able to receive federal funds to help keep arts organizations floating. This will be critical to so many small, struggling non-profits.
The NEA guidelines for these competitive grants specify that the awards from the NEA stimulus package are limited to:
“Salary support, full or partial, for one or more positions that are critical to an organization’s artistic mission and that are in jeopardy or have been eliminated as a result of the current economic climate.
Fees for previously engaged artists and/or contractual personnel to maintain or expand the period during which such persons would be engaged.”

This will be a lifeline extended to many small arts groups, and is well worth the investment.
Take that, American Family Association!
(they have repeated lobbied congress to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts) along with other distasteful activities.
In addition, we are adding our own element to the local stimulus package… our furnace decided to call it quits, so we are opting for a more energy efficient one, and using the 2009 tax credit of 1500 to help pay for it. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy- just glad today was 70 degrees, (yes, it’s Colorado!)  so we can be without heat for a while!

Un-stimulate the Arts ?

By now, a lot of sites have been spreading the word of the unfortunate Ammendment 175, from Senator Tom Coburn R- OK. It was passed in the Senate by about a 3 to 1 majority, and who knows if it has a chance to be weeded out during the joint polishing-up the bill will get before being signed. In fact, President Obama is coming to Denver tomorrow to sign the Reinvestment/Stimulus bill tomorrow, at the Museum of Nature and Science.
What I can’t quite fathom is lumping the flashing pastel lights, saunas and museum/theater funding together…. ya gotta love him for his total disconnect with what the arts really offer. Here ’tis:

“None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, arts center, or highway beautification project, including renovation, remodeling, construction, salaries, furniture, zero-gravity chairs, big screen televisions, beautification, rotating pastel lights, and dry heat saunas.”