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From the Chairman
Periodically, it is important for all of us to refer to the ISC’s mission statement. I won’t repeat it in full here, but you can always find it on our Web site and on page six in every issue of Sculpture. Everything we do as an organization is geared toward advancing our mission, and we are always looking for new ways to satisfy that aim.
One phrase in our mission statement strikes me as worthy of special attention: to “promote a supportive environment for sculpture and sculptors.” That’s a tall order for a small organization, and over the past year the staff and board of the ISC have discussed steps we might take to further this goal. One such idea has been the possible addition of an advocacy program to our activities. However, at present we do not have the resources, either financial or human, to add such a devoted program to our current offerings; but that doesn’t mean that advocacy in support of the arts in general, and sculpture in particular, is not of vital importance.
As you are probably aware, artists making donations of work, whether to the ISC or to a museum, receive a tax deduction equal only to the cost of their materials. Collectors, on the other hand, receive a deduction equal to the full market value of the work. Although the Senate has passed a bill to put artists and collectors in the same position, the House has yet to act. Even worse, Congress recently passed legislation limiting the ability of both artists and collectors to donate artworks over time. Some would say that these are exactly the types of issues with which a concerned membership organization such as the ISC should engage. Given our limited resources, however, I would suggest that this is a prime opportunity to forge strategic partnerships with other organizations concerned with arts advocacy and to pool our resources to everyone’s advantage. Although we have not yet approached any specific groups about such partnerships, I would like to make everyone aware of two organizations that have been deeply involved in, and are currently more suited to, arts-related advocacy efforts. In the future, perhaps we will establish more direct partnerships with these and other organizations—always in an effort to further the stated goals of our mission.
If you are interested in learning more about arts advocacy issues, you should consult the resources of Americans for the Arts www.americansforthearts.org, which is dedicated to providing information about and supporting the arts. I also recommend consulting the Union League Club of Chicago www.ulcc.org/community/artmuseum.asp. The ULCC link leads to an excellent summary of current legislative efforts and a user-friendly tool that enables interested visitors to help influence pressing issues.
Of course, if you have any thoughts about how you would like to see the ISC begin advocacy activities, please share them with us. You can send your thoughts and ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chairman, ISC Board of Directors
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