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From the Chairman

In last November’s issue of Sculpture, I mentioned an ongoing discussion about adopting an ISC advocacy program. Although I stated that, as an organization, we are not yet able to take on such an endeavor, I pointed our readers to some other resources to follow pending legislative efforts affecting the arts. One of those resources was the Americans for the Arts’ Web site, which you can access whether or not you are a member of that organization.

Back in November, the most significant pending legislation affecting the arts involved a Senate bill that would allow an artist to deduct the full value, rather than only the cost of materials, of donated artwork. House and Senate versions of that bill are both still pending.

More recently, the House added to the arts-related agenda with two bills—one that brings an historic increase of $35 million of additional funding to the National Endowment for the Arts, bringing the NEA’s total budget to $160 million (a similar Senate bill proposes only a $9 million increase), and a second that provides $39 million for the Department of Education’s Arts in Education program. Although these are arguably pathetically small sums in a budget of nearly $3 trillion, the trend is important and positive, and the funds will be invaluable
to those who benefit from the supported programs.

In last month’s letter, I wrote about a Utah artist doing her part to support the young men and women giving their lives in Iraq. Kaziah Hancock inspired me, proving that each of us can have an impact on the issues we care deeply about. So now I call on each of us—members of the ISC and readers of Sculpture magazine, art supporters alike—to take a stand regarding these important issues affecting the arts, our nation’s artists, and our students. I urge you to support the passage of these bills and to follow other arts-related legislative efforts closely.

To have your voice heard regarding these and other important arts-related legislative initiatives, please visit the Arts Action Center hosted by the Americans for the Arts <http://capwiz.com/artsusa/issues/?style=D>. The link easily allows you to initiate e-mails to your congressperson and your senators urging their support of these and other bills. It only takes a few minutes, but the importance of showing our support for these three distinct legislative efforts cannot be underestimated.

To learn more about these and the other legislative efforts being
followed by Americans for the Arts, whether now or in the future, please go to <http://capwiz.com/artsusa/issues/bills>.

I commend Americans for the Arts for their efforts and for making these resources available to all of us. I hope that you will avail yourselves of the opportunity to let your views about these issues be known to our political leaders and that you will consider passing this information on to your friends and colleagues who support the arts.

Josh Kanter
Chairman, ISC Board of Directors


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