Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Liberated Muse Advocates for DC Artists

(In photo: Moon brought her daughter along to council member Yvette Alexander's office to make the point of how arts impacts postive youth development.)

(In photo: DC Advocates for the Arts met today at the John A. Wilson Building in DC to meet with DC Council members about the importance of arts funding that has already been cut more than half than the previous year.)

The share of foundation and corporate funding being directed to the arts in DC is in an unmistakable decline. Between 1998 and 2007, the percentage of foundation funding directed to the arts decreased from 14.8 to 10.6 percent. The corporate giving share to the arts decreased from 10.3 to 4.6 percent during the same period. With our changing economic landscape, how can we make a change for the better regarding arts funding in the District?

The best advocate for the arts is YOU. All members of the arts community- staff, volunteer leaders, artists and audiences- have the expertise needed to make the case for
good arts policy. Your first-hand knowledge of the arts and their impact on your life is one of the most important components of any advocacy campaign seeking the support of legislators. Maceo Thomas and Khadijah "Moon" Ali-Coleman, co-founders of Liberated Muse, joined the DC Advocates for the Arts today, March 3, to speak with Ward 7 council member Yvette Alexander to talk about how the arts transforms communities.

( In photo: Maceo Thomas, co-founder of Liberated Muse Productions, looks over his fact sheet before meeting with council member Yvette Alexander's chief of staff)
In Washington DC, the arts creates 11,205 Full Time Jobs and $355 million in income paid to
residents. $62 million in direct local government revenue is also generated because of the arts. In 2005, 4 billion dollars in government funding for the arts -including national, state,
and local - resulted in 29.6 billion dollars in government revenue. What it's important to know is that the arts are not in competition with other kinds of non-profit govt spending.
Spending in the arts = tax revenue and jobs, not just red carpets and services for residents. As long as governmenet leaders look at investment in the arts as a luxury expense and not an asset to the community, everyone loses out. The arts lose when we try to compete with simple, non-investment spending.

As an artist or art lover (whether that art be visual, literary or performance art), it is up to you advocate for continued funding for the arts. Visit for more information on how you can get involved.


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