December 2017                                 

NAMTA continues to be a strong Art Advocacy resource for its members.  Art Advocacy NEWS brings you stories about people, places, and organizations who are doing great things to support the arts.

NAMTA encourages you to visit regularly for the latest news, Why Art Matters facts, resources to help you advocate for the arts in your own community and inspirational stories of NAMTA members who are successfully supporting the arts.

Happy Holidays!

Coming Soon!

In March 2018, NAMTA will introduce a new Grant Program.
Watch for details on and, and in your emails.




The following list of “Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts.” was updated in 2017 by Randy Cohen (pictured), Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts

The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts also are a fundamental component of healthy communities, strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times.

  1. Arts improve individual well-being. 63 percent of the population believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” 64 percent feel the arts give them “pure pleasure to experience and participate in,” and 73 percent say the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”
  2. Arts unify communities. 67 percent of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity” and 62 percent agree that the arts “help me understand other cultures better”—a perspective observed across all demographic and economic categories.
  3. Arts improve academic performance. Students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates. The Department of Education reports that access to arts education for students of color is significantly lower than for their white peers, and has declined for three decades. Yet, research shows that low socio-economic-status students have even greater increases in academic performance, college-going rates, college grades, and holding jobs with a future. 88 percent of Americans believe that arts are part of a well-rounded K-12 education.
  4. Arts strengthen the economy. The arts and culture sector is a $730 billion industry, which represents 4.2 percent of the nation’s GDP—a larger share of the economy than transportation, tourism, and agriculture (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $135 billion in economic activity annually (spending by organizations and their audiences), which supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue.
  5. Arts are good for local businesses. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters—valuable revenue for local commerce and the community. Attendees who live outside the county in which the arts event takes place spend twice as much as their local counterparts ($39.96 vs. $17.42).
  6. Arts drive tourism. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences. Arts destinations grow the economy by attracting foreign visitor spending. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that, between 2003-2015, the percentage of international travelers including “art gallery and museum visits” on their trip grew from 17 to 29 percent, and the share attending “concerts, plays, and musicals” increased from 13 to 16 percent.
  7. Arts are an export industry. The arts and culture industries had a $30 billion international trade surplus in 2014, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. U.S. exports of arts goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) exceeded $60 billion.
  8. Arts spark creativity and innovation. Creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders—with 72 percent saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. The Conference Board’s Ready to Innovate report concludes, “The arts—music, creative writing, drawing, dance—provide skills sought by employers of the 3rd millennium.” Research on creativity shows that Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than other scientists.
  9. Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.
  10. Arts and healing in the military. The arts are part of the military continuum—promoting readiness during pre-deployment as well as aiding in the successful reintegration and adjustment of Veterans and military families into community life. Service members and Veterans rank art therapies in the top 4 (out of 40) interventions and treatments.

New Documentary Video from Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts has released a short documentary video on the development and unveiling of the Maggie L. Walker Monument in Richmond, Virginia. A Monument to Maggie: Richmond’s Journey through Public Art to Honor a Civil Rights Hero tells the story of the development and unveiling of the monument, which commemorates civil rights activist and community leader Maggie L. Walker. After nearly 20 years of work, with efforts led by community and political leaders, the public artwork was unveiled July 17, 2017, in the Jackson Ward district where Walker’s house and most of her businesses were located.

Americans for the Arts developed this documentary as part of its year-long outreach effort to promote the recently released Public Art Resource Center, an online platform that houses tools, resources, and opportunities tailored to needs of the public art field.




The Americans for the Arts 2018 Annual Convention is heading to Denver. On June 15-17, arts and community leaders from across the country will discuss pressing issues around public art, community development, education, advocacy and equity.

  • 100+ Speakers
  • 30+ Sessions
  • 3 Preconferences on Public Art, Equitable Investment in the Arts and Creative Youth Development
  • 10 ARTventure tours across Denver



The Arts Action Fund is at the forefront of advancing the arts in America. They are the only national arts advocacy organization dedicating 100% of their time, money, and political clout to advancing the arts in America, with a mission to mobilize one million citizens to join them in mobilizing support of the arts and arts education around the country.

The Arts Action Fund:

  • stands up for every child's right to a comprehensive, high quality arts education
  • promotes public policies that provide individuals and families affordable access to all forms of the arts
  • rallies national support against attacks to the arts
  • builds political influence to ensure bipartisan support for the arts

The organization has been building bipartisan support for the arts as well as delivering a unified message to Congress. Since their founding in 2004, an extra $200 million has been appropriated to arts related funding.

2017 has been a roller coaster year for the arts. From the budget proposal to eliminate the nation’s cultural institutions, to Congress finally restoring crucial arts funding, Art Action Fund's call for action to SAVE the NEA (The National Education Association) brought a record number of 187,004 emails to Congress. You can contribute to their year-end campaign.


Four Effective Ways Teachers Can Advocate for the Arts

1. Get art into your local community. Sharing your students’ work is a great way to highlight the role art plays in your student’s lives. An art display helps stakeholders visualize what you are doing and the impact it has on students. Partner with a local restaurant, coffee shop or other business who is willing to provide supplies for your students to create works that will be displayed in the business and put up for sale. Proceeds from sales go to your school directly benefit your art program.

2. Displaying student work within your school and hosting art shows are great ways to advocate for your arts program on campus. When you host events, don’t forget to invite the local media and your school districts’ communication department. Or, write up a blurb and submit it yourself! Display signs with the art that, includes the standards, vocabulary, and techniques students learned. These signs will help educate viewers. Also display art in school newsletters, social media pages, to let parents and the school community know what type of art is being made so they know what materials may be needed for donations.

American for the Arts Action Fund is a great resource for 3 and 4.

3. Stay in the know when it comes to legislative policies and funding for the arts.

4. Reach out to your representatives and make your voice heard. Don’t forget to encourage your peers to reach out as well. There is power in numbers!

Some information from The Art of Education.


"Art Lets Kids Explore Their Imaginations - Even though art teachers provide students with specific artistic techniques, it's also important to give children the freedom to use their imaginations. Consider using collages, prints and textiles to enrich the art program."  -
"Teachers in high-arts schools were more likely to be involved in professional development, innovative in their teaching, and have good working relationships with other teachers in school."  -

Read More FACTS on


The #VisualArtsEdMatters Campaign is an initiative of the National Art Education Association (NAEA).
The National Art Education Association advances visual arts education to full human potential and promotes global understanding.

A High Quality Visual Arts Education:

  • Develops Future Workforce Skills.
  • Supports Learning in a Visual and Media Age.
  • Reinforces Social and Emotional Learning.
  • Includes Standards-Based Curriculum and Assessment
  • Regarding Impact and Accountability.
  • Builds Cultural Competency Through Arts Learning.
  • Promotes Creativity and Innovation.
  • Develops Cognitive Flexibility for a Future Workforce.
  • Nurtures Essential Early Learning.
  • Encourages Meaningful Parental Involvement.

Read the details on the points above and see ideas on how you can participate.



Art teacher Robert Wood, from Roy C. Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls, New York, has been named Art Teacher of the Year for 2017 by the New York State Art Teachers Association.

He began his career in 1987, and has since made it his goal to inspire his students to gain an appreciation of the arts through empowering their voice through artistic forms.

Criteria for winning the award include a history of exemplary teaching and strong advocacy, and must have made an impact on those around them in their school, region, and state.

Mr. Wood has been instrumental in the design and implementation process for the new state art learning standards, and has served on the state Standards Revision Committee for two years, seeking to ensure that all students in New York State are able to receive a high-quality, sequential visual and media arts education in Pre-K-12 curriculum.

In his classroom, Mr. Wood has all of his students keep a portfolio of their individual work so they can keep track of and reflect on their progress. He also facilitated monthly broadcasts of student-based media production, and a student-to-student anti-bullying campaign that was used throughout the state.  from Poughkeepsie Journal

If you know an art teacher in your community  that has been recognized, let NAMTA know and we will feature them in a future issue.  Send enail to Karen



The Department of Art Conservation at the University of Delaware and the generous contributions of companies and individuals, many who are NAMTA Members, have made the MITRA website and forum are possible.

At present, MITRA is primarily focused on two-dimensional fine art practices, specifically painting, drawing/sketching, and to some extent, mural painting. As the forum continues to evolve, we hope to add other areas of artistic practice including (but not limited to), printmaking, sculpture/pottery, digital photography/design, and fiber art.

Visit the MITRA Website


2017 Arts Day

In November, 50 arts advocates from across Canada traveled to Parliament Hill to deliver the three messages of the Canadian Arts Coalition and to thank the Federal Government for the continued investment in the Canada Council for the Arts and the Creative Canada plan. Together, the advocates spoke with Parliamentarians in order to see continued investment in the arts and culture sector - read the details.

The Canadian Arts Coalition is grateful to all delegates who joined the Canadian Arts Coalition in Ottawa, representing artists and arts organizations from across the country, and to all who attended their end of day reception.

The 2017 Arts Day on the Hill could not have been possible without the tireless work of partners and sponsors and would like to recognize: Kate Cornell and the Canadian Dance Assembly; Frédéric Julien and CAPACOA;  Sara Meurling, Meg Shannon, and members of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT); the National Arts Centre; Sean Casey and Tara Mazurk at Global Public Affairs; Harwood Estate Vinyards; Kichesippi Beer; Monique Renaud and Meg Shannon for managing the Coalition’s communications; and the Great Canadian Theatre Company.

Delegates at the 2017 Arts Day Reception


Alert Bay - Art Advocate Village

The Namgis "Big House" potlatch ceremonial building in Alert Bay, BC

Alert Bay is a village on Cormorant Island, in the Regional District of Mount Waddington, British Columbia, Canada, with a keen focus on giving local artists a place to express themselves—such as with ArtFest, a three-day event featuring work from over 40 artists.  Alert Bay Artfest began in 2008 in response to seeing artists having to leave the island to exhibit their artwork - it coincides with Seafest

Alert Bay also has ArtLoft Gallery, which spotlights a different theme each month, and allows locals to have their own solo shows.

Montreal - Art Advocate City

Mural from Betz from Etam Cru - 2014 Mural Festival.
Etam Cru is the name of two collaborating Street artists, called Bezt and Sainer from Poland.

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the province of Quebec and the second-most populous in Canada. The city's beloved MURAL Festival was launched in 2012 brining exposure to the mural artists and the shops in the neighborhood.

2017 MURAL Festival was a 10-day event attracting millions of visitors worldwide while street artists from across the globe painted a series of striking murals all across the city with a majority of full-scale pieces having been completed in the city’s Saint Laurent avenue. The lineup of artists included both international talent and well-known creatives from Quebec. The festival was extended to sections of Old Montreal and joined forces with the local merchants association. 
Watch this Video!


The Arts Advocate Report was founded in 1994 to strengthen the engagement of Ontario’s arts and culture sector in public policy.

The Report offers objective, non-partisan information and analysis about policy, events and trends that affect Ontario’s cultural sector. It is published six times a year and is complemented by E-Bulletins, when information and events warrant.

On occasion, The Arts Advocate Report will publish special reports or convene briefings exclusive to subscribers that focus on issues of specific relevance to the cultural sector.



Nearly seven in 10 (67 percent) arts alumni currently work as arts professionals in some capacity: 56 percent as artists, 28 percent as arts teachers and/or 19 percent as arts managers. Many have overlapping roles; of the 67 percent who work in the arts, 42 percent are only artists, 9 only teach art, and 5 percent only administer an arts business or organization.  Information from News at IU Bloomington


The small town depicted in Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night is Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in the south of France. Van Gogh painted the work while he was a patient at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole (pictured below), a psychiatric hospital in Saint-Rémy.

Saint-Paul de Mausole still functions as a psychiatric hospital today but you can see an “emotionally charged” reconstruction of Van Gogh’s room and one wing has even been turned into a dedicated museum. Those looking for inspiration need not look any further than the inspiring vistas Van Gogh himself discovered.

Saint-Paul de Mausole hosts  Valetudo: the answer to Van Gogh's dream. Created in 1995 and since coordinated by Dr. Jean-Marc Boulon with the aim of demystifying mental illness, putting Art and culture at the service of care, the association Valetudo has set itself various missions that include offering additional therapeutic means to people suffering from psychiatric disorders through art therapy workshops, promoting patients artistic works through a gallery and outdoor cultural events, allowing everyone to be recognized for their artistic and creative value and no longer for their illness, and restoring the social link of people that the disease isolates.




from Rick H. Jones, Renaissance Fine Art Supplies, Hamilton, OH

Before opening our store in 2015, I spent 40 years of my life directing community arts centers. Prior to that, I taught college level art for six years. But it was during my arts center years that I advocated for all of the arts for all of the people. I developed the Wayne Center for the Arts in Wooster, OH 1979-1991. From 1991-2015, I was founding executive director of the Fitton Center for Creative Arts here in Hamilton, OH. It was during those many years that I worked with city councils, mayors, state elected officials, community leaders, school boards, and others to convince them that the arts matter in people’s lives.

I was able, over time, to convince decision makers that investment in the arts was an investment in the quality of life of the community. My evidence was how the arts improved the performance of students in the public schools (backed by our own empirical research); impact on economic development; achievement of goals for under-served populations; and how the arts helped to improve social inequities. Advocacy never ends, so when I retired to open Renaissance, I still advocate for the arts, but now more for the visual arts. I am most comfortable here since I have a Master’s degree in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art. When I speak to groups, I always point out how the arts have the power to improve communities and bring meaning to people’s lives.

Artograph Light Boxes for Vets, Elderly and the Young

Don Dow, CEO and owner of Artograph, celebrated his 39th anniversary with the company this month and looks forward to soon beginning his 5th decade in the art materials world. Coming into Artograph, a maker of tools for artists since 1947, Don brought a strong sense of advocacy for art education, having been a high school art teacher.

This connection to art education remains with Artograph to this day as the company frequently donates art materials to schools and art education programs. This support has gone to programs as diverse as a veterans’ art center in Colorado, to a program in Oklahoma to which Artograph donated a large quantity of light boxes for use in art therapy for the elderly to aid in fighting memory loss, and a charity arts center in southern California. Recently, a struggling rural school in North Carolina received a donation of Artograph products to support their efforts to revive their art classes. Their teacher said the students were unused to having new, high quality art materials to work with and were thrilled with the tools Artograph sent.

Art students at Marshville Middle School happy to see their new LightPad light box. Their teacher said, “…when we plugged the first one in and turned it on, there was a collective “Ooooooooooh” from all of us.

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