Texas Arts Advocacy Day 2019, Austin. Photo credit: Matt Stryker

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THE POWER OF THE ARTS – COMMITMENT TO EQUITY

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Save the Date: Texas Arts Advocacy Summit! 

Registration is now OPEN for the 
Texans for the Arts Foundation Virtual Texas Arts Advocacy Summit 2021!

REGISTER HERE!

The Summit this year will be held sequentially on three dates: Tuesday, January 26, 2021 AND Tuesday February 9, 2021 AND Thursday, February 11, 2021.

Don’t miss these three sessions which - together - set the stage to ensure your voice as an arts advocate is heard in the virtual halls of the Texas State Capitol!

 

TEXANS FOR THE ARTS FOUNDATION'S VIRTUAL ARTS ADVOCACY SUMMIT 2021 SCHEDULE:

Step 1: January 26, 2020 - 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM CST - "Setting the Stage" - Virtual Training Session around how to set up a legislative meeting and what to accomplish followed by a panel discussion on how to use the media to tell your stories!

Step 2: February 9, 2020 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon CST - "Speak Up Speak Out" Virtual Training Session on the key advocacy issues, guest speakers, art breaks and more!

That same afternoon, on February 9th, between 1:00-5:00 p.m. you will make scheduled visits with your legislators and/or their staff. These visits are being organized by advocacy "Captains" in each district. When you register for the Summit, you can designate whether you would like to be a "Captain"!

Step 3: February 11, 2020 - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CST - "Celebrate and Next Steps!" Virtual Wrap Up and Online Happy Hour!

Join arts leaders and citizen activists from across the state as we gather to learn, share, and participate in the democratic process! Everyone has a story about how the arts make a difference in their own lives, in that of their families, and in their communities. Your voice (and your vote!) are the most important tools that you have in speaking up about the importance of investing public resources in the arts across our towns, cities, regions, state and nation.

We face unprecedented challenges in our sector due to the devastating impact of COVID-19. It is more important than ever that we come together and share our stories about the challenges the pandemic has created, but also the vital importance of the arts in our lives during these times of struggle and isolation. 

Typically, we meet in the Texas Capitol in Austin, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the building has restricted access including COVID testing until further notice. We are excited to come together nonetheless! With this year’s summit being held virtually, it creates a unique and exciting opportunity for you, as advocates, to participate from anywhere in the State!

At the Texas Arts Advocacy Summit Virtual Sessions on Tuesday January 26, 2021 and Tuesday February 9th, 2021 (and a virtual Happy Hour on Thursday, February 11, 2021), learn how to put your passion about the arts into constructive and informative advocacy through orientation, training, and more. Texans for the Arts Foundation will provide digital materials for you to share with your legislators on the issues most important to all of us:

* protecting public support for the arts

* protecting the municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax and the 15% allocation for the arts, particularly through the COVID-19 recovery period

* ensuring our vital resources provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts and their Cultural District program funding remain intact

* seeking additional support for COVID-19 relief for the arts and culture sector

* supporting other policies and programs including arts & the military, arts & education, arts & the justice system and more.

 

As artists, arts administrators, board members, and citizens interested in the arts, you are already advocating every day through your work.

JOIN US as we demystify arts advocacy and set attendees off on productive and rewarding virtual visits with their elected officials.

 

Texans for the Arts Foundation's Texas Virtual Arts Advocacy Summit is generously supported by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Texans for the Arts Foundation would like to give a shout out to our team who conducted the HOT Toolkit Workshop on November 12th.  Thank you Cookie Ruiz, Executive Director, Ballet Austin and President, Texans for the Arts Foundation; Ann S. Graham, Executive Director, Texans for the Arts; Travis James, Vice President, TXP, Inc.; Greg Conte, Data Analysis Manager, Texas Comptroller’s Office; Bill Longley, Legislative Counsel, Texas Municipal League; and Brian Sullivan, Deputy General Counsel, Texas Hotel & Lodging Association.

In the most challenging of times Texans for the Arts Foundation (TFAF) launched the Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) Toolkit, an online resource for arts, municipal, hotel and tourism leaders that is a comprehensive compendium of what you need to know about Texas’ Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax, Chapter 351 of the Texas Tax Code, and the positive impact HOT can have in communities across Texas.

The goal of the HOT Toolkit is to explain the complexities of the Hotel Occupancy Tax, and to give voice as to why investing the allowable "up to 15% for the arts" is a sound investment in the social health and economic well being and recovery of every community.

It is crucial now, more than ever, that stakeholders from arts organizations, municipalities, hotels and the convention and tourism industry work side by side with our communities’ best interests in mind.

If you missed our Workshop, you can listen to it in its entirety here. Be sure to also check out the 3 minute video (linked above) about the Toolkit, and the web site itself at www.hottoolkit.com

Texans for the Arts Foundation would like to thank the Houston Endowment for their grant support of the HOT Toolkit. It would not have been possible without their commitment to this work. Texans for the Arts Foundation also thanks the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association for their long term partnership. 

 

If you have any questions about the Toolkit or about the Hotel Occupancy Tax, or have ideas about how to share the Toolkit around the state - please get in touch at info@texansforthearts.com

 

 

 

Tell Congress to take action NOW!

The COVID crisis is devastating Texas’ creative sector. Without continued and expanded federal relief, the sector’s immediate and long-term viability is in jeopardy. Now is the moment for all of us—individual artists, creative businesses, nonprofit organizations, patrons, students, teachers, and audience members—to come together and demand action. 

Election Day has come and gone with no further legislative action from congress on Covid-19 Relief. While this is a disappointing development, we are still feeling hopeful as arts advocacy campaigns gain traction around the country. Read below for actions you should still take at this time to advocate to for the arts. We must continue to advocate when and where we can for the resources the arts sector needs. Texans for the Arts' Arts Sector & COVID-19 Relief Letter is a platform developed by dozens of leading national arts organizations which we endorsed and then delivered to all of our Congressional leaders in DC in July with over 200 signatures from Texas-based arts organizations. We’re demanding stronger federal support for nonprofits and small businesses, especially in communities of color; continuation of expanded unemployment benefits; increased incentives for charitable giving; and federal assistance in offsetting state and local revenue shortfalls.

Please e-mail and call your Congressional legislators to let them know you support this agenda and urge them to take action to support the creative sector in Texas and across the country. We need your voice now. 

 

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