Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Art and Politics

I received this article today, from the blog My Dance Place, regarding which Presidential candidates support the arts. It's both interesting and not so surprising. Scrolling down through the article there is a laundry list of each of the three main candidates stats.

Here they are, taken from the article, but I do recommend reading the the entire piece....

Barack Obama:
-Supports increasing funding for the NEA from $125 million to $175 million annually
-Wants to expand both public and private partnerships between schools and arts organizations
-Supports the creation of an "Artists Corp" to work in low-income communities
-Promotes cultural diplomacy (send performance artists abroad)
-Welcomes international artists into the US
-Wants to provide health care to artists and their family members
-Supports ensuring tax fairness for artists
-As Senator, co-sponsored and passed legislation to honor the legacy of Katherine Dunham
-Supports the Artists-Museum Partnership Act, which allows artists to deduct the fair market value of their work when making charitable contributions

Hillary Clinton:
-Supports the NEA's mission and increasing Federal funding for the NEA
-Wants to reform No Child Left Behind to strengthen funding for arts education in public schools
-Believes in international cultural exchange as a form of diplomacy
-Supporter of Public Broadcasting
-Created the Finger Lakes Trading Cooperative, an initiative that links local businesses with artisans in upstate NY
-Helped to develop affordable living/work space for artists in Buffalo
-Entered a statement to the Senate Congressional Record in support of creative arts therapies
-As First Lady, was the honorary chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities

John McCain:
-In 1999, voted NO on funding for the National Endowment of the Arts
-Does not support abolishing the NEA
-Voted in favor of the Helms Amendment to withdraw Federal funding grants to art considered "obscene"
-An honorary member of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, 1997-present
-2007, proposed a bill to protect Indian arts and crafts

Oh boy! There is so much listed to comment on. The one thing that really sticks out is the Artists-Museum Partnership Act.

I love the idea of getting paid fair market value for a painting when giving a donation, for several reasons.... 3 of them being, most often the donation is 100% to the organization with no percentage to the artist (although that is changing), getting the nominal deduction for materials really doesn't help with the tax write off that many organizations think you are receiving by giving to them and lastly, with many auctions the artwork sells for far more than the market value because of the cause that it is benefiting.

Now, I'm not a disgruntled artist and I certainly LOVE to support the non profits when they are fund raising, however sometimes I feel it is in my own best interest to just write a check to the organization rather than donate my livelihood. I know, I know, I read this and think that it's not in the spirit of giving, but even large corporations are getting the tax benefit from donating large sums of money to the non profits. It's not because they want something back for what they are giving, it's just a benefit and encourages them to be generous. I would like to feel that good about my generosity too! and yes, claim it on my tax return.

1 comment:

redredday said...

this is a great post! :). i totally did not even consider where these politicians stand on the issue of the arts. thank you for taking time to share this. i love the idea of the Artists Corps. gonna go read the article now...

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