For more than 30 years, Missouri Citizens for the Arts has provided a presence for Missouri’s arts industry at the state Capitol. MCA was incorporated in 1980 as a 501(c)4, and the MCA-Education Fund was incorporated in 1982 as a 501(c)3. Both statewide organizations work to promote the whole of Missouri’s arts industry to the public and private sectors and are non-partisan and not-for-profit.
MCA grew from a grassroots movement of citizens who recognized the need for ongoing advocacy dedicated to cultivating public support and preservation of the state’s arts industry. MCA-Education Fund was established to provide the educational programming and support so crucial to such advocacy. Publicly, these two organizations are jointly referred to as Missouri Citizens for the Arts.
Even today, MCA is the only statewide organization that promotes the whole of Missouri’s arts industry to the public and private sectors. MCA is uniquely positioned to unite the state’s arts industry on issues of mutual concern and represents those concerns to public agencies and elected officials whose actions impact the industry. MCA seeks to secure a stable and growing base of public financial support for the arts and to ensure access to the arts for all Missourians.
The focus of the MCA-Education Fund is to inform the public-at-large and private business about the significant contributions the arts make to our society and to provide services to the arts industry as a whole. Through education, research and technical assistance, the MCA-Education Fund helps to promote a healthy and stable climate in which the arts can flourish in Missouri.
The MCA-Education Fund was thankful to receive an ARP grant from Mid-America Arts Alliance in 2021 to help with administrative work to enhance our advocacy efforts.
A Board of Directors governs both organizations and reflects MCA’s statewide constituency. An Executive Committee, including the officers and regional vice-presidents, directs the affairs of the organization. The staff of both organizations consists of a full-time Executive Director. MCA also employees a lobbyist on a contractual basis to ensure active participation in the legislative process.
Policies and Bylaws of MCA and MCA Education Fund can be found here.
Income for MCA’s programs and operations is derived from membership dues from arts organizations served by MCA’s work. Individual member contributions, foundation and corporate support provide income for the MCA-Education Fund.
Without the work of MCA, public funding for the state arts agency, Fine Arts Academy, and the Missouri Cultural Trust, would surely diminish. When funding for arts is presented as a “discretionary” choice, MCA is there to remind legislators that for every one dollar invested in the arts, more than eight dollars are returned to the economy of the state. Organized, statewide arts advocacy is a necessity in order for continued public financial support of the industry.
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