Studies consistently prove that the arts stimulate economic activity, positively impact quality of life issues and help students achieve in varied educational settings. When talking or corresponding with an elected official, it is important to raise these points and to have specific information that is relevant to the areas he/she represents.
When municipal, state and federal budgets are being drafted, the argument for “art for art’s sake” is not enough, even with proven arts supporters and patrons. Arts advocates must make the case that the arts are a thriving industry, contributing significantly to our communities. Missouri Citizens for the Arts’ (MCA) advocacy efforts are year-round, and it is never too late for new advocates to get involved. View a timeline here of the basic steps of MCA’s ongoing work to ensure access to the arts for all Missourians.
To assist you in your efforts with elected officials, use this information provided by the Missouri Arts Council (MAC). It will strengthen your statement about how the arts improve the quality of life of Missourians, better the state’s economy and impact education.
For more information about the impact of MAC funded programs and services, visit the MAC website.
The Missouri Cultural Trust
In 1993, the state legislature created the Missouri Cultural Trust in an effort to help stabilize funding for the arts in Missouri. Subject to appropriation, the Trust is funded by 60% of the income tax on non-resident professional athletes and entertainers (A&E tax). The Trust is governed by the members of the Missouri Arts Council (MAC) and five elected officials: two members of the Missouri House of Representatives, two members of the Missouri Senate, and the State Treasurer.
The Trust was originally established to grow untouched until at least 2015. Unfortunately, difficult economic times changed those plans. In FY2004, the Missouri General Assembly granted MAC spending authority for the Missouri Cultural Trust instead of appropriating General Revenue funds to MAC. The Cultural Trust was then used to support MAC’s operations and grant programs. This resulted in changes to the Trust’s grant programs – closing the Capital Incentive Program to new applicants in FY2002 and dissolving the Organizational Development Program.
Access the State Statute (section 143.183 RSMo) that defines the Cultural Trust here.
Access the summary of the Missouri Non-resident Athletes & Entertainers Tax here.
The Missouri Alliance for Arts Education
The Missouri Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) is a consortium of arts education associations that represent dance, drama/theatre, music and visual art. The members of these associations have joined together with other fine arts and education-related organizations in Missouri in order to speak with a louder voice for the importance of the arts in schools. For more information about the MAAE or to get involved as a volunteer, teacher or student, visit MAAE’s web site.
Arts Advocacy on the National Level
Americans for the Arts (AFTA), a national arts advocacy organization, is an important resource for arts advocate. AFTA regularly conducts studies on the impact of the arts nationwide, organizes advocacy efforts at the Federal level and offers a variety of publications, webinars and interest groups to assist citizens and groups in their efforts to advocate for public support of the arts. For more information about AFTA’s programs and services, particularly their studies on the economic impact of the arts, visit the AFTA web site.
Also, here is an informative infographic that illustrates why the arts matter in Missouri. Check it out!