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Join us in standing up for the National Endowment for the Arts

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE LOFT’S MEMBERS, PATRONS AND DONORS, AND TO THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE THAT SUPPORTS THE ARTS IN TUCSON AND BEYOND.

All of us at The Loft Cinema, Tucson’s nonprofit art cinema, urge you to join with us to urge Congress to continue funding the National Endowment for the Arts.

As you probably know, the current proposed federal budget would eliminate the relatively modest federal funding for the NEA, along with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

The Loft Cinema is one of many nonprofit arts organizations to receive NEA funding. We were fortunate to receive a $30,000 grant for the Loft Film Fest 2017 and the Loft Film Fest on the Road, which takes festival films to underserved urban and rural communities for free screenings with our Loft Solar Cinema.  This grant was especially meaningful because it was the first time we applied! While the grant has a significant impact on our film festival, what is more impactful is the validation associated with being an organization that has been thoroughly vetted and approved by the NEA.About two million dollars of the $150 million NEA funding for 2017 goes to film-related projects, including the Loft Film Fest.

Here is a complete list of the projects funded in 2017 (Loft Film Fest is on page 3)

YOU CAN HAVE AN IMPACT!

The Arizona Commission on the Arts, which provides funding for The Loft Cinema and many other arts organizations in Arizona, offers these suggestions:

  1. Go to the Americans for the Arts Action Center and send a customizable message to your elected representatives in Congress. Actively recruit your friends and family to do the same. Generously, share information on social media, using the national hashtags –  #SAVEtheNEA, #ArtsVote, AND tag your Congressional members.
  2. If you are a board member or an arts administrator for an organization, engage your fellow employees and your whole board in how the organization can engage in advocacy for the cultural agencies, and how each individual board member or employee will participate.
  3. If you are an individual or an organization that has benefited from an NEA grant, we would appreciate you sending us a short narrative about the impact of that grant – the program it supported, who benefited, why it was important to the community, and what would have been lost or never have come to be without the support. We will be using these stories in our lobbying.
  4. Stay informed, and be ready to act. Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter, AND enrolled in our Legislative Action Center. And visit the American’s for the Arts Advocacy Mobilization Center for up-to-date information about what is happening in Washington.

HERE ARE LINKS TO THE REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS REPRESENTING US IN WASHINGTON:

https://mcsally.house.gov/

https://grijalva.house.gov/

https://www.mccain.senate.gov

https://www.flake.senate.gov

Thank you for understanding the importance of the arts to all of us and for speaking out against reducing or eliminated funding for the NEA.