Congressman Blumenauer recently fought to restore funding for the National Endowment of the Arts in the Fiscal Year 2004 Interior Appropriations bill. He believes that there is no marginal investment of federal dollars that has a higher return than providing funding for the art community. These dollars enrich the quality of life for average citizens, extending access to the arts to everyone, regardless of income level. Some of the most creative programs extend the arts to poor neighborhoods in rural and small towns. At a time of struggling economies from coast to coast, the economic impact on the arts, on artists, and on the people who support them, ripples throughout the economy. These programs are targeted, overwhelmingly to lower-income individuals. Artistic and cultural expression are building blocks of a livable community. Blumenauer will continue to work for increases in funding for arts and the humanities.
10 Things You Can Do to Celebrate the Arts & Humanities:
1. Make a list of area artists willing to perform throughout October-National Art & Humanities month- and distribute it to schools, libraries, etc.
2. Invite local musicians to perform "brown bag" lunchtime concerts in your public square.
3. Arrange a student art exhibition to be displayed at the school, a local business, the public library, or local government center.
4. Schedule performances at senior centers, hospitals, or nursing homes.
5. Invite a college art, music, dance, or theatre student to spend an hour at the high school talking about their course of study.
6. Donate used books to local schools and libraries, and encourage others in the community to do the same.
7. Organize a storytelling session for people of all ages to share personal tales at local bookstores, libraries or schools.
8. Encourage school field trips to arts events during National Arts and Humanities Month.
9. Read the arts section of the newspaper first.
10. Visit a museum.