Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Co-Chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, kicked off Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill with a series of events designed to promote the arts and arts education.
Tomorrow morning, Congresswoman Slaughter will speak at the Congressional Arts Kick Off breakfast, where Americans for the Arts will bring together entertainment, arts, education, and policy leaders on Capitol Hill to reinforce the importance of maintaining critical federally-funded arts programs that help fuel our local economies, preserve our heritage and educate our children. Congresswoman Slaughter will also formally introduce Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ) as her fellow co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus. Other Kickoff highlights this year will include the presentation of the 2013 Congressional Arts Leadership Award by Americans for the Arts and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and remarks by Grammy Award®-winning musician Yo-Yo Ma and Guns and Roses Rock and Roll Hall of Fame® member Matt Sorum.
Other Arts Advocacy Day events include a lecture and performance with world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and a meeting with arts advocates from New York State.
According to Americans for the Arts, the arts industry has a vast impact on the nation's economy. Each year, the arts industry generates 135.2 billion annually in economic activity, provides 4.13 million full-time jobs, and returns 9.59 billion in federal income tax revenue. In addition, arts organizations spend more than $61 billion on salaries, local products and skilled trade services that boost local economies.
"Arts Advocacy Day reminds us of the incredible economic and social benefit of promoting the arts and arts education," Congresswoman Slaughter said. "Every dollar of federal funds spent on the arts leverages at least eight dollars from other state, local and private sources, an amazing return on investment that we should continue to fund. More importantly, every life we touch by promoting art and arts education helps to grow our culture and inspire our society in ways we cannot even measure. Art shows us who we were, who we are, and who we hope to be, and it's been a true blessing to be a leader in promoting the arts across our country."
As co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Congresswoman Slaughter has promoted and funded Rochester-area arts initiatives such as the Art Walk extension on University Avenue, as well as national initiatives like the National Endowment of the Arts, which awarded over $108 million in appropriated funds through just over 2,200 grants reaching all 435 congressional districts last fiscal year.