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The Blue Moon is published bi-monthly by the Kentucky Arts Council. Please send comments, questions and information to The Blue Moon, Kentucky Arts Council, Old Capitol Annex, 300 West Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601-1980 or call 502/564-3757V/TDD Toll Free: 1-888-833-2787

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On the National Front

The National Endowment for the Arts LogoThe National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently awarded more than $66 million through 903 grants in the second round of 2003 fiscal year grants. The Arts Endowment will distribute $66,042,860 to nonprofit national, regional, state and local organizations across the country, funding 839 projects in the Access, Arts Learning, Heritage/Preservation and Leadership Initiative categories, as well as 64 partnership agreements with state and regional arts councils.

Twelve Kentucky organizations received a total of $1,031,400:

Eastern Kentucky Child Care Coalition, Inc., Berea
CATEGORY: Arts Learning
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Arts Education $28,000 to support the Eastern Kentucky Child Care Coalition. This program of hands-on activities for children, artist and teacher workshops, and artist residencies teaches about the region's artistic and cultural heritage to children enrolled in childcare programs within underserved counties.

Save the Children Federation, Inc. (consortium), Berea
CATEGORY: Arts Learning
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Arts Education $40,000 to support Passing the Pick and the Bow project. Student classes in Appalachian Mountain music for children, ages eight to 18, from rural Appalachian communities will attend three-day Mountain Music Schools taught by regional master musicians and 10-week sessions taught by local teachers.

Covington Community Center, Inc., Covington
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Visual Arts $10,000 to support The Gateway Project, featuring mosaic tilework as a means of identifying different neighborhoods in the city of Covington. Artists Jackie Slone and Rosemary Topie will direct this intergenerational project, which will engage the participants in discussions about the city's history and their individual heritage.

Kentucky Arts Council, Frankfort
CATEGORY: Partnership
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: State & Regional $616,400 to support Partnership Agreement activities.

Kentucky Arts Council, Frankfort CATEGORY: Folk Arts Infrastructure
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Folk & Traditional Arts $33,000 to support a folklorist position and other related costs. The position will oversee three areas of expanded outreach by the Kentucky Folklife Program.

Kentucky Educational Television Foundation, Inc., Lexington
CATEGORY: Arts Learning
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Arts Education $60,000 to support Art to Heart. This early childhood educational resource is designed to help teachers, parents, artists and childcare providers nurture creativity in children from birth through age eight.

Kentucky Assembly of Local Arts Agencies (aka Arts Kentucky), Louisville
CATEGORY: Heritage/Preservation
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Folk & Traditional Arts $25,000 to support the Kentucky Festivals Cultural Heritage Improvement Project. The project will develop and maintain a system of resources used to provide training and support to the organizers and volunteers of festivals in seven rural Kentucky communities.

Kentucky Center for the Arts Corporation, Louisville
CATEGORY: Arts Learning
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Arts Education $54,000 to support a drama and oral history pilot program led by ArtsReach for middle and high school students. The students' work will revolve around personal oral histories that each will explore and recreate through dramatic expression.

Louisville Orchestra, Inc., Louisville
CATEGORY: Arts Learning
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Arts Education $50,000 to support Making Music Partnership. This collaborative project between the Louisville Orchestra and Jefferson County Public Schools includes classroom visits, ensemble performances, curriculum materials for students and teachers, newsletters and full orchestra concerts.

New Performing Arts, Inc., Louisville
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Music $25,000 to support a national conference that will address model frameworks for developing and sustaining music presenting and programming in rural and underserved communities. The project will include dissemination via Internet of the conference results, as well as artist residencies in rural Minnesota, New York and Texas.

Appalshop, Inc., Whitesburg
CATEGORY: Folk Arts Infrastructure
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Folk & Traditional Arts $30,000 to support a folk arts coordinator position and related costs. The coordinator will be responsible for working with music education, presentation and apprenticeships for youth and adults in a five-county area of eastern Kentucky and southwest Virginia.

Appalshop, Inc., Whitesburg
CATEGORY: Arts Learning
FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Arts Education $60,000 to support the Appalshop Arts Education Initiative. Project activities will include after-school arts programming for youth, artist-led curriculum workshops for arts educators, and the documentation of youth arts education program models and curricula.

For a full listing of the grants awarded in this cycle click here.

Americans for the Arts Surveys Philanthropic and Economic Conditions in Communities

The following article contains excerpts of "A Report to the Americans for the Arts" by Bill Keens, President, Wolf, Keens & Company

Americans for the Arts LogoThis past May, Americans for the Arts convened a series of audio conferences devoted to the discussion of a report that summarized the principal findings and data from a recent research initiative. The aim of this research was "to develop a more current and complete picture of what is happening in our field" in these challenging times.

The research was conducted over a period of six days in March 2003. Twenty-eight local arts agencies (LAAs) were selected from all major regions of the country, and each was sent 12 questions for consideration. A follow-up interview with each LAA executive collected both quantitative and qualitative responses. The nine quantitative questions asked for revenue and expenditure data for the 2003 fiscal year and projected for the 2004-2005 fiscal years. Three qualitative questions asked respondents to assess the economic and philanthropic conditions in their communities, and to elaborate on the strategies that they have employed--or would like to see employed--to address the challenges they face.

The 28 LAAs encompassed by this survey represented a range of budget sizes, were distributed throughout the country, and included both public agencies and private nonprofit entities. The story told by their current year (2003 fiscal year) budgets and future financial projections varied in its specifics from one organization to another. But taken as a whole, this group presents a picture of relatively stable support for the local arts agency sector even as a slumping economy causes some erosion. The data included the following insights:

  • Earned income is expected to drop from year to year, falling from 23.3 percent of the combined revenues of these organizations in the 2003 fiscal year to 22 percent in the 2005 fiscal year. That represents a loss of nearly 6 million unrestricted dollars in two years as individuals and local contracting entities, such as schools, curtail their spending on tickets, goods and services.
  • Total public support--local, county, state and federal combined--is expected to decline slightly from the 2003 fiscal year to the 2004 fiscal year, then bounce back as the general economy recovers in the 2005 fiscal year. Public support--which provides the lion's share (46 percent) of what these 28 organizations collectively depend upon--drops by a combined $3 million from the first to the second year, and then is restored by the same amount from year two to year three.
  • For every 3 public dollars spent on these agencies and the programs they provide, tthe private sector generates $2 more in match, and earnings yield another $1.50 toward the total. This is the picture of a revenue partnership across all sectors, albeit one that is experiencing some stress.
  • Perhaps the most significant story offered by the aggregate data is one of fiscal responsibility and fiscal skill. Only two or three of these 28 agencies are expecting to run a deficit in these three years.

The data gathered by AFA also found that although state arts agency grants are by no means the largest source of support on which local organizations depend, these dollars (like earned income) are disproportionate in their importance. They are often used for core program and operating costs that can otherwise be difficult to cover, and cutting them has a direct impact on the local agencies, their constituents, and the activities they sponsor. Furthermore, local governments sometimes hinge their support on the states putting the first dollar on the table, so that when state funding is cut, the effect is magnified.

Interviews with the heads of these 28 LAAs bear out the credo that good leadership, strong messaging, and an organized, vocal citizenry are critical components of a supportive environment. Among the constituents of these agencies, there is a sense that the smaller and mid-size arts organizations are getting harder hit than the majors, some of whom have more fat to cut and more reserves on which to rely. That said, one person observed that even the majors have been "in denial," and that they may not be ready for a sustained downturn, if that is what materializes. This downturn may be exacerbated by a contraction in "supply" (a needed contraction according to some) as organizations fold or merge in response to shrinking support and demand.

This research showed that as local arts agencies look to fundraising at the local level, more attention is being paid to the broad base of small donors than in the past. Although a $50 or $100 gift won't make a huge difference, a thousand of them can.

Overwhelmingly, those interviewed expected the economic challenges facing them to be temporary--or rather, cyclical. Some executives have been around long enough to have worked through three full-blown recessions, only to see their local economies recover. If anything threatens to be a drag on local recovery, it is the condition of the states. In one interview after another--from California to Massachusetts--people cited what one called "the referred pain" of staggering state deficits. Because governors and state legislators are forced to address these deficits, they are curtailing or appropriating revenues that would otherwise pass to the cities and counties. As the federal government places more responsibilities on the states and collects fewer tax revenues, and as the states deplete their reserves (including their tobacco settlement funds), the localities can expect more such pain.

There appears to be agreement that local advocacy is essential to influence local decision-making, and that the national research and data supplied by Americans for the Arts helps mightily in making the local case for support.

Use this opportunity to get to the tax reform table, one person urged. Tax policy is the source of all funding, and if the arts are not in the discussion, there's always a danger of being cut out altogether. While the experiences of arts agencies may differ from region to region and from state to state, a strategic response is called for in order to ensure the continued support for the arts at all levels.


image: America's Performing Art: A Study of Choruses, Choral Singers, and Their ImpactA national study released recently found that choral singing is the top choice for participation in the performing arts by adults and children, with an estimated 28.5 million regularly performing in a chorus. The study also estimates the number of choruses in the U.S. to be 250,000, marking the first time the total number has been determined.

This new data was by Chorus America, the national service organization for choruses, and is based on a study that sought to identify the scope of choral participation, public attitudes about choral music, and the key motivations and behaviors of choral participants. Professional research firms conducted the study in 2002, using two national phone surveys of the general public, hundreds of in-depth interviews with choral singers, and six focus groups.

"Aside from the large numbers of Americans who are involved in choral singing, we think the most important finding with long-term implications is the role of education and families in early exposure to the arts," said John Alexander, president of Chorus America. "This study provides the most useful evidence so far about the power of singing to influence people's lives, and suggests the vital role that parents and schools can play in its early introduction in a meaningful way."

The Study's Major Findings Include:

  • An estimated 28.5 million Americans regularly perform with a choir or chorus, more than any other art form.
  • The 250,000 choruses include an estimated 12,000 professional and volunteer community choruses, more than 38,000 school choruses, and 200,000 church choirs.
  • Early exposure to choral singing is the dominant common factor among adults who participate in choruses, with more than half of the respondents reporting growing up in households where someone regularly sang in a chorus, and more than two-thirds reporting hearing choral music frequently in their homes through recordings or radio. Almost 69 percent said they had their first choral singing experiences in elementary or middle school. This finding provides further evidence to the growing body of national data indicating that early exposure to and training in the performing arts is a key determinant in arts participation by adults.
  • Choral singers are far more likely to be involved in charity work, as volunteers and donors (76 percent), than the average person (44 percent, according to a 2001 report by Independent Sector, the national organization of charities).

Chorus members in the study affirmed that performing great music well for enthusiastic audiences remains a key factor in sustaining their involvement, and may help to explain the number-one ranking of choral music for participation by Americans. The study finds that choristers strongly believe that the impact of their singing is an enormous good to society, and that this is a way of "giving back" to their communities. Chorus America, headquartered in Washington, D.C., represents the growing choral community in the U.S. and Canada, and provides data, programs, and networking for professionals and volunteers in the choral field. The 28-page report, America's Performing Art: A Study of Choruses, Choral Singers, and Their Impact, is available in its entirety at the Chorus America website.

Southern Arts Federation Offers Web Radio

Jazz South Radio Online: Listen NowDo you find yourself slaving away at the computer in a room full of silence? No more! With a couple of clicks of the mouse you can tune into Jazz South Radio and listen to a constantly updated selection of some of the best southern jazz artists being recorded on independent, small and mid-size labels. Kentuckians that you might hear include the jazz ensemble Java Men and saxophonist Miles Osland.

Providing airplay and exposure for southern jazz artists, Jazz South Radio is produced by The Southern Arts Federation (SAF), a not-for profit regional arts organization that works in partnership with the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. SAF is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), foundations, corporations, individuals and member states.


In April the U.S. Senate passed legislation that includes provisions allowing artists, writers, composers and other creators of original art work to take a full fair-market value charitable contribution deduction for the donation of their "literary, musical, artistic, or scholarly compositions." Current tax law allows artists to deduct only the costs of materials, such as paint, brushes and canvases, while ignoring the true value of the work.

The Artist-Museum Partnership Act, S.287, introduced February 4, 2003, by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Robert Bennett (R-UT), with 14 other senators co-sponsoring the bill, was attached to the CARE Act, S.476, with several other changes to the federal tax code aimed at increasing charitable giving.

In addition to extending the charitable deduction to artists for donations of their work, the CARE Act allows a deduction up to $250 for charitable contributions by taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions.

The National Association of State Arts Agencies and other arts advocacy organizations have been pressing Congress for several years to correct the tax code prohibiting artists from taking the charitable deduction available to collectors and others who donate works of art to charitable organizations. Now, with passage of the measure in the Senate, the bill goes to the House where it is likely to be approved.

Representatives Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN) plan to introduce the Charitable Giving Act of 2003, which is similar to the CARE Act passed by the Senate. It is essential that the artists' charitable deduction provisions be included.

The extension of the fair-market value deduction for artists donating their work is expected to promote gifts to museums and libraries hard pressed for acquisition funds. The measure is also intended to protect the public's access to works of the nation's patrimony which otherwise would be sold into private collections at home or overseas.

What you can do:

Advocates are encouraged to join NASAA in thanking Sens. Leahy and Bennett for their constant support of the artists' tax deduction legislation and their leadership in seeing the measure through to Senate floor passage. Please phone or fax your words of appreciation to Sen. Leahy at 202-224-4242, fax 202-224-3479; and to Sen. Bennett at 202-224-5444, fax 202-228-1168.

The other cosponsors of the Senate artists' bill are Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Tom Daschle (D-SD), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Bob Graham (D-FL), James Jeffords (I-VT), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Edward M.. Kennedy (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), and John Warner (R-VA).

Phone or fax Rep. Blunt at 202-225-6536, fax 202-225-5604; and Rep. Ford at 202-225-3265, fax 202-225-5663. Ask them to include H.R. 806, the Artists' Contribution to American Heritage Act introduced by Reps. Amo Houghton (R-NY) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). This bill is identical to the Leahy-Bennett bill included in the Senate's passage of the CARE Act.

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