California Arts Council

State of California

National Arts Advocacy Events in Washington, DC on April 12 and 13
Prominent arts advocates to speak on value of the arts in major policy speech and Congressional hearing

Published: 04-05-2010

This year marks the 23rd anniversary of national Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, where prominent arts advocates speak to Congress about the value of the arts and creativity in the U.S. Americans for the Arts sponsors the events on April 13, when actors Jeff Daniels and Kyle MacLachlan will be part of the Congressional Arts Kick Off on Capitol Hill. A major arts policy speech, the Nancy Hanks Lecture, also takes place on April 12 at the Kennedy Center. This year's speaker is Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina and founder of the Mayors' Institute on City Design.

"The 23rd annual Arts Advocacy Day is the only national event that brings together a broad cross-section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts," notes the Americans for the Arts website. 

The Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy is a leading national forum for arts policy intended to stimulate dialogue on policy and social issues affecting the arts. Previous speakers include: Wynton Marsalis (musician and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center), Daniel Pink (author and researcher), Robert MacNeil (broadcast journalist), William Safire (journalist), Ken Burns (documentary filmmaker), and dozens of others. 

Major Riley's experience with arts and communities extends decades. "Throughout his lifetime of experience in Charleston, Mayor Riley has become a leading national expert in the field of urban design and the creation of livable cities," notes the website. "In 1986, he founded, along with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mayors' Institute on City Design. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Mayor's Institute on City Design has brought together more than 800 mayors from 600 cities together with architects, urban planners, and developers to help transform their communities through design and engagement of the arts and cultural activities."

In previous years, the Nancy Hanks Lecture has been made available to the public through an audio-file posting on the internet, and then a written transcript. Other portions of the events, including the Congressional testimony, may be made available as well.

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