WASHINGTON, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Top business leaders, artists and civic leaders will testify before Congress on April 5 in Washington, D.C. as part of the 24th annual Arts Advocacy Day, during which hundreds of grassroots arts supporters from across the United States take to Capitol Hill to advocate for pro-arts legislation. Arts Advocacy Day is organized by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, and is presented this year in partnership with Ovation, the only television network devoted to arts culture. Witnesses at the hearing include:
- Alec Baldwin, Emmy Award®-winning TV, film and stage actor
- Elizabeth Kautz, Mayor, Burnsville, MN and President, U.S. Conference of Mayors
- Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts
- Edgar Smith, CEO of World PAC Paper
- Kevin Spacey, Academy Award®-winning actor and Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theatre
Witnesses' testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior will focus on the importance of the arts to the nation and the need to retain current levels of funding to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Their testimony will also underscore the importance of developing strong public policies for the arts and incorporating the arts into education reform.
"The arts are vital to the health of America's economy," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "Our nation's nonprofit arts industry supports 5.7 million jobs and generates $166.2 billion in annual economic activity. NEA dollars are the critical link to this economic impact. It makes no sense to cut federal funding for the arts when that small investment not only provides the necessary dollars to leverage much of the additional support for our country's arts sector but also contributes significantly to the economy at large. "
"Continued government support for the arts and arts education is critical to sustaining and growing our nation's economy," said Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation and Honorary Co-Chair of Arts Advocacy Day. "The rapidly evolving global economy demands a dynamic and creative workforce. Therefore, it is imperative that we continue to support the arts and arts education both on the national and local levels."
On Monday, April 4, Mr. Spacey will also deliver the 24th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy. This leading national forum for arts policy serves as an opportunity for public discourse at the highest levels on the importance of the arts and culture to our nation's well-being. The Nancy Hanks Lecture is being presented by Americans for the Arts in partnership with Ovation at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Americans for the Arts extends special thanks to Ovation for its partnership in presenting the 24th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy. The organization also wants to express additional gratitude to The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Bank of America, The Betty R. and Ralph Sheffer Foundation, and General Dynamics for their generous support.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.
Ovation is the only multi-platform network devoted to arts culture. Ovation gives its viewers access to the artists who define our cultural landscape through its one-of-a-kind mix of hand-picked documentaries, series, movies, and specials.
The channel reaches a national audience of 43 million households through carriage on cable systems, DirecTV (channel 274), Dish Network (channel 157) and Telco systems nationally. Ovation is also available in HD and VOD (both in standard and high definition). Ovation extends its linear channel experience for viewers online via its popular website, www.ovationtv.com. In addition to offering contests, trivia, facts and supplemental video online, the network has created an award-winning online community (www.ovationtv.com/community) for everyone from passionate artists to curious creative's who want to share their work and their thoughts. To date, over 150,000 pieces of original art have been uploaded to the site by members.