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Advocacy in Action!

Record-levels of critical advocacy has impacted our communities and the policy coming out of Washington, DC. Today, there is more news to share.
 
Today, November 20, 2017, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee finally released their long-awaited bill to fund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The committee proposes to maintain current funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) of $150 million for FY 2018! A large thanks goes to Chairman Lisa Murkowki (R-AK) and Ranking Member Tom Udall (D-NM) for their support throughout the year! 

We have been waiting for this action since the Administration’s budget proposal was initially released back in March. Now, after eight months of your key advocacy work, today is a defining day.
Both the full U.S. House and the Senate Appropriations Committee have solidly rejected the Administration’s call for termination of our nation’s cultural agencies.
More than 187,000 messages have been sent to elected representatives in support of the NEA, reaching every congressional office (U.S. House and U.S. Senate). Thank you for being part of this #SAVEtheNEA campaign.
What Happens Next
Since the U.S. House and U.S. Senate recommended different appropriations numbers, Congress has until December 8th to agree on funding levels for the federal government, including the NEA.  Right now, current funding ($150 million) is in place until that deadline. The NEA also continues to accept grant applications for FY 2018 at their usual deadlines and will operate as usual until a new budget is enacted by Congress.
 
What Can You Do?
Keep it up! Congress continues to get closer and closer to finalizing this work. Now that the Senate has acted, it is a great time to weigh in again. Ask your congressional delegation for support of the higher U.S. Senate number as these final negotiations become more urgent.

Thank you for all you do to advocate for the arts!

3 Alabama Students Win National Honors

Three students from Alabama have been honored by National PTA for achievement in the 2016-2017 National PTA Reflections arts in education program. Ellie Crane, a student at the Academy for Academics and Arts in Huntsville received an Award of Excellence in Literature (Middle School); Aubrey Askew, a student at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery received an Award of Merit in Photography (High School); and Demi Adetona, a student at Hampton Cove Middle in Hampton Cove received an Award of Merit in Music Composition (Middle School). The award honors imagination, creativity, and interpretation of the theme “What’s Your Story”.
Award of Excellence Winners receive a $200 Young Artist Scholarship, Silver medal and certificate and recognition in the national traveling art exhibit and online gallery. Awards of Merit receive a Bronze medal and certificate as well as recognition in the national traveling art exhibit and online gallery

“Alabama has a wealth of talented students. This program allows students from schools throughout the state that may not have arts programs the opportunity to showcase their work. The arts and arts education are an integral part of a well-rounded education”. Donna Russell – Alabama PTA President.

The National PTA Reflections program encourages students of all ages and abilities to explore and be involved in the arts. Through the program, National PTA, Alabama PTA and PTAs across the country urge students in preschool through grade 12 to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice— dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts — reflecting on a specific theme. There also is a special artist division option for students with disabilities to ensure that all students are given an opportunity to participate in the program. Students are recognized each year for their artistic ingenuity to bring the theme to life in a way that is personal and meaningful.

These students were celebrated locally and in Montgomery at a reception hosted by Alabama PTA.

Founded in 1969, the National PTA Reflections engages nearly 300,000 students and their families in arts education activities each year—encouraging students to explore the arts for fun and recognition. For more information about the program, visit PTA.org/Reflections.

The Alabama State Council on the Arts will hold the 2017 Celebration of the Arts Awards at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, these biennial awards recognize those who have contributed to the arts in Alabama, across the United States, and beyond. Nominees include professional artists, businesspersons, arts volunteers, arts patrons, arts administrators, legislators, arts educators and others noted for promoting the arts in Alabama.