Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stand Up and Be Counted Artists Survey & Comments on the Economic Stimulas package

In April I posted about an important artist survey here in MA. I have received an email that the deadline has been extended until this Saturday (9 Feb) to accommodate some artist organizations that are running programs which include having artists complete this survey. You DO NOT have to be a "WORKING ARTIST" to participate in this survey. You can be a full-time, part-time or "hobby" artist. The survey is called "Stand Up and Be Counted" and is going to be used to show the state legislators that we are a constituency to be recognized. It is modeled on the 2007 Minnesota "Artists Count" survey. To take this survey (only takes a few minutes) go to http://www.artistsfoundation.org/ There is an optional section on your 2006 reported income but you are in no way obligated to complete that section. They also break it up into sections so if you only have time to fill in section One your survey still counts!

At a time when the Republican Senators down in Washington are claiming that putting stimulus money into the Endowment for the Arts is wasteful and should not be part of the economic stimulus package, it is more important then ever for artists to make themselves heard. The claims of these Senators make it appear that artists who make their living, or part of their living off of the arts are not really "working" and that any stimulus to help them during this economic crisis is not helping to create jobs or put money back into the economy. Every time I heard their comments claiming this was just pork barrel waste by the Democrats I wanted to scream "So what you are telling all the artists, musicians, dancers, and actors of America is 'Go get a REAL' job'". If you are an artist reading this who is represented by one of these Republican Senators, please email them or call them right now and make it clear to their staff that YOU are a voting constituent and artists are listening and watching what they are saying. Tell them to leave the money for the arts in the package before too many working artists are forced to give up their work and go into the regular work force to compete for jobs that the rest of their constituency are competing for. FDR knew he needed to keep artists working and not needing to compete for regular jobs - why can't these fools understand why that money is actually important to everyone?
Gale

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