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Hoppe on the Arts: Economic recovery plan

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The arts advocacy group, Americans for the Arts has taken a close look at Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan and the House Appropriations Committee's $825 billion recovery package and made some recommendations that it sees as possibly being included. This is an excellent example of how to take a wholistic view of the arts from a policy perspective. Finding, in other words, the appropriate vocabulary for integrating the arts meaningfully into larger policy goals.

Go to advocacy@artsusa.org to see the full action alert.

Here are some of Americans for the Arts recommendations and how they line up with the House proposal:

Americans for the Arts Recommendations:

1. Include artists in the proposal for Unemployment & Healthcare Benefits for Part-Time Employees.

House Proposal:

Proposes to extend unemployment insurance coverage for low-wage, part-time, and other jobless workers.

2. Boost arts projects in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).

House Proposal:

$1 billion in additional funding for CDBG

3. Provide economic recovery support to the National Endowment for the Arts to be administered by local arts agencies.

House Proposal:

$50 million in additional appropriations for the National Endowment for the Arts.

4. Include cultural planning through Economic Development Administration program (Department of Commerce).

House Proposal:

$250 million for Economic Development Assistance.

5. Increase community cultural facilities support in Rural Development Program (Department of Agriculture).

House Proposal:

$200 million for critical rural community facilities.

6. Provide more support for arts projects in Transportation Enhancements (Department of Transportation).

House Proposal:

$31 billion to modernize federal and other public infrastructure.

7. Fulfill the Obama pledge for an "Artist Corps."

House Proposal:

$200 million to put approximately 16,000 additional AmeriCorps members to work doing national service.

8. Make Human Capital Investments in Arts Job Training (U.S. Department of Labor).

House Proposal:

$5 billion for working training and employment services

Americans for the Arts is urging people to contact their elected representatives and local media outlets with cards and letters aimed at helping them see these connections.

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