Curious About How The Elections Will Impact The Arts?

Adaptistration People 131The more things change, the more they stay the same, or so the adage from Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr goes but Americans for the Art has you covered if you’re curious about whether or not Tuesday’s elections will be good, bad, or indifferent for the arts. They published a news release on 11/5/2014 which contained the following assessment.

With both the Senate and House in GOP control, it will either lead to major standoffs with the White House or perhaps more conciliation. Either way, look for the GOP to advance a tax extenders bill (which could impact nonprofits in a positive way), an energy bill, and attempts to repeal portions of the national healthcare law (possible negative impact on individual artists and small nonprofits). You can also expect to see President Obama advance minimum wage increases (especially since five of five state ballot initiatives passed on this issue last night) and immigration reform through the executive branch if this new Congress blocks the legislative opportunities. We’re likely to see the current federal budget be quickly extended, so that the new Congress can focus on the following year’s budget priorities. This could have the biggest negative impact on support for the arts and arts education.

There wasn’t much drill down from the National level but it is no secret that local and state governments can have far more impact on arts organizations than decisions coming out of Washington D.C. If your local and/or state government held elections last Tuesday, I’m curious to know if you think the outcomes will have an impact on your arts organizations and why.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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3 thoughts on “Curious About How The Elections Will Impact The Arts?

  1. Forgive me for re-posting a tweet from yesterday, but I don’t think it matters who was elected because we always/ constantly need to let our decision-makers know how we feel! “These US #Election2014 results bring a variety of pro and anti arts decision-makers. #Speakup. Don’t be quiet. Take someone to a concert!”

  2. Have to keep an eye on funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. It’s obviously not a huge drain on the economy (in fact, removing it entirely will hardly make a dent), but it seems this, NEH, etc. are easy targets. The general public really needs to be educated about the impact of cutting the NEA. However frivolous the arts may seem to some people, it still indirectly hurts their local economies. Musicians buy food and gas too. So, we have to get the word out there – and be ready to write to elected officials.

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