County News

Cashion leads off Capitol Hill’s Arts Advocacy Day

NEA Chairman Jane Chu (l), Guilford County, N.C. Commissioner Kay Cashion advocate for the arts . Photo by Jay Dick, Americans for the Arts

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NACo: Increase funding for NEA, NEH, IMLS and the arts education program within the Department of Education

Guilford County, N.C. Commissioner Kay Cashion, chair of NACo’s Arts and Culture Commission, joined more than 650 arts advocates from all 50 states for National Arts Advocacy Day, March 13. 

Speaking at the breakfast kickoff in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building, Cashion emphasized that NACo stands firmly with its partner, Americans for the Arts, in calling for increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the arts education program within the Department of Education.

She noted the critical importance of these programs in providing counties with the resources they need to develop and expand cultural resources within their communities and further remarked that the arts and cultural capital are integral to a community’s well-being—from its social fabric to its economic strength.

She pointed to NACo’s longstanding tradition of recognizing the importance of the arts and reminded the group that the NACo Arts and Culture Commission is celebrating its 20th Anniversary.

The commission was established in 1998 by then-NACo President Betty Lou Ward, who was also the first recipient of Americans for the Arts’ Public Leadership in the Arts Award for County Arts Leadership that same year.

In partnership with Americans for the Arts, NACo recently received an NEA “Our Town” award for the Creative Counties Placemaking Initiative.

County officials and local arts professionals build creative placemaking knowledge and capacity within local government-led teams. Seven teams were selected to participate in the program.

Each represents a county with a population of 250,000 or fewer, and includes at least one county-elected official, one county or local arts agency leader and a local business leader.

The seven selected teams recently attended a workshop in Polk County, Iowa, designed to provide them with the baseline knowledge of how to use the arts as a way to address local challenges.

You can find information on the workshop and all its presentations in NACo’s new Creative Placemaking Toolkit for Counties.

The toolkit comprises a suite of online creative placemaking resources curated for county governments and can be found online at www.naco.org/creativecounties.  

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