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Have you ever brought home an F grade on a report card? What about in the arts? Hard to imagine. Well, our U.S. Senators brought home their grades, and although they weren’t graded on their paintings or musical scales, they managed to fail the arts.
The Arts Action Fund graded the members of the U.S. Senate on their support for the arts just like on those report cards that you used to bring home - except we used criteria like voting in support of the arts, joining the Senate Arts Caucus, and more. Senators had three opportunities to vote on the arts during the past two years—from including the arts in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to supporting public art along our nation’s highways to ensuring museums received federal funds. Your senators had the chance to stand up for the arts and many of them failed.
Whether they blatantly speak out against the arts, say they support the arts and then vote another way, or simply don’t know the economic role the arts play and the well-being they provide in their state, each of the twelve Senators we have featured received an F grade on their support for the arts. Sadly, there are more than twelve Senators who failed the arts this year, in fact there are twenty-eight who received an F on our Congressional Arts Report Card.
There are also many who aced their support of the arts and should be commended, and we’ll be sharing some of those champions with you in the coming weeks along with more stories from the Congressional Arts Report Card.
Unlike the report card you used to bring home though, an F grade affects more than just these Senators or their states. Failing the arts as a Senator means failing the arts for the whole country. It is the support of the arts at the federal level that helps the arts in your community, and communities across the country, thrive.
So will these Senators improve their grades next time? As an advocate for the arts, you can help ensure they do. Share the Dirty Dozen via Twitter or Facebook with the links below and help get the word out. Or go one step further and support the arts year round by lending your voice to the growing grassroots movement for the arts in America.
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Paid for by the Americans for the Arts Action Fund (www.ArtsActionFund.org)
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