United Not Blighted feature

United Not Blighted Rally

United Not Blighted poster

United Not Blighted Rally – Baltimore’s 20/20 Vision for Development without Displacement

Saturday, May 13, 2-5pm, Warm Memorial

101 N. Gay St., Baltimore, MD 21202

One of the top priorities we heard from citizen artists during our listening sessions last year was the need for access to affordable housing and workspace. Baltimore Housing Roundtable is leading the charge for fair development in Baltimore with their 20/20 Vision. Building on voter approval of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund during last fall’s election, BHR is now pressing forward with the #UnitedNotBlighted campaign. Will you join us to advocate for affordable housing in Baltimore?

The event will be hosted at the Baltimore War Memorial building from 2 to 5 PM on Saturday, May 13th. BHR will feature storytelling about displacement due to environmental injustices, neighborhood gentrification, and disinvested and blighted housing, and then issue a challenge to Mayor Pugh to invest in community-driven, equitable development. The event will be interspersed with musical performances and will end with a march on City Hall.

Together, we will demonstrate the imperative to put 20 million dollars in the the bond budget next year for deconstruction of vacant houses, greening, and environmental sustainability projects, and 20 million for the creation of permanently affordable housing through community land trusts. This event will launch us into our mass mobilizing phase of the campaign- sending all of us out to share the 20/20 campaign and gather thousands of petition signatures in support.
You can learn more about United Not Blighted and RSVP at http://www.unitedworkers.org/baltimore_s_20_20_vision.
National Endowment for the Arts logo

Congressional Art Funding Protected, For Now

A message from our state level arts advocacy partner, Maryland Citizens for the Arts:

Congress has reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to fund the nation’s federal agencies and programs for the remaining balance of the current FY2017 fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2017.  None of the nation’s arts and cultural agencies nor programs incurred a budget cut. In fact, many of them received funding increases for this year (see chart below here). As you will see from the chart, not only was there no cut to the NEA’s current fiscal year budget, but our champions in Congress actually proposed a $2 million increase!

This great news is just one example of how all of your grassroots arts advocacy efforts of sending thousands of letters, emails, phone calls, personal visits, op-eds, news articles, targeted advertising, and research proved effective. Arts advocates like you sent over 160,000 emails through American’s for the Arts’ (AFTA) Action Center. Thank you for your tireless work!

Next Steps:

  • FY2017:  Both chambers of Congress will next vote on this bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations bill before it proceeds to the President’s desk for him to sign/veto by this Friday, May 5th.  Despite the President recently proposing funding cuts to many of these cultural programs (i.e. $15 million cut to NEA), it appears that he will sign the bill.
  • FY2018:  Please note that the FY2018 appropriations bill for funding the federal government from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018 is still very much in play and going through the legislative process. This is the bill that the President recommended eliminating the NEA, NEH, IMLS, CPB, etc.  We remain focused on getting all of these agencies fully funded as well in the coming months.

AFTA’s #SAVEtheNEA campaign continues to go strong to advance the FY2018 message to Congress and the White House.  Please consider sending a #SAVEtheNEA message to your Congressional delegation as well as supporting our advocacy campaign efforts with a contribution. Click here to craft a message to your Congressional lawmakers and make sure your voice is heard!

#CitizenArtistBmore partner GBCA also shared this statement.

Mayors Safe Art Space Taskforce

Safe Art Space Task Force Meeting 4/4

The next meeting of the Mayor’s Safe Art Space Task Force is this Tuesday, April 4, 4pm, at Maryland Institute College of Art – 300 W Mt. Royal Ave, Room M110.

The Mayor’s Task Force on Safe Art Space is working to create a citywide network of safe, cost effective, contemporary, living, live/work, studio, and performance spaces for emerging and established artists. They need your input! The Task Force integrates the perspectives of artistic, design, development, financial, regulatory, and revitalization exports to develop strategies, identity resources, and propose a programmatic framework that will develop and sustain spaces that protect the safety of artists and patrons, while meeting the logistical and technical interests of today’s performers and audiences.

Click here to find out about upcoming task force meetings.

For artists living / working in Baltimore City, click here to take the Safe Arts Space Survey:
http://safeartspace.tumblr.com/Safe Artis Space Survey