Prepare for 2017: winter policy update and forecast

December 16, 2016

New Year's Resolution: engage all elected policymakers

From tax policy to spending levels, protected species issues to artist visas, the federal policies that impact orchestras are as diverse as the places where music is made and heard. Preparing to be a strong advocate in 2017 starts now, by inviting your Senators and Representative in Congress to see your orchestra's work firsthand, right in your community. The League will let you know of key moments to weigh in with policy leaders on specific issues, and it's critical to start or renew those relationships now by visiting them at their district headquarters and inviting them to your performances and community events. There are many opportunities to meet with your U.S. Representative and Senators when they return "home" between their sessions in Washington, D.C., and we strongly encourage you to plan ahead so your members of Congress can stay informed about your orchestra all year long. The League has created a 2017 calendar of opportunitiesidentifying the dates your officials are most likely to be home, along with monthly suggestions to help you keep up with your contacts -- both virtually and in person. Involve your board, musicians, staff, and the whole orchestra family. And, remember to let the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. know when know when you've been in touch with members of Congress so we can reinforce those contacts in Washington, D.C.

Charitable giving policy in the first 100 days

Tax reform is at the very top of the agenda for both the new Administration and the Congress, prompting policy action on the charitable giving incentives that orchestras and the full array of nonprofit organizations rely on to fuel their service to communities. Earlier this week, tax policy leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives said that a new draft of a comprehensive reform proposal would be crafted within the first 100 days of the Trump Administration. Orchestras and their nonprofit partners are speaking up now to urge policy leaders in Washington to protect and expand incentives for charitable giving. Learn more and add your voice through the League's policy action center

Twice as many NEA and arts education decisions ahead for new Congress

When the new Congress takes office in January it will have two years of funding decisions simultaneously on its plate, as both FY17 and FY18 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and federal arts education spending will be in play. Last week, the President signed into law a bill that temporarily funds the federal government through April 28, 2017 for the current spending year. While this action averted a government shutdown, all federal agencies are left waiting for a final resolution on their FY17 spending levels, and Congress will also need to start the FY18 budget process. As this week's latest announcement of NEA grants to orchestras shows, federal leadership in support of the arts makes an impact across the country. The League will keep you informed as the funding process moves ahead. In the meantime, view a new video showcasing the impact of the National Endowment for the Arts across its 50 years of work.

Traveling? New protected species rules for instruments

Instruments that contain ivory, rosewood, and other protected materials are subject to new rules when carried across international borders. The League has worked to improve the process for musicians and produced a webinar detailing the latest requirements in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. View the webinar here or read our comprehensive tips to access additional essential guidance.