July 1, 2022

In This Issue

U.S. Mayors Champion Federal Arts Relief

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, the official non-partisan organization of 1,400 cities with populations of 30,000 or more, unanimously passed a resolution in support of ongoing federal relief for the arts and culture sector led by San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed and Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, among additional resolutions advancing the arts. The call for additional COVID-19 relief has now been echoed in a June 30 letter to top Congressional leadership endorsed by 25 U.S. Mayors, which includes requests for reinstating the Employee Retention Tax Credit for the 4th quarter of 2021 and speeding up the delivery of delayed payments, as well as supporting arts access to any further COVID-19 relief.

Action Resumes on Musical Instruments and Protected Species

The League is a leading partner with global music stakeholders and conservation leaders to support international policies that conserve the species that have been used in making musical instruments, while also supporting ongoing use of instruments that may contain wood and other material from species that are now under protection. The next round of policy decisions under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is slated for November. The agenda will include consideration of the Brazilian pernambuco wood used to produce most bows played by professional string musicians and will also include opportunities to improve the Musical Instrument Certificate in use by traveling musicians and orchestras. Learn more in the League’s Protected Species overview and stay tuned as policy discussions advance. 

Bipartisan Retirement Package Includes Expansion of IRA Charitable Rollover

Retirement legislation passed by the Senate Finance Committee includes the Legacy IRA Act, which would allow seniors to make tax-free contributions from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to charities through life-income plans. The measure, originally introduced by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND), would also index for inflation the annual IRA charitable distribution limit of $100,000, effective after 2023. Seniors would be able to make a one-time, $50,000 distribution to charities through charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder unitrusts, and charitable remainder annuity trusts; the League thanks the many orchestras that have joined our D.C. policy staff in virtual Hill meetings over the last few years in coalition with nonprofit partners in calling for this new incentive to give more. The House has already passed a version of this measure, and advocates are hopeful for final passage this year. Stay tuned for further information!

Grant Funding Available to Support the Arts in Juvenile Justice

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) at the U.S. Department of Justice has a funding opportunity – Arts Programs for Justice-Involved Youth – intended to support and strengthen collaborations between arts-based organizations and juvenile justice systems to develop, expand, or enhance effective interventions that provide access to high-quality art programs with and for justice-involved youth. Applicants may propose engaging youth at any point in the juvenile justice system, to include alternatives to incarceration and diversion, secure detention and confinement, as well as strategies to support the successful reentry of youth into communities.

This competitive grant opportunity is open to nonprofits organizations, local units of government, and Native American tribal governments. There is no matching requirement for the awards, which have an 18-month performance period and may be issued up to an amount of $66,500. Applications are due July 18, 2022 and more information can be found in this full announcement or by searching Grants.gov using the Funding Opportunity Number: O-OJJDP-2022-171360.

Speak Up as U.S. Congress Advances Funding Recommendations

In June, the House Appropriations committee passed initial funding recommendations for FY23. The Interior Subcommittee’s proposal includes increasing the funding level to $207 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. Funding for the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education was included at $39 million, nearly reaching arts advocates’ request of $40 million in FY23. As funding negotiations proceed in the House, and later the Senate, orchestras can contact members of Congress to make the case for the impact of NEA leadership and grantmaking, federal funding for arts education, continued COVID-19 recovery support, and charitable giving policies through any of the League’s easy-to-use advocacy campaigns.

Upcoming NEA Funding Opportunities

The National Endowment for the Arts has two upcoming deadlines: Grants for Arts Projects (Part 2) applications are due July 7, and Our Town applications are due August 4. The Our Town grant category is an exception to the NEA’s single-application rule, so even if an applicant wishes to pursue funding via Grants for Arts Projects or Challenge America, it may also submit an application to Our Town so long as the project is distinctly different, or the work is for a distinctly different phase of a project, and so long as there are no overlapping costs during the same grant period with funding from American Rescue Plan (ARP) or CARES Act awards. Find links for more information, such as the latest orchestral recipients of GAP funding for FY22, announced on May 20, on the League’s dedicated webpage on NEA funding opportunities.

Become a member

Thank you for your interest in the League of American Orchestras! We are dedicated to advancing the orchestral experience for all.

Join Now