77th Annual Meeting

AMERICAN INVESTMENTS IN ARTS

WHEREAS, more than 40 mayors from cities across the nation met October 3 in Palm Beach in a working session to develop an action agenda on arts and tourism to present to the next President of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the mayors in Palm Beach drafted this national action agenda based on significant consensus on the arts and tourism challenges that cities face; and

WHEREAS, the mayors agreed that:

  • The arts reflect the diversity of our experiences as individuals and our communities as a whole, reminding us of our past and helping us imagine the future; and

  • The arts and artists of America are national treasures that this great nation needs, deserves, and must support; and

  • America's nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year, and that the national impact of this activity is significant, supporting 5.7 million jobs and generating $29.6 billion in government revenue; and

  • Artists are one of the largest classes of workers in the nations (1.9 million), only slightly smaller than the U.S. military's active duty and reserve personnel (2.2 million); and

  • Opportunities for artistic employment are greater in metropolitan areas, with half of all artists living in 30 metropolitan areas; and

  • While artists are twice as likely as other U.S. workers to have a college degree, they generally earn less than workers with similar education levels,

NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors adopts as its policy the actions called for by the mayors in the National Action Agenda on Arts and Tourism:

  • The President should create a cabinet-level Secretary of Culture and Tourism.

  • Support for the National Endowment for the Arts should be increased, not just to its 1992 funding level of $176 million, but to set it on a path towards a $500 million annual appropriation.

  • Support for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Museum Services (at the Institute of Museum & Library Services) should be increased.

  • The National Endowment for the Arts' Local Arts Agency Grant Program should be expanded to a priority re-granting program, allowing for efficient and effective grant distribution of arts dollars, in partnership with local arts agencies, to every corner of the country.

  • The President should declare the arts central to a balanced education and declare literacy in the arts central to an educated citizenry, as reading, math, and science are considered to be now.

  • Considering arts a component of federal economic development and community development should be encouraged, and historic preservation and design programs such as Preserve America and the Mayors' Institute for City Design should be strengthened.

  • The President should call for a White House Conference on the Arts to expand the dialogue of the importance of the arts.

  • The federal budget should include funding for local parks programs such as the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Program (UPARR).