ArtsMemphis is combatting threats to federal arts funding with postcards, information, fun, and beer.
The nonprofit arts agency will host a Presidents’ Day (Monday, Feb. 20) event called #ArtMatters at Memphis Made Brewing to help Memphians show their support for the arts and to urge their lawmakers to stop cuts to federal arts programs.
President Donald Trump has targeted the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) , and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for funding cuts. ArtsMemphis is hoping its event will facilitate communication between Congress — which holds the strings of the federal purse — and art-loving Midsoutherners.
"Legislators on Capitol Hill will begin working on the federal budget this spring,” said ays ArtsMemphis executive director Elizabeth Rouse. “Receiving a swarm of constituent mail can greatly impact the way a legislator votes on a particular issue. Our postcard campaign will be a powerful advocacy tool in the fight to keep arts support in the national budget.
"ArtsMemphis will provide the information that supports our position and how this issue affects Memphis. Members of the public will be asked to send their message to Congress though postcards, calls, and videos but we need your help."
Federal arts funding has ripple effects throughout Tennessee, according to ArtsMemphis. According to their figures, the NEA granted $1.3 million to Tennessee programs in 2016. “For every $1 that the NEA invests in our communities, an additional $9 in state, local, and private funding follows,” ArttsMemphis said in a news release.
The event is free and open to the public and runs from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. At Memphis Made Brewing at 768 Cooper.