I know many of you, like me, welcome spring with open arms. Despite the end-of-semester panics over wrapping up another year’s work, the promise of sunshine and a change of pace are often enough to put at least a little more “oomph” in our step!
My very favorite presidential responsibility is representing Indiana at the MTNA National Conference. I continue to find myself overwhelmingly proud of the work we do here. This, of course, is a direct result of the passion and commitment of our IMTA members.
On the topic of passion and commitment: as you likely know, the need to educate others about the importance of the arts has never been more urgent. I wish I could adequately describe what it felt like to be at the MTNA National Conference just days after President Trump released his budget proposal, which suggests eliminating all funds for the NEA and the NEH.
As we all know, the study of music – for its own sake – is beneficial, even fundamental, to our existence. However, in light of an administration claiming to be focused on economic growth and job development, it can be useful for us to remind our elected officials – and peers – of the following points:
- The arts are heavy contributors to all aspects of industry (businesses, employers, and consumers)
- The arts are a driving force of tourism (studies show arts patrons stay longer and spend more when traveling)
- Creativity is being touted as one of the single most important qualities 21st-century employers are looking for in new hires
- Arts industries bring in an international trade surplus each year
Supporting statistics for these, and other valid points can be found here.
I hope you will carefully consider – even in the midst of spring semester chaos – contacting your elected officials and urging them to continue full funding to the NEA and the NEH. You can find your House reps here and your Senate reps here.
There’s never been a better time to let your voice be heard! A phone call or email to your government representatives takes mere minutes (seconds, even!), but the impact of our efforts – together – can help ensure the flourishing of our craft for a great many years to come.
After all, if we do not advocate for the arts, who do we expect to do so?