NMC Lobbies Capitol Hill for Arts Advocacy Day

The National Music Council once again co-sponsored Arts Advocacy Day, joining Americans for the Arts and a host of other national, state, and local arts agencies to lobby Congress on a broad range of issues that impact performers, educators, and local organizations that bring a robust arts presence to their communities.

NMC Director David Sanders led a delegation that included AFM Legislative Political Director Alfonso Pollard and several Montclair State University arts and education students. The schedule included visits to Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lamar Alexander (RTN), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). On the House side, the team visited Representatives John Kline (R-MN), George Miller (D-CA), and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) who serves as chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus. In addition to the arts advocacy focus on music education, Sanders and Pollard also discussed the importance of the National Endowment for the Arts, underscoring its positive impact on American orchestras, jazz, and folk music. The critical issue of copyright protection and performance rights were also raised.

A highlight of the advocacy activities centered on the 26th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy. Internationally renowned cellist and humanitarian Yo Yo Ma delivered this year’s lecture with remarkable intellect and outstanding talent. Ma’s riveting lecture, “Art for Life’s Sake: A Roadmap from One Citizen Musician,” centered on the “edge effect” and the important confluence of politics, economics, and culture.