Creative Michigan Advocate October 2022 Digest

Michigan’s source for arts + creative industries advocacy. 
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October is National Arts and Humanities Month!

Celebrating the importance of culture in America, National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) was launched by Americans for the Arts. Join the month-long celebration. Here are some ground rules to guide you!  1...2...3, click the buttons below for three ways to take part.

Let the Voting Begin! Are You Ready?

Important Election Dates

NOW - Absentee Voting Registration

There are no restrictions on who can vote absentee in Michigan.

  • In Person: Received by 4 p.m. 1 day before Election Day (if already registered); received before 8 p.m. on Election Day (if a new/updated registrant). If you request your absentee ballot the day before the election or on Election Day, you must vote the ballot in the clerk's office.

  • By Mail: Received 4 days before Election Day.

  • Online: Received 4 days before Election Day.

Thurs, Sept. 29 - Absentee ballots mailing begins.

Monday, Oct. 24. - Deadline for online voter registration.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 - Election Day - Statewide General Election. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voting early in-person by absentee ballot begins at your clerk's office. 

Additional Resources:

Federal Legislative Updates & Action Items

Action Alert: Oct. 31 Deadline for Student Loan Forgiveness for Employees of Nonprofits!

Do you have student loans and work for a nonprofit? You may be eligible to procure a waiver under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Find out if you are eligible using this PSLF Help Tool. The National Council of Nonprofits has more on debt forgiveness, including the PSLF waiver. All employees of charitable nonprofits and governments should immediately check out their eligibility using the PSLF Help Tool. Even those who had previously been told they were ineligible should try again because of the relaxed rules under the Temporary Waiver! Confused? This document breaks down the steps to submit a PSFL form.

Urge Your Senators to Support These Bills & Funds!

Contact Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow.

  1. Encourage your Federal Senators to Support Increased Funding for Federal Arts Funding - $207 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is at risk. Join the effort to encourage U.S. senator to pass the funding The proposed increase of $27 million would be a record-high and make a meaningful step toward our goal of funding the NEA and NEH at $1 per capita, or $331 million.

  2. Additional Shuttered Venues Operators Grant (SVOG) Funds at Risk - The U.S. Senate is still considering the 2022 Bipartisan COVID Supplemental Appropriations Act. This bill would give the administration $10 billion more to spend, but would offset the costs by clawing back $1.93 billion in "unobligated" funds from the SBA Shuttered Venues Operators Grants (SVOG) and nearly one billion in unused funds dedicated to the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Appeal to your U.S. Senators and request they prevent the divergence of SVOG funds to pay for the relief package. 

Has Your Organization Signed on Yet?
Endorse the Nonprofit Sector Strength and Partnership Act  - The Nonprofit Sector Strength and Partnership Act H.R.7587, co-sponsored by Michigan Representative Fred Upton (R-MI-6), creates mechanisms that leverage the mission, knowledge and impact of nonprofits to help government and the sector work together more effectively in pursuit of shared goals. Take action: send a letter of support or become a campaign partner as an organization. Find Rep. Upton's official press release here

Urge Your Federal Reps to Endorse These Bills!

Encourage Your Federal Representatives to Endorse:

Contact your federal representatives here.

  1. Encourage Federal Representatives to Join Rep. Rashida Tlaib in Fighting for Fair Music Royalty Compensation for Artists - Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) proposed a congressional resolution to create a new royalty for streaming music. Please urge your federal representatives to support Tlaib's resolution, which was introduced in the House on August 9, 2022. Read more about Rep. Tlaib's efforts here.

  2.  Encourage Co-Sponsorship of H.R. 7071 to Expand Education Deduction for Teachers Act - While the 2019-2020 school year saw a 2.5% increase in average teacher salaries, educators’ classroom expenses increased by 25% (figures from Americans for the Arts, Arts Action Fund.) The legislation provides financial relief to all teachers, including arts educators who often use personal funds to provide arts materials for their students. This bill “amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the Educator Expense Deduction to $2,000 and allows early childhood educators to take advantage of the tax benefit”. The deduction for 2022 is scheduled to be $300. Encourage your federal representatives to work with their colleagues on the House Committee on Ways and Means to support this bill.

Statewide Legislative Updates

UPDATE: Dedicated Michigan American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Relief for Charitable Nonprofits Imminent!

The earliest ARPA relief funds for charitable nonprofits in Michigan will be available is Oct. 1 2022. Michigan Nonprofit Association and the the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity are designing a program including eligibility and the application. Look out for updates by signing up for MNA emails here.

State of Michigan Advocacy

Find your State Senator here.
Find your State House Representative here.

Ask Your State Senator to Support Michigan Senate Bill 0953 to Develop Music Therapy Programs - Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-MI-18) introduced Senate Bill 0953 which still sits in the Committee on Health Policy and Human Services. The bill received bipartisan support and is welcome news to Michigan music therapists and the Michigan Association of Art Therapy. This legislation would determine a minimum licensing requirement for music therapy providers and help establish and regulate music therapy as a certified profession in Michigan. Contact your State Senators and Committee Chair Sen. Curtis VanderWall to move this legislation forward!

Surveys, Reports & Reading

New Race to Lead Survey: Take the survey as a nonprofit worker to to contribute to new understandings of how changes are impacting all nonprofit workers, leaders and organizations. The survey will explore experiences of frontline workers and changing expectations of nonprofit workplaces – while continuing to gather important information on the intersection of race, leadership and nonprofit culture.

Further Reading:

The 2022 Michigan Nonprofit Compensation & Benefits report - for purchase

Has downtown America died? 2022 Field Notes from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA)

How the Arts Strengthen Communities- NASAA

Artists in the Workforce Research Briefings from the NEA

Upcoming Events & Webinars

Americans for the Arts - National Arts Awards

This event recognizes and celebrates the contributions and accomplishments of national leaders who are advancing the arts in the United States. Oct. 17 in NYC.

2022 Creative Vitality Summit

Presented by WESTAF, this summit will facilitate community-led discussions around the creative economy and the changes our field is experiencing. Learn more and register for this online event!

Animating Democracy: Reflecting Forward - Webinar

A free, three day series featuring "Art, Dialogue & Race" on Oct. 13 and "Artistic Imagination as a Force for Change." Nov. 18. Learn more and register!

Additional Resources

That's all for now. We'll be back next month! ✌️

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