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political: letter from nceca president, robert harrison

updated thu 29 mar 07


W J Seidl on tue 27 mar 07

Because I am a member of NCECA (as you are for the year if you actually
registered for the Louisville conference) I got this letter in my e-mail.

I considered it important enough to forward to the list. The bill discussed
impacts ALL artists, not just us "mud puppies". I urge you to take a moment
to read and act on it.
Wayne Seidl

Letter from NCECA President, Robert Harrison
Dear NCECA Members:

Thanks to all those who attended our 2007 conference in Louisville,
Kentucky. It was a great conference with many highlights and 4282 in
attendance! We thank the City of Louisville and our on-site co-liaisons Todd
Burns and John Guenther for making us feel right at home.

During the conference I had the opportunity to meet with Peter Morrin,
Director of the Speed Museum in Louisville. Peter is a representative of the
Association of Art Museum Directors that is leading an effort to help pass
the Artists Fair Market Value Deduction bill. Their current efforts are to
get members of Congress to sign up as co-sponsors, and secondly to identify
a member of congress who will be effective in getting Dana Goia, chairman of
the NEA, to convene a meeting across many disciplines to examine the
positive effects of passing the bill. Anita Difanis, lobbyist for the AAMD
has written a letter laying out the plans for getting the bill passed. I
feel this is very important legislation for all the art disciplines and
encourage you to write your legislators.

Our conference manager Dori Nielsen is hard at work examining options for us
to host the New Orleans conference in 2008. I will be in touch with you as
soon as we have news.

Robert Harrison
NCECA President

Artists Fair Market Value Deduction Bill
Dear AAMD Colleagues:

I am happy to report that the artists' fair-market value deduction bill has
been reintroduced in both the Senate and the House. This year both bills
have the same name and, as in the past, are identical bills -- although they
each have a different bill number. They are also the same bills that have
been introduced in each Congress since 1999.

In the Senate, S. 548, the "Artist-Museum Partnership Act" was once again
introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Robert Bennett (R-UT) to
whom we owe a debt of gratitude for their unfailing support of this bill.
The Senate bill currently has 19 cosponsors. Please contact your senators
and ask them to cosponsor (see contact information and draft letter below).

In the House H.R. 1524, the "Artist-Museum Partnership Act" was introduced
by Representatives John Lewis (D-GA), Jim Ramstad (R-MN) and Lloyd Doggett
Representative Lewis gave a rousing introduction to the bill last week to a
standing room only crowd at Arts Advocacy Day when he compared the arts to
the wings of the bird of freedom that carried the civil rights movement
forward when he marched in Selma with Reverend Martin Luther King. He said
the movement was given life by the arts in its songs, posters, photographs,
paintings and plays.

In past years there have been over 100 cosponsors in the House in support of
this legislation. Past cosponsors and new members to Congress all must be
contacted and invited to cosponsor (see contact information and draft letter
below.) Would you please fax or email me copies of the letters you send to
the Hill, they are important when I do follow up visits, my contact
information is below.

With your help I believe that this is the year the bill will pass.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or need more


Anita M. Difanis
Director of Government Affairs
Association of Art Museum Directors
1319 F Street NW
Suite 201
Washington, DC 20004
Phone 202-638-4520
Fax 202-638-4528

If you know your legislators' name you can call the Capitol Switchboard at
202-224-3121 and ask for the phone and fax number of your legislator.
Letters to the Hill must be faxed, since postal service is irregular to
legislators' offices. I do not recommend emailing legislators -- they
receive so many emails they are often ignored or sometimes deleted.
Unfortunately, their web site will not likely give a fax number -- for that
you will need to call their office or the Capitol Switchboard.

If you do not know your legislators' name: for the House go to at the top left put in your zip code to find your
for the Senate go to at the top right see Find Your


[Insert a paragraph about how the legislation would help a non-profit
institution you know and why it would be important to your community.
Personalize it in any way you wish.]


[Address for Representatives]
The Honorable _____________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

[Address for Senators]
The Honorable _____________
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Representative ____________: or,
Dear Senator _____________:
I urge you to become a cosponsor of [insert House or Senate bill number] the
"Artist-Museum Partnership Act" which would allow artists to deduct
fair-market value for self-generated works donated to a non-profit
institution. Passage of this legislation would enable museums, libraries and
archives to solicit original works from artists, writers and composers who
are both regional and national and help us strengthen the collections in
[name your community or institution]. Currently, an artist, writer or
composer can only deduct the cost of materials to create the work, which is
not a large incentive to donate, particularly since the majority of artists,
writers and composers in this country earn very little.

Since the law allowing artists to deduct the fair-market value of
self-generated works to a museum or library was repealed in 1969 there has
been a dramatic decline in the number of such gifts offered to institutions.
Many national and important regional artists, writers and composers sell
their original works to private collectors or abroad, which effectively
keeps them from ever being enjoyed by the American public. We are, in
essence, deprived of part of our cultural and artistic heritage.

I look forward to hearing that you have become a cosponsor of this most
important cultural legislation and to sharing that information with [my
community, my board of trustees, etc.].

[Your name and affiliation, if appropriate]