Hello and Welcome,

The tools, resources, and data we released so far this year would not have been possible without the help of our passionate members, strong partnerships, and informed decision makers at the local, state, and national level. This spring, we released the findings from the 2018 Profile of Local Arts Agencies, released our Mapping Our Progress Towards Cultural Equity report and continued to define strategies to ensure the equitable distribution of resources in communities across the country. In effort to support your successes, we are looking to maintain and expand the data in the Arts + Social Impact Explorer, as well as deepen the impact of the Explorer through toolkits, trainings, and new technology.

This past March, we gathered more than 2,000 at the Kennedy Center and heard artist, actress, and activist Rita Moreno deliver the 32nd Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on the Arts and Public Policy, with a special introduction by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor and artistic performance by Brian Stokes Mitchell. The evening energized those advocating on Capitol Hill the following morning. More than 500 arts advocates and artists met with their elected officials about the power of the arts and the need for support.

For the Save the NEA campaign, a record number of messages have been sent to every U.S. House office (reaching all 435) and every U.S. Senate office (all 100). Funding for the federal cultural agencies has been preserved for Fiscal Year 2019, but the proposed budget from the president for Fiscal Year 2020 once again for the third year in a row seeks to eliminates funding for our cultural agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB). While we are disheartened to see these proposed eliminations once again we are cautiously hopeful that congress – as it has done the past two fiscal years – will listen to our arguments and advocates and reject this short-sighted budget request in a bipartisan manner and even increase funding for the endowments. These successes are your successes, ones of our partnerships with members like you. Over the course of the national op-ed campaign, our local partners submitted over 100 opinion editorials with over 55 key placements in the backyards of key appropriation legislators an estimated reach of over 4,000,000 people in 37 states. It’s a rewarding experience all around to connect with members and hear their stories, and bring them as voters to talk to their elected leaders. I look forward to hearing more of these stories at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference taking place on November 15-18 in Miami, FL this year.

On the national level, together we will celebrate National Arts in Education Week through recognizing the influence and vitality of arts in education and sharing the message with friends, family, and communities. Our celebration will continue as National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is in full swing this October. NAHM is the perfect time to reflect and recharge our advocacy efforts locally for pro-arts policies and work on sharing tools and resources to help spread the word about the value of the arts. One of those tools is measuring the scope of the nations’ arts-related industries through the Bureau of Economic Analysis report which shows that arts and cultural economic activity accounted for 4.3 percent of gross domestic product, or $804 billion, in 2016. These updated tools and resources will equip our members and advocates to better make the case for arts funding on both a local and national level. Your membership with both Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund is more important than ever as we work with all of you to serve local communities and enact change. Americans for the Arts stands with you, committed to providing the most updated information and tools for our continued work together this year.


Robert L. Lynch
President and CEO, Americans for the Arts

Dec 17, 2019

The Business Committee for the Arts of Americans for the Arts is comprised of leaders who are passionate about the role the arts play in advancing business goals and transforming communities. Please join us in welcoming four business leaders as new members of the BCA. 

Dec 16, 2019

Written to inform public and private funders who are addressing equity in their grantmaking, the case study can provide guidance to re-envision who reviews proposals and how they are chosen, orient and guide reviewers and panelists to be aware of bias, and consider alternative designs for application review that are more equitable. 

Vijay Gupta
Dec 10, 2019

Americans for the Arts is pleased to announce that violin prodigy and social justice advocate Vijay Gupta will deliver the Americans for the Arts 33rd Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy on March 30, 2020, at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The lecture is presented as part of the annual National Arts Action Summit in Washington, D.C., March 30 and 31. 

2017 Convention State of Arts Speech

Americans for the Arts CEO, Robert L. Lynch, delivers his annual presentation on the State of the Arts at the 2017 Annual Convention in San Francisco on June 16, 2017.

2016 Convention State of Arts Speech (6.4 MB)

Americans for the Arts CEO, Robert L. Lynch, delivers his annual presentation on the State of the Arts at the 2016 Annual Convention in Boston on June 17, 2016.

View the corresponding speech of the presntation.

2015 Convention State of Arts Speech (28.4 MB)

Americans for the Arts CEO, Robert L. Lynch, delivers his annual presentation on the State of the Arts at the 2015 Annual Convention in Chicago on June 12, 2015.

View the corresponding speech of the presentation.

Transforming America's Communities (2.91 MB)

Americans for the Arts CEO Robert L. Lynch's presentation on the new Transform America's Communities through the Arts initiative.

Click here to learn more about Transforming America's Communities.


Meet President & CEO Robert L. Lynch

Robert L. Lynch is president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. With more than 44 years of experience in the arts industry, he is motivated by his personal mission to empower communities and leaders to advance the arts in society, and in the lives of citizens. In 1996, Lynch managed the successful merger of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies, where he had spent 12 years as executive director, with the American Council for the Arts to form Americans for the Arts. Under his 34 years of leadership, the services and membership of Americans for the Arts have grown to more than 50 times their original size.