Texans for the Arts 

February 17,2015  
Empowering Arts Advocates Across Texas
Board of Directors

Cristina Balli, Austin


Lynn Barnett, Abilene



Amy W. Baskin, Tyler


Cathy Neece Brown, Fort Worth


Boyce Cabaniss, Esq., Austin


Laurette Canizares, Houston


Mary Grace Carroll, Laredo


Catherine Cuellar, Dallas


Cissy Segall Davis, Houston


Linda Donahue, Lubbock


Jane Estes, Georgetown


Ben Fyffe, El Paso



Jonathon Glus, Houston


Chris Heinbaugh, Dallas


Danny Holeva, Midland


Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, Austin


JoLynne Jensen, Bedford



Linda Lee, Fort Worth


Perryn Leech, Houston


Kathryn McNiel, Houston



Mary Padgett, Austin


Immediate Past President

Felix Padron, San Antonio


George Ramirez, Brownsville


Jennifer Ransom Rice, Austin


Vice President

Cookie Ruiz, CFRE, Austin


John Kerr Smither, Huntsville


Penelope Speier, San Antonio 


Glenda Thompson, Fort Worth


Ex Officio

Jim Bob McMillan, Texas Commission on the Arts


Executive Director

Ann S. Graham, Austin

Dear Arts Advocates:

After our successful 2015 Arts Advocacy Day (AAD) held on January 28th, we're moving quickly into the 84th Legislative Session. Over 160 people attended AAD, participating in 
98 legislative visits.  Now it's our collective responsibility to make sure our voices continue to be heard!

Next steps:
* Get to know your legislators and have them get to know you! If you attended AAD and visited your legislators, you should have already written a personal 'thank you'! If not, identify your legislators here and put them in your own artist's and/or organization's database. Keep them apprised of the work you do in your community. Invite them to your events and/or to see your work. Keep them aware of the level of activity in their districts and the impact your work has!

keep your finger on the pulse of the 84th 
Legislative Session. To monitor the Texas Commission on the Arts, sign up for alerts on the Texas House's Appropriations - S/C on Articles I, IV & V and the Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee; and on the Texas Senate's Finance Committee on Article I. We'll keep in touch about any bills or other actions taken that will potentially impact funding for arts and culture across Texas.
The first Senate Finance Committee Hearing which included Article I and the Texas Commission on the Arts was held February 4th and the first House Appropriation's Sub-Committee Hearing which includes Article I is being held today, Tuesday, February 17th. You can review past Hearing agendas and minutes via the TLO website.

* Please share the impressive data from Texas Cultural Trust's "Invest in the Arts" that was initially shared at Arts Advocacy Day.  With the arts generating $5.1 billion for our state's economy and nearly $320 million in state sales tax in 2014, and with dynamic data showing how the arts help prepare students for greater success, we need to insure that this critical information is shared far and wide.  Share "Invest in the Arts" with your legislators and let your own audiences know, too, about the economic and educational power of the arts across Texas. Special thanks to the Texas Cultural Trust for undertaking this valuable research. 

* There are other opportunities for arts advocate's voices to be heard in the coming days through education, tourism and national arts advocacy days:

+ + Want to get up to speed on the issues affecting public education this legislative session? Attend the Save Texas Schools - Education Advocacy Day on February 20th - 21st which includes training, legislative visits, a bipartisan panel of legislators and local leaders talking about funding, testing and community schools and more. This is also an opportunity to ask about arts education and creative learning and how vital these issues are for public education across Texas. Register here.

+ + Sign up for the Texas Hotel Lodging Association's (THLA) 'Converge on the Capitol' on February 25th to help show your support of the Hotel Occupancy Tax's 15% allowable funding to support the arts at the municipal level. Texans for the Arts and THLA share the goals of promoting the arts and encouraging attendance at arts and cultural events for out of town visitors thereby directly growing and advancing cultural tourism and the convention and hotel industry. It is vital that legislators understand the importance of allocating this 15% for the arts. Register here for THLA "Converge on the Capitol". 

* If you thought Texas was BIG, consider joining us in Washington, D.C. on March 23-24th for National Arts Advocacy Day! Visit Americans for the Arts to registerTexans for the Arts will be there, so please join us!

* Please Join Texans for the Arts! If you or your organization are not already a member, please join us!  As I say, "We work for you!"  As a solely membership funded organization, we really DO work on behalf of artists, arts organizations and all citizens across the state of Texas!
Thank you for your interest in and passion for the arts and for getting involved in our advocacy efforts. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Texans for the Arts!


Ann S. Graham
Executive Director
Texans for the Arts | (512) 914-8096
PO Box 4549, Austin, TX 78765