Posts Tagged ‘Advocacy’

FY12 Mini Retrospective

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Each June 30, the fiscal year comes to close providing AHCMC staff, board members and you, our constituents, a perfect opportunity to reflect on all we’ve accomplished this year. Below you’ll find a “snack size” retrospective our FY12 work.

2012 County Council Potluck

Our Vision: To provide leadership that sustains arts and humanities organizations, artists and scholars and inspires participation in our County’s rich cultural assets.

Our Work:

  • Advocacy – Successfully advocated to state and local legislators and secured $95,000 increase to FY13 budget for arts and humanities, reinstated Public Arts Trust budget and helped keep funding level for at State level.
  • Outreach – Coordinated 4 professional development,  6 capacity building, and 8 grant workshops serving 150 individuals. Learn more.

    2011 Executive's Awards

  • Montgomery Traditions – Added five new stories about traditional artists in Montgomery County to our new multimedia website MontgomeryTraditions.org.
  • Kramer Gallery – Curated six exhibitions of Montgomery County artist fulfilling the goals of the 2001 Cultural Plan to provide “at least one visual art exhibition space to display work by county artist.” (Recommendation 2.4 pg 59)
  • NonProfit Energy Alliance – Signed up 60 local nonprofits that will collectively save an estimated $511,000 while supporting clean sources of energy. Approximately 23 million KWh of Wind Power has been purchased, which is equivalent to offsetting about 35 million pounds of CO2 or to removing 3,000 cars off the roads. Non-Profit Energy Alliance was chosen as a recipient of Washingtonian Magazine’s 2012 Green Awards!

    Student Violinists

  • Public Arts Trust—worked with County lawmakers to reinstate funding for PAT. Initiated a comprehensive survey of the 868-piece collection; prepared for reinstallation of Penguin Rush Hour mural at the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center

  • Marketing – Produced two issues of The Guide to Children’s Art Activities serving the families of 70,000 MCPS elementary students and 2500 library patrons. Completed a successful marketing campaign for DOandGO.org that increased web visitors by 180%. Coordinated print and digital cooperative ad buys that served 75 DOandGO.org constituents. Provided visitors to DOandGO.org with 100 event and programs each month. Sent event data to three other online calendars reaching a total of 40,000 viewers each month. Learn more and join.

What was your favorite program? the Parent Blogger Brunch? the CVC Mixer? a ELO summer program?  Comment below and let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

Advocacy Potluck Gets Big Turnout

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Thank you, Montgomery County, for the great turnout for AHCMC’s annual Advocacy Potluck. This year, over 50 arts and humanities advocates prepared and shared a meal with six of the nine County Councilmembers, including Council President Berliner, Craig Rice, Nancy Floreen, Marc Elrich, Phil Andrews, and Hans Reimer. Councilmembers Leventhal and Navarro sent regrets that they could not attend this year.

I’ve been at AHCMC nearly seven years now and I’m still impressed with the upbeat advocacy platform of this event. Volunteers flood the room with great tasting food. The room rings with laughter and conversation. And Councilmembers always show up (is there a Pavlovian aspect to this?).

Council President Berliner’s welcoming remarks were complimentary to the cultural community. A supporter of the arts and humanities as well as the green movement, Mr. Berliner was the motivation behind AHCMC’s creation of the Non-Profit Energy Alliance, which is currently saving 50 non-profits nearly $400,000 in energy costs. Mr. Berliner reminded everyone that we’re at the beginning of the budget discussion and that the County’s budget could still be affected by the State. But even that reality check didn’t dampen the enthusiasm in the room.

After the Potluck, advocates filed into the 3rd floor Council Hearing Room for testimonies. AHCMC submitted three testimonies this year: two in person and one in writing. Click on the names below to see testimonies by:

Suzan Jenkins, CEO of AHCMC, How the arts and humanities enrich Montgomery County’s community

Bethany Mattocks, Marketing Manager of CVB, How the arts and humanities in Montgomery County spur tourism

Business owner, Gary Skulnik. How the arts and humanities foster creative business


How the arts and humanities foster creative business

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Last week, we also submitted this testimony from Gary Skulnik, President of Clean Currents. Here, he talks about how arts education fosters the kind of creativity he looks for in his employees. Read his testimony below!

Good Afternoon Council President Berliner and Members of the County Council:

My name is Gary Skulnik and I am the President of Clean Currents; a home-grown company that was developed, incubated, launched and now conducts business in Montgomery County, MD. As a business executive and partner of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, I am pleased to show my support today for the County Executive’s FY13 recommended budget for this worthy agency.

Clean Currents has had the good fortune to work with the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County in the Non Profit Energy Alliance, a creative partnership of the non profit sector, county government, and private business to provide clean energy to area non profits at rates that save them money, enabling them to focus more resources on meeting their mission. The Arts and Humanities Council was instrumental in making this happen. Without them, it would have gone nowhere. (more…)

How the arts and humanities in Montgomery County spur tourism

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Last week at our Public Hearing with Montgomery County Council, Bethany Mattocks, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Conference and Visitors Bureau (CVB) of Montgomery County, gave a thrilling testimony on how the County’s cultural scene spurs tourism in Montgomery County. Read her testimony below.

Good afternoon President Berliner and honored Councilmembers. Thank you for all of the great work you do on behalf of our County.

My name is Bethany Mattocks and I am the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Conference and Visitors Bureau (CVB) of Montgomery County. Our primary mission is to promote Montgomery County as a destination for business and leisure travel. Our secondary mission is to encourage local day trips and provide tourism related resources for County residents.

I also serve on the Arts & Humanities Council Marketing Committee and on the Board of Directors for VisArts Rockville. I am a lifetime Montgomery County resident and grew up in Silver Spring. I have seen Silver Spring flourish in the past few years, largely due to the number of arts organizations in the area. It is rare that within walking distance there are major arts venues such as AFI Silver Theatre, Round House Theatre and the new Fillmore.

As a County resident, it’s fantastic that I don’t have to go all the way to D.C. to experience a live music concert; I can experience a live music concert just minutes from my house! And next Tuesday, I’m taking a mosaic tile class at VisArts. Thanks to support provided by the County through the Arts and Humanities Council, opportunities for the CVB to promote Montgomery County, our great quality of life, stellar visual and performing arts and humanities, are truly endless.
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How the arts and humanities enrich Montgomery County’s community

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Last week, we encouraged Montgomery County Council to support the FY13 arts and humanities budget. Read my testimony below!

Good afternoon. I am Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and a twenty-three year resident of Rockville. I begin my testimony today by simply saying Thank You!

Thank You! for your past support for funding the arts and humanities in previous Montgomery County Operating Budgets.

Thanks for considering support of the FY13 budget recommendation which includes flat funding for arts and humanities grants.

Given the slow economic recovery in the County and the nation, we appreciate that all areas of the budget are under close scrutiny. We understand the tough choices you make every budget season and the uncertainty of the County’s FY13 appropriations in the wake of State’s failure to pass a budget. So, first of all let us say Thank you!
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[INFOGRAPHIC] Let’s start with a dollar: the Economic Impact of the Arts & Humanities in Montgomery County, MD

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Did you know that in FY10, AHCMC’s 71 grantees created 3,448 jobs and stimulated the economy with $57,321,373 in total expenditures? Learn more about the economic impact of the arts & humanities in Montgomery County in the Let’s Start With A Dollar infographic after the jump.

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CEO Podcast: Montgomery County’s FY13 Operating Budget

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Listen to the latest podcast about how the FY13 recommended operating budget affects the arts and humanities:

Hi everyone, this is Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council and I’m please to report that the County Executive’s proposed budget calls for the appropriation of $3,286,700 to the Arts and Humanities Council for fiscal year 13. That’s level funding from FY12, and we’re very, very pleased about that.

In the context of what’s happened to many other agencies over the past years, this is really good news. In this budget, he seeks to strategically restore funding that was previously slashed to the libraries, public safety officers and social service agencies. He’s also recommended $50,000 for the management and maintenance of the Public Arts Trust in the Recreation budget, restoring about 36% to the previously zeroed out PAT budget. That’s good news all the way around.

First and foremost, I want to thank YOU for your support. I also want to thank my staff who serve as tireless cultural warriors behind the scenes to make the case for, and to help justify, our budget requests.

But the work’s just begun! Knowing what we know about the state’s need to address maintenance of effort and pensions, we know that some rocky roads may lie ahead. So now it’s time to make certain the County Council supports the County Executive’s recommendation – we can take nothing for granted.

Here are three action steps for you. You’ll also find these listed on our website just below this podcast:

1. Contact the County Executive and say thanks for recommending level funding.
2. Get connected. Sign up for AHCMC’s E-Advocacy Alerts, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. Social media and digital correspondence are our primary means of communicating with you. Whenever you see an email from us with “Advocacy Alert” in the subject line, you’ll know we’ve got news for you or we’re coordinating an advocacy action.
3. Stay tuned for our advocacy campaign. Our staff, with the advice of volunteers from the field, are developing an advocacy campaign and slogan over the next week. This is the message we’ll use as we meet with County Councilmembers to ask for level funding in FY13.

So again, thanks for ALL you do. It is highly important and greatly impactful. Onward and upward, happy spring and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming hearings Take good care, peace.

Visit our Take Action page now for a sample letter to County Executive Leggett and other resources.

“Deferring maintenance of public art year after year is not economical.”

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Below is the second testimony submitted to Montgomery County Council last Thursday in support of the Public Arts Trust:

Good evening. My name is Dr. Michele Cohen. I was the founding director of New York City’s Public Art for Public Schools program for twenty years and I am currently a consultant to the AHCMC, the custodian of Montgomery County’s vast collection of public art. I have written books on public art, taught courses about public art, supervised NYC’s sculpture inventory, and managed a collection of over 1,200 artworks in NYC schools: I know the challenges of caring for art in the public realm.

Corrision, Leaching and Damaged Seating Element
Corrision, leaching and damaged seating element

Montgomery County has a significant public art collection, including portable works in government offices, murals and sculptural installations in schools, iconic pieces marking courthouses, parks, and community centers—works that add to the quality of life for all of Montgomery County’s residents and visitors. Nationally known artists include Muriel Castanis, George Greenamyer, Joseph McDonnell, and Mary Ann Unger. Over the last three decades, many agencies helped form this collection, but none have taken ownership of it. As years of deferred maintenance accrue, the condition of objects has worsened, and now about 15% or 50 major sculptural installations in public spaces require substantial treatment—more than just hosing down and waxing.

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“Just as the County invests funds to maintain buildings, artworks require resources for maintenance as well as conservation.”

Monday, February 13th, 2012
Public Arts Trust consultant, Michele Cohen, and AHCMC CEO Suzan Jenkins testifying to Montgomery County Council

Public Arts Trust consultant, Michele Cohen, and AHCMC CEO Suzan Jenkins testifying to Montgomery County Council

Last Thursday, February 9, we testified to Montgomery County Council to encourage them to  protect their $4+ million investment and fund conservation and maintenance for County-owned public art. Below is one of the written testimonies submitted to Montgomery County Council:

Council President Berliner, esteemed members of the County Council, thank you for your past support of the arts and humanities in Montgomery County. I am here today to ask you to appropriate funding for the Public Arts Trust (PAT) in FY13/FY14.

The Arts and Humanities Council (AHCMC) was distressed to learn that appropriation was not included in the FY13/FY14 Public Arts Trust CIP #729658 as this funding is critical to protect and maintain the County’s assets of over $4M already invested in public art. A Cost Change for FY13 and 14 is noted in CIP#729658 to allocate a TBD amount to AHCMC’s operating budget for maintenance of assets currently in the Trust.

I ask you now to allocate an appropriate level of funding in the CIP that will allow AHCMC to manage the Trust responsibly. Even funding 50% of the former allocation would be hugely impactful.

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Link Roundup: Editorial calendars, tablets and No Talking Tuesdays

Friday, January 27th, 2012

This week was a very exciting time for us in the Twitterverse — we crossed 1,000 followers! Thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with us!

#MondayMarketing

Takeaways: Getting organized is always a good thing. To help you think through what you need to post about and when on your various social networking platforms, an editorial calendar can be your savior.  I started doing scheduling out topic ideas in an editorial calendar a couple of weeks ago and it has worked wonders!

#TuesdayTech

Takeaways: People are increasingly giving and getting tablets as gifts. While this article talks about how tablets may be used in education, it makes me think: how does this increase tablet ownership affect or enhance work specifically in arts education, development or marketing?

#WednesdayWinning

Takeaways: And the case that arts & culture are economic drivers keeps on building! Information from the Michigan Cultural Data Project shows that for each dollar the state of Michigan spends on arts and culture, $51 goes back into the state economy! Also, in Detroit, 28 organizations had total direct expenditures of $127+ million and employed 2,657 staff.

#ThursdayTips

Takeaways: Sisarina co-hosted the tweetup referenced in #MondayMarketing’s article, and of course, they have great content marketing in the form of a great blog. This post lists five ways they’ve become more efficient, including No Talking Tuesdays. Intriguing, no?

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