Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mr. Booth Goes to the Conventions?

Looks like I won't be going to the D and R national conventions after all. But it sure was nice to be invited.

So maybe I received the invitation because of my affiliations with several national music magazines and critics' groups. Then again, maybe everybody got one.

The Americans for the Arts Action Fund recently emailed an invitation to attend seminars on "The Future of the Arts and Arts Education" at one or both of the conventions.

It's a great cause, as funding for the arts and arts education has steadily decreased, under Republican AND Democratic administrations.

A very small example: The band at my son's school, Coleman Middle in Tampa, receives $0 - zilch! - funding for instruments from the School Board of Hillsborough County. We can do better than that, right?

Thankfully, some funding is provided by the parents' group at Coleman.

(And, speaking of my son's musical needs, I'm glad there's a Craigslist - we got a great deal on a slightly used Tama drum set).

Below is a portion of the note, with more info about the gatherings.

Join us in Denver or Minneapolis/St. Paul! Americans for the Arts Action Fund, in conjunction with NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants, will be hosting two events at the upcoming national political conventions. Titled, "The Future of the Arts and Arts Education" these events are designed to engage Members of Congress, Governors, Lt.Governors, Mayors, local elected officials, education and cultural leaders attending the conventions. Both events are part of ArtsVote2008, the national initiative the Americans for the Arts Action Fund has been running throughout the presidential election. Read more below about the events and how you can participate in them!

At the Democratic National Convention on August 26th, a panel of elected leaders, advocates, and philanthropists will discuss the future of the arts and arts education in America. Moderated by Former U.S. Secretary of Education and former Governor of South Carolina Richard Riley, featured speakers include:

Five-time Grammy Award-winning musician John Legend
Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors
Philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson
NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond.
Americans for the Arts Action Fund President and CEO Robert L. Lynch
On September 2nd at the Republican National Convention, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will moderate a discussion on the future of the arts and arts education in America with featured speakers including:

Emmy Award-winning actor, dancer, choreographer and director Debbie Allen
Missouri Governor Matt Blunt
Chairman of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Adair Margo
U.S Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-Kansas)
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne
Americans for the Arts Action Fund President and CEO Robert L. Lynch

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