Last week, I was in Washington, DC participating in a meeting of the Performing Arts Alliance (PAA), the national advocacy group, of which TCG is a founding member. The PAA is ably chaired by the Goodman Theatre’s Roche Schulfer. In addition to discussing the many issues that this organization is tracking on behalf of our members, we met with the NEA’s director of research and analysis Sunil Iyengar, who walked us through the NEA’s new strategic plan and guidelines. Check out Art Works for America: Strategic Plan, FY 2012-2016 and Art Works for America: FY12 Grants for Arts Projects Guidelines. A more complete report on advocacy concerns and priorities will appear in next week’s Update.
While in DC, I was fortunate to see the new Arena Stage and Molly Smith’s gorgeous production of Oklahoma! I was impressed by the architect’s ingenuity in envisioning a facility that ties the history embodied in the original theatre buildings to the future, including a new theatre for developing new plays. All of the theatres are now under one roof and joined together by wide open public spaces and views of Washington.
As the final part of our current Field Conversations between independent artists and theatres, we are trying something new and exciting. We are encouraging our membership of theatres to organize Town Hall-style meetings in their communities, where artists and theatre staff can talk openly about the successes and the challenges that they face in working together. We anticipate that the Town Halls will take place between January 23 and February 15. Contact Sarah McLellan, artistic programs associate, if you would like more information.
Finally, I am pleased to report on some good news from DC. Congress, in passing the new tax package last week, reinstated the IRA Charitable Rollover Giving incentive for gifts made in 2010 and 2011!