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Laurie Baskin

Post image for What Theatres Can Do On Veterans Day (and every day)

(Photo of Everett Cox at the 2015 TCG National Conference by Roger Mastronianni.) Earlier this year, I was introduced to a Vietnam veteran who works with an organization called Lucid Body which offers a physical training method for the actor, and its Lucid Body Veteran Theatre Project. Everett Cox attended the 2015 TCG National Conference in [...]

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Energy & Commerce Committee, United States House of Representatives Individual Members – We Need Your Activism Now! The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may soon rule on several proceedings that will impact the use of wireless microphones. In the short-term, wireless microphones could suffer interference. In the longer-term, theatres may be faced with the need to replace [...]

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Hill Visits: Walk the Halls

by Laurie Baskin March 25, 2014 Advocacy
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(Photo credit below*. Leading up to Arts Advocacy Day on March 24-25, TCG is sharing reflections from our board and National Council for the American Theatre on our February visits to Capitol Hill.  Learn more about TCG’s advocacy efforts here, and how you can get involved with Arts Advocacy Day here and here.) Heather Randall, Actor, Producer, Theatre Activist, TCG Board Advocating for the arts, [...]

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Hill Visits: Your Voice Will Count

by Laurie Baskin March 24, 2014 Advocacy
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(Photo credit below*. Leading up to Arts Advocacy Day on March 24-25, TCG is sharing reflections from our board and National Council for the American Theatre on our February visits to Capitol Hill.  Learn more about TCG’s advocacy efforts here, and how you can get involved with Arts Advocacy Day here and here.) Sarah Bellamy, Co-Artistic Director, Penumbra Theatre Visiting the Capitol to advocate [...]

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Hill Visits: Our Stories Matter. Let Them be Heard.

by Laurie Baskin March 21, 2014 Advocacy
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(*Photo credit below. Leading up to Arts Advocacy Day on March 24-25, TCG is sharing reflections from our board and National Council for the American Theatre on our February visits to Capitol Hill.  Learn more about TCG’s advocacy efforts here, and how you can get involved with Arts Advocacy Day here and here.) Jonathan Moscone, Artistic Director, California Shakespeare Theater: Going to the Hill [...]

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Hill Visits: Bring the Stories to the Hill

by Laurie Baskin March 19, 2014 Advocacy
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(Photo credit below. Leading up to Arts Advocacy Day on March 24-25, TCG is sharing reflections from our board and National Council for the American Theatre on our February visits to Capitol Hill.  Learn more about TCG’s advocacy efforts here, and how you can get involved with Arts Advocacy Day here and here.) Julie Morris, National [...]

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Final Public Review of NCCAS Underway

by Laurie Baskin February 14, 2014 Advocacy
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There is an arts education opportunity that the field should know about. The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) is a coalition of national arts and education organizations and media arts representatives that are developing the 2014 National Core Arts Standards, an update of the 1994 National Arts Standards. The new, voluntary grade-by-grade web-based [...]

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Washington Budget Deal – NEA and Arts Education Funding Restored to FY12 Levels

by Laurie Baskin January 22, 2014 Advocacy
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Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Arts in Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education have been  restored to 2012 levels in the Omnibus spending bill  negotiated and approved last week by House and Senate leaders! Three and a half months after the 2014 fiscal year began, Congress approved [...]

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Speak Up to Preserve the Charitable Deduction on November 20th

by Laurie Baskin November 19, 2013 Advocacy
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On Wednesday, November 20th, Ginny Louloudes, Executive Director of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York and I will join over 200 nonprofit leaders representing the arts, social services, health care, higher education and religious organizations on Capitol Hill to petition their representatives to preserve the Charitable Deduction. These nonprofit leaders will participate in 130 Hill [...]

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Government Shutdown Ends, Advocacy Work Continues

by Laurie Baskin October 17, 2013 Advocacy

As has been widely reported, the federal government shutdown is over. The President signed a Bill late last night that was proposed in the Senate and passed by both houses to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. It is only a temporary solution, though, since the Bill keeps the government open through January [...]

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Impact of the Federal Shutdown on the Arts

by Laurie Baskin October 1, 2013 Advocacy

As you know, because the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives were unable to reach a deal on funding federal government operations as the new fiscal year started today, the federal government was forced to shutdown for the first time in 17 years. We hope the stalemate is resolved quickly, and in the meanwhile, [...]

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Laurie Baskin’s Remarks at “Pardon the Interruption”

by Laurie Baskin August 15, 2013 Advocacy
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(The following remarks were delivered by Laurie Baskin at the “Pardon the Interruption” Capitol Hill Briefing on Monday, July 29.) Good afternoon.  Thank you all for being here today. My name is Laurie Baskin and I’m Director of Research, Policy & Collective Action at Theatre Communications Group. TCG is the national organization for the professional, [...]

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Protecting Wireless Microphones – Recent Developments

by Laurie Baskin August 12, 2013 Advocacy
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(Photo by Emily Travis. From left to right: Knapp, Baskin, Pope, Libin, Fierstein and Bunyan) As you may know, TCG has been advocating with the FCC and on Capitol Hill to protect wireless microphones for the past 6 years. On Monday, July 29, TCG participated in a Briefing on Capitol Hill called “Pardon the Interruption,” [...]

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Fiscal Cliff Update

by Laurie Baskin January 3, 2013 Advocacy

Short-Term Cliff Deal Reinstates IRA Rollover and “Pease” Provision and Estate Tax Extended The tax deal passed by Congress on Tuesday has encouraging but mixed results for charitable giving, and leaves much work to be done throughout the coming year. The “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012″ includes some good news – there was no [...]

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FEMA After Sandy

by Laurie Baskin November 16, 2012 Advocacy

FEMA included performing arts organizations as eligible for disaster relief at the time of the San Francisco earthquake (1989) and American Conservatory Theater was able to access relief funding. Then when Hurricane Allison hit Houston and the Alley Theatre flooded in 2001, the theatre alerted TCG that FEMA no longer considered performing arts organizations eligible [...]

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White Space Update

by Laurie Baskin October 5, 2012 Advocacy

Registration Launched on East Coast for Geo-location Database News To provide interference protection for wireless microphones, the FCC has spent the last two years developing a national geo-location database in which, under certain circumstances, venues may register frequencies.  The database will then instruct any White Space device within 400 meters to refrain from operating on [...]

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Blue Star Theatres Official Kick-Off

by Laurie Baskin October 2, 2012 Arts and the Armed Forces
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(Photo credit: Alissa Moore. Pictured:Mark Smith, executive director, Blue Star Families; Teresa Eyring, executive director, TCG.) On Friday, September 28, a press conference was held at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI, to launch the Blue Star Theatres program which recognizes the profound contributions of service families and seeks to build stronger connections between theatres, [...]

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South Carolina Arts Commission Restored

by Laurie Baskin July 19, 2012 Advocacy

Last Friday I wrote that South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley had issued line-item vetoes to the South Carolina budget and had, thereby, eliminated state funding for the arts. I am pleased to report that the arts community in South Carolina engaged in very effective advocacy efforts over the past week, and was successful in [...]

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Restore the South Carolina Arts Commission

by Laurie Baskin July 13, 2012 Advocacy

As you’ve probably heard by now, South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley has issued line-item vetoes to the South Carolina budget and has, thereby, eliminated state funding for the arts. TCG urges restoration of these funds and action by artists and arts organization in South Carolina to ask the state legislature to restore these funds. [...]

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Grand Re-Opening: Artists from Abroad Relaunches Today!

by Laurie Baskin May 23, 2012 Global Citizenship

The League of American Orchestras and Association of Performing Arts Presenters announce the relaunch of Artists from Abroad — the most complete and up-to-date online resource for engaging foreign guest artists, providing essential guidance, forms, and useful links. The newly redesigned and relaunched website makes it even easier to find the information performing arts organizations and artist [...]

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NEA Announces New Director of Arts Education

by Laurie Baskin May 7, 2012 Education

Three new stories from the world of Arts Education: NEA Announces New Director of Arts Education Beginning on July 2, the Arts Education Program at the NEA will be guided by Ayanna Hudson. Hudson joins the NEA from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission where she led the commission’s lauded Arts for All regional collaborative [...]

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NEA Announces Second Round of FY12 Art Works and Arts in Media Grants and Funding to State Arts Agencies

by Laurie Baskin May 4, 2012 Advocacy
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The NEA has announced the second round of funding for FY12 totaling $77.17 million to support 928 grants to not-for-profit organizations nationwide. These grants support exemplary projects in arts education, dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, local arts agencies, media arts, museums, music, opera, presenting, theater, musical theater, and visual arts, and provide support [...]

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Arts Advocacy Day in Washington – April 16 & 17 – A Recap

by Laurie Baskin April 19, 2012 Advocacy
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Arts Advocacy Day 2012 was a great day for the arts on Capitol Hill. TCG participated as a National Co-Sponsor as we have for many years. Joining TCG staff for Hill visits was a seasoned and robust group of advocates including Mark Cuddy, Artistic Director, Geva Theatre Center, Rochester, NY (TCG Board Member); Heather Randall, [...]

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Arts Education Status Report Released: Equity Gaps Remain

by Laurie Baskin April 4, 2012 Education
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On Monday, the U.S. Department of Education released the results of the Fast Response Statistical Survey’s (FRSS) Report on Arts Education, based on data gathered in the 2009-2010 school year. The arts education community has long called for federal data collection to be more comprehensive in scope and depth and that data be collected more [...]

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Eye on Washington

by Laurie Baskin March 29, 2012 Advocacy
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As we move into this year’s appropriations cycle and gear up for Arts Advocacy Day, April 16 & 17, it is important to note some immediate policy challenges in Washington. There are a number of threats to charitable tax incentives, including the President’s proposed cap at 28% on the charitable deduction. I participated in a [...]

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Three Calls for Words on Arts Education

by Laurie Baskin February 14, 2012 Education

In addition to last week’s announcement of the NEA Roundtable, I wanted to share three newsworthy items concerning arts education: 1) NYU Forum on Theatre for Young Audiences, Future Directions in Theatre for Young Audiences, April 27-29, 2012 First up, NYU is holding a forum on theatre for young audiences and has issued a call [...]

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Upcoming NEA Roundtable and Webcast

by Laurie Baskin February 8, 2012 Education
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The National Endowment for the Arts will host a webcast, Improving Arts Learning through Standards & Assessment: A National Endowment for the Arts Research Roundtable on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM EST at www.arts.gov. No pre-registration is necessary; to watch the webcast, log on to the NEA’s website at the [...]

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NEA Posts FY13 Grant Guidelines

by Laurie Baskin February 2, 2012 Advocacy
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The NEA recently posted its FY13 Grants for Arts Projects guidelines. As first reported in November, the NEA has confirmed that it will no longer be accepting consortium applications for FY13 grants. In the past, an organization could apply up to two times – once on its own, and a second time in partnership with [...]

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State Department Launches Online Portal

by Laurie Baskin December 29, 2011 Advocacy
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The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has launched Cultural Crossroads, an online network that will provide arts practitioners and managers a venue for sharing information about international cultural exchange. Through this discussion forum, ECA hopes to improve support for arts-based exchange programs and grow an international network of artists. ECA invites [...]

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NORC Releases Final Report on Teaching Artists

by Laurie Baskin December 21, 2011 Education
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The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago has released a landmark report on a three-year study of teaching artists (TAs) – artists who make teaching a part of their professional practice.  Teaching Artists and the Future of Education found that their work is critical to the future of arts education and [...]

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NEA Announces New Research on Artists in the Workforce

by Laurie Baskin December 20, 2011 Advocacy

This fall, the NEA announced new research regarding the status of artists in the American workforce.  Artists and Arts Workers in the United States offers the first combined analysis of artists and industries, state and metro employment rates, and new demographic information such as age, education levels, income, ethnicity, and other social characteristics. Among the [...]

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Congress Approves NEA and Arts Education FY12 Funding

by Laurie Baskin December 16, 2011 Advocacy
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On Friday, December 16, 2011, Congress approved a $146.255 million appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts for FY12. The FY11 NEA appropriation was $155 million and this $9 million cut, almost 6% from the year before, is the amount the President had requested for the Agency. Congress approved this budget deal as the [...]

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NEA Announces First Round of FY12 Art Works and Challenge America Grants

by Laurie Baskin December 14, 2011 Advocacy
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The NEA has announced the first round of funding for FY12 totaling $22.543 million to support 863 grants to organizations and individual writers across the country. This round of funding is provided through two grant programs: Art Works and Creative Writing Fellowships. Art Works grants support the creation and presentation of work in the disciplines [...]

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SOPA and PIPA

by Laurie Baskin November 30, 2011 Advocacy

The Internet and Intellectual Property House Bill: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)/ Senate Bill: Protect IP Act (PIPA) A pair of bills intended to prevent online piracy – theft of intellectual property – have been introduced in Congress. The Senate bill, introduced in June, is called the Protect IP Act. The companion House bill, introduced in [...]

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2011 Education Centerpiece (back to dreaming big)

by Laurie Baskin November 10, 2011 Education

“But the overwhelming fact—the thing that just colors me happy—is that education directors, theatre artists involved in arts learning and artistic directors convened and discussed and argued and dreamed and spoke about education as a central part of what we do. That it was just business as usual, nothing special. Education was…an entity…accepted…a fact of [...]

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Learn More About Our Interns

by Laurie Baskin October 31, 2011 Watch & Listen
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(Click here to watch the videos above) TCG has administered an Internship Program for many years, and this year it falls under our Education Department. We’ve worked to educate and involve interns in every aspect of the work here at TCG. Staff continues to benefit from the energy, ideas and fresh perspective our interns bring [...]

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The President’s Jobs Bill and Nonprofits

by Laurie Baskin September 16, 2011 Advocacy

The good news: President Obama’s new jobs bill, released Monday, includes nonprofits in its tax credits that go to companies that hire veterans and long-term unemployed people. The tax credits would apply to payroll taxes, which nonprofit employers pay, instead of to income taxes. An employer could get a tax credit of $2,400 for hiring [...]

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Prevent Further Cuts to the NEA and Elimination of Arts Education!

by Laurie Baskin July 11, 2011 Advocacy

No More Cuts! We need to stand up as a theatre community and let our voices be heard in Washington. I believe that it is vitally important that the federal government support the arts – that we have a place at the table in terms of national discourse, public policy and funding – and that [...]

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Final FY11 Outcome

by Laurie Baskin April 12, 2011 Advocacy

As you probably know, Congress finally reached an agreement on FY 11 spending late in the day last Friday, averting at the last moment, a federal government shutdown. Today we were able to learn the breakdown of funding included in that bill: Both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the [...]

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Arts Advocacy Day Recap

by Laurie Baskin April 8, 2011 Advocacy
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(L to R) Laurie Baskin, TCG; Senator Jack Reed (D-RI); Curt Columbus, Artistic Director, Trinity Repertory Company It was different this year in Washington. As in past years, TCG brought an impressive delegation comprised of board members, National Council for the American Theatre members and field leaders to Washington to advocate for the arts. But, [...]

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On To The Senate For NEA Support

by Laurie Baskin February 17, 2011 Advocacy

After debate last night on the House Floor on FY11 NEA appropriations, two amendments that had been filed to zero the NEA were not actually offered for a vote. But, this morning, an amendment offered by Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI-7) to cut the NEA by $20.6 million, in addition to the original appropriations committee cut [...]

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More On NEA Advocacy

by Laurie Baskin February 15, 2011 Advocacy

Dear Colleagues, It is vitally important that you actively participate in advocacy this week regarding the NEA. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives could approve a mid-year (FY11) cut to the NEA of at least $22.5 million. But we expect attempts to even more severely cut or zero the Agency. Send an email to [...]

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Moment of Silence

by Laurie Baskin January 10, 2011 Advocacy

Theatre Communications Group would like to express our shock and indignation at the Arizona shooting on Saturday. An attack on a public servant is outrageous and an attack on America. Please join us in a national moment of silence at 11:00am EST, honoring the victims of this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers for healing go to [...]

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