Here Is Something You CAN Do During The Covid19 Crisis!

While being physically distanced, there is no reason to feel powerless. Negotiations are ongoing in the Senate on what is being called “Phase Three” of the COVID-19 response relief package. As you know, the coronavirus has already had a devastating economic impact on America’s nonprofit arts sector—financial losses to date are estimated to be $3.6 billion. More advocacy is needed and you can help with the click of your computer, a phone call to your Congressional  legislators, or a letter.  The Rickie Report gives you the links and information here.  Please share with others who appreciate, enjoy, and want to support the cultural arts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The U.S. Senate legislation under consideration today has several items we’ve been asking for—your advocacy has been working! For example, there is some funding for the NEA, but it’s not enough. Self-employed artists, creative workers, and nonprofits appear to be included in the Paycheck Protection and Small Business Administration disaster loan provisions, but we need to ensure they are included in the final bill version.

 

More advocacy is needed!

 

 

In order to support the sector at this vital time, request that your members of Congress include the following in the current legislative package currently being negotiated:

  • Support $4 billion in COVID-19 relief funding to be administered by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services—House Arts Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and House STEAM Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) led a letter to House Leadership with this ask, Senate Cultural Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) did the same in the Senate. Waive matching requirements and general operating support reprogramming for FY2020 grantees, as well as for COVID-19-specific grantmaking;
  • Encourage charitable giving by increasing the allowable amount of the proposed $300 above-the-line tax deduction available to taxpayers that do not itemize their returns, and removing AGI limits on allowed deductions for charitable giving;
  • Ensure that proposed forgivable SBA disaster relief loans support all arts and culture workers by: specifying that access to forgivable loans is available for self-employed workers, increasing the employer eligibility threshold by applying the 500 employee cap to fulltime employees, and eliminating the employer size cap for nonprofit organizations;
  • Support pandemic unemployment benefits for workers ineligible for state unemployment benefits, which will provide essential support for self-employed workers in the arts and culture sector; and
  • Ensure arts eligibility for additional forms of disaster relief, such as Community Development Block Grants, education and lifelong learning programs, and health and wellness initiatives.

In a national survey by Americans for the Arts, 91% of responding arts organizations indicated that they have cancelled one or more events. Many arts organizations have closed their doors for months to come. These estimates are based on more than 5,000 respondents to an Americans for the Arts nationwide COVID-19 impact survey, and then further extrapolation of those data nationally using IRS data about nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. The most recent figures show economic losses of $3.6 billion to date, up from $3.2 billion last week. The survey is ongoing, and these figures will be updated regularly. Given that losses documented in the survey have occurred only in the last two months, Americans for the Arts anticipates additional billions in potential revenue losses for the nonprofit arts and culture field.

Join us in calling on Congress NOW to include the aforementioned items in the final package for COVID-19 relief.

 

 

 

ABOUT AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS:

Our mission is to build recognition and support for the extraordinary and dynamic value of the arts and to lead, serve, and advance the diverse networks of organizations and individuals who cultivate the arts in America.

Connecting your best ideas and leaders from the arts, communities, and business, together we can work to ensure that every American has access to the transformative power of the arts.

www.americansforthearts.org

 

 

 

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Advocacy & The Arts In Florida – It Is Time To Share Your Voice Before May 3rd. Legislators Will Vote On Funding. Tell Them To Support The A List

The Rickie Report is sharing a Call To Action for residents of Florida!  At this moment, our legislators are discussing and voting on a fully vetted and approved list of cultural activities across the State.  We are asking for more than a “share” or “like” on social media.  We are urging artists, art patrons, and art lovers to make your voices heard! The not for profit arts and cultural industry is just that – an INDUSTRY that generates revenue, jobs, and increased sales tax revenues that fuel our economy. The cultural arts make Florida a global destination.   The Arts & Culture industry in Florida creates over 227,843  jobs and returns nearly $500 million in revenue to state and local government.  Please click through to find the easy to follow directions and a synopsis of the information.

 

 

 

 

fundthealist.org

The FUND THE A LIST campaign calls for the Florida legislature to fully fund the essential arts and cultural programs formally reviewed, vetted, and approved by the process established by the Florida Department of State, the Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

The positive economic impact these programs provide to our State is substantial. Here are some quick facts about the economic importance of the arts: 

• Every $1 invested in arts and culture returns $9 to the local economy.

• Florida is home to 58,162 arts-related businesses that employ 227,843 people. 

• Cultural Interest is #2 driver for out-of-state and in-state tourists. 

• Over 69.9 million Floridians and tourists participate in arts and culture activities. 

SHORT ON TIME ?

We Need Your Calls and Emails TODAY!  

Not sure what to say?

 

Sample message: Please add your own comments

My name is ……..
I am calling to strongly urge you to support the cultural arts in Florida by funding the A List for Arts & Culture, which has been fully vetted and approved.
I am holding you responsible for the welfare of the State of Florida, which has always included a healthy cultural support system.
I look forward to seeing how you vote.
Thank you.

Who To Contact:

HOUSE SPEAKER

JOSE OLIVA

    (305)   364-3114    District phone          (850)   717-5110    Tallahassee       jose.oliva@myfloridahouse.gov    

HOUSE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE

MARYLYNN MAGAR    

     (772)   545-3481    District phone          (850)   717-5082    Tallahassee        MaryLynn.Magar@myfloridahouse.gov    

HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER & HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS VICE CHAIR

DANE EAGLE

     (239)   772-1291    District phone          (850)   717-5077    Tallahassee        Dane.Eagle@myfloridahouse.gov   

HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP

MICHAEL GRANT

     (941)   613-0914    District phone         (850)   717-5075    Tallahassee        Michael.Grant@myfloridahouse.gov    

HOUSE MINORITY LEADER & HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS DEMOCRATIC RANKING MEMBER

KIONNE L. McGHEE

     (305)   256-6301    District phone         (850)   717-5117    Tallahassee        Kionne.McGhee@myfloridahouse.gov   

HOUSE MINORITY LEADER PRO TEMPORE

TRACIE DAVIS

         (904)   353-2180    District phone             (850)   717-5013    Tallahassee            tracie.davis@myfloridahouse.gov    

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS CHAIR

W. TRAVIS CUMMINGS

     (904)   278-5761    District phone         (850)   717-5018    Tallahassee        Travis.Cummings@myfloridahouse.gov    

HOUSE TAT APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR

JAY TRUMBULL

         (850)   914-6300    District phone             (850)   717-5006    Tallahassee           Jay.Trumbull@myfloridahouse.gov    

HOUSE TAT APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE VICE CHAIR

BRAD DRAKE

       (850)   951-0547    District phone           (850)   717-5005    Tallahassee         brad.drake@myfloridahouse.gov    

HOUSE TAT APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE DEMOCRATIC RANKING MEMBER

BARBARA WATSON

     (305)   654-7100    District phone         (850)   717-5107    Tallahassee    barbara.watson@myfloridahouse.gov

Your State Representative and State Senator

flsenate.gov

myfloridahouse.gov

 

Special thanks to Janeen Mason, of the Lighthouse ArtCenter for sharing this information

and the backgrounders which helped our staff write this article

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

How Federal Regulations Affect The Future Of The Art Glass Industry; Which Arts Industry Is Next?

If you’ve been following the news in the glass world, you already know that major U.S. art glass manufacturers have suspended operations.  The Rickie Report is concerned about the environment and at the same time, anxious about the situation of the manufacturers of products for the arts industry.  How will these issues affect the American-based arts industry, one of the pillars of American creativity and job security? Will oil-based paints be the next target?   We bring you an inside look with Taylor Materio of McMow Art Glass and a Call To Action to share your voice with the lawmakers who will affect the future of the Arts.

 

 

 

 

 

THE  STATE OF  THE  ART GLASS  INDUSTRY,

AND HOW IT BODES FOR THE FUTURE

OF THE AMERICAN ARTS INDUSTRY

 

An Overview With Taylor Materio

 

 

mcmow_logo_4colorproces_AI8 [Converted]

 

TRR:  Recently a number of art glass manufacturers in the U.S. have been stopping production or closing.  Tell us what is happening.

TM:

You may already know that Spectrum Glass is halting production and going out of business in the next few months. Uroboros Glass in Portland will be picking up production of the System 96 product line. However, the situation in Portland is growing out of control with knee jerk reactions to some sensationalist journalism not based on science, but based in fear and speculation. Production at Bullseye Glass is being suspended with the prohibition of use of the heavy metals necessary to produce colored glass. The fear hasn’t stopped with the West Coast, as Kokomo Opalescent Glass has been accused of pollution, as well.

 

What you need to know:

  •  The stained and colored glass industry is a small, but home grown American manufacturing phenomenon.

 

  • It’s unique in the world, provides steady manufacturing jobs for American workers, and is an exporting industry as well.

 

  •  This industry of just six manufacturers is facing $2.5-3.5 million of capital investment due to regulatory changes with no advance warning. This investment may prove too much for several of them to bear.

 

 

  • Government intervention is needed for them to meet the goals of the new regulations in such a short time frame.

 

 

 

  • The industry is willing to meet new regulations, but it needs reasonable time to do so.

 

 

  • The manufacturers are all owned by single individuals and their families, who work daily at their plants. They don’t have the resources of publicly traded corporations to simply pay up and move on.

 

 

  • These manufacturers supply thousands of other businesses and craftsmen who depend on their unique glass styles to complete their work. They are now at risk of being put out of work themselves.

 

 

  • The very suppliers who have created the iconic glass of the American stained glass legacy are at risk due to this situation.

 

 

  • There is currently no actual verification that the glass industry is connected to the detected toxins. EPA did moss testing, a new science, which raised public concern. They retested and found the levels to be safe.

 

  • International glass suppliers will make their products available to consumers in the U.S.  There is little or no regulation during their manufacturing process.  The public should be concerned about the possible environmental impact from these products.

 

 

TRR:  We are concerned about our environment.  How can we get this information to the public?

TM:

 

 If you’d like to learn more about the situation, there is a group on Facebook dedicated to Glass Artists for Air Quality:

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/489874894517980/

 

 

TRR:  What is your perspective on how this will affect others in the arts industry?

TM:

 

Some artists’ paints contain heavy metals and other potentially hazardous toxins.   I am concerned that this is the tip of the iceberg and the EPA will be looking at other arts-related materials.  This is a wake-up call to everyone involved with the arts!  While the arts industry will be able to purchase glass manufactured elsewhere in the world, we need to be concerned about the toxicity of those materials, where there is less oversight than here in the U.S.

 

TRR:  What can people do to help  assure a safer environment and still save the U.S. art glass industry?

TM:  

They can write or email their local lawmakers to make them aware.  When the public brings it’s voices together, we can work with legislators.  Here is an example of a letter.

 

 

WHAT  CAN  YOU  DO?

  There are a handful of glass manufacturers in the US who are being forced to introduce expensive equipment into their manufacturing process without a clear and reasonable timeline for implementing these procedures. If you would like to contact your Representatives in Washington to let them know that the glass art industry is a precious part of the US economy that we don’t want to see disappear due to unreasonable regulations, a sample letter is below. Feel free to change it up.

 

To find your Senator: http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
To find your Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

 

 

Dear Senator or Representative,

This week Spectrum Glass in Washington announced that after 40 years of producing colored art glass they will be closing their doors in July. They are the main American manufacturer of many types of colored art glass. This affects an estimated 30,000 Stained Glass, Fused Glass and Glass Blowing Artists, Stores, Art Studios and Hobbyists across America. Fortunately, arrangements have been made for Uroboros Glass in Oregon state to take over production of some of their Art Glass Product line. But there is still a huge problem threatening the American Art Glass Community.

 

 

The entire U.S. art glass industry is now being evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with respect to potential new regulations.  Spectrum is the first to announce it’s closure, but other glass producing companies are also evaluating their options. Uroboros Glass has suspended production of two-thirds of their glass while EPA re-evaluates their standards. Long-standing interpretations of air quality regulations are being reevaluated, and if new regulations are applied to our industry, it would require substantial capital expenses. Spectrum Glass Company has operated well within existing environmental guidelines and has been the only stained glass manufacturer to employ baghouse technology on furnace exhaust. Still, they have already accrued extraordinary, unanticipated expenses since the start of the EPA evaluation and cannot withstand additional investments of an unknown scale. These business collapses will have a ripple effect across the country.
The stained and colored glass industry is a small, but home grown American manufacturing phenomenon. It’s unique in the world, provides steady manufacturing jobs for American workers, and is an exporting industry as well. This industry of just six manufacturers is facing $2.5-3.5 million of capital investment due to regulatory changes with no advance warning. This investment may prove too much for several of them to bear.
Government intervention is needed for them to meet the goals of the new regulations in such a short time frame. The industry is willing to meet new regulations, but it needs reasonable time to do so.
The manufacturers are all owned by single individuals and their families, who work daily at their plants. They don’t have the resources of publicly traded corporations to simply pay up and move on.  These manufacturers supply thousands of other businesses and craftsmen who depend on their unique glass styles to complete their work. They are now at risk of being put out of work themselves. The very suppliers who have created the iconic glass of the American stained glass legacy are at risk due to this situation. There is currently no actual verification that the glass industry is connected to the detected toxins. EPA did moss testing, a new science, which raised public concern. They retested and found the levels to be safe.

 

 

 

The current EPA review and imposed freeze of production is all based in fear not fact.  I want to protect the environment, but I do not want to crush an American Art Industry on assumed causation.

 

 

 

Please do whatever you can to prevent the loss of small businesses,  jobs and an entire art form. The American Art Glass community needs your help.

Regards,
Your Name

 

 

For more information please contact:

Taylor Materio, Creative Director
McMow Art Glass, Inc
561-585-9011 x108
Fax: 561-586-2292
taylor@mcmow.com
www.mcmow.com
www.facebook.com/mcmow

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291