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Arts Advocacy Day 2016

March 9, 2016 01:15 PM
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Arts Advocacy Day 2016

On March 7th and 8th of 2016, AMTA once again participated in Arts Advocacy Day as a national co-sponsor.  This annual event in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Americans for the Arts, is the only national event that brings together a broad cross section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country.  Attendees collaborate to communicate with Members of Congress the importance of strong public policies and public funding for the arts.

Preparation for this event begins in November when representatives from the co-sponsoring organizations form the Legislative Planning Committee (LPC).  The LPC meets twice a month for 4 months to determine the Issue Briefs that will be the focus of discussions with Congress on Arts Advocacy Day.  Although AMTA has been a co-sponsor for many years, we have been active members of the LPC for the past 7 years, assisting with development of an Arts in Healthcare Issue Brief.  Each issue Brief developed by the LPC begins with specific "asks" of Congress, followed by talking points and supportive background information to assist advocates explain the rationale behind the requests.

This year’s Arts in Healthcare Issue Brief was presented to the Congressional Arts Caucus by AMTA Federal Programs Analyst, Rebecca Preddie, on March 2, 2016.  This year’s “Asks” include:  1) support of H.R. 4063, the Jason Simcakoski PROMISE Act, sponsored by Rep. Bilirakis (R-FL), H.R. 4063 would expand research and education on and delivery of complementary and integrative health services to veterans and develop a pilot program on integration of complementary alternative medicines and related issues for veterans and family members and 2) Enactment of S. 192, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015, sponsored by Senator Alexander (R-TN), This bill reauthorizes funding for support services, including creative arts therapies; directs funding for behavioral health programs; and requires the Administration on Aging to focus on health and welfare needs of older individuals, which could increase access to creative arts therapies and artist-directed health promotion programs.

In addition, on March 7, CBMT Regulatory Affairs Advisor, Dena Register, PhD, MT-BC, and AMTA Federal Programs Analyst, Rebecca Preddie, presented a concurrent breakout session on Arts in Health to registered Arts Advocacy Day attendees.

Representation of music therapy during this national event is a great example of how AMTA works to increase awareness of the profession with Congress and with related organizations. 

 

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