March 20, 2017

The Port: Request from PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans

Dear PAMM members and friends,
 
The proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will have disastrous effects for the arts industry nationwide, and in Miami, including at PAMM. Now is the time for all of us who care about the future of the arts to let our lawmakers know just how fundamental the arts are to this community, and to the country as a whole.
 
The NEA is the single largest national funder of nonprofit arts in America. With only a $148 million annual budget, NEA investments in the arts contribute to a nonprofit arts industry that generates $135 billion in economic activity annually, supports 4.1 million jobs across communities large and small, and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue. Nevertheless, current funding for the NEA amounts to just 46¢ per capita.

In the Miami area alone, some 35 organizations have received more than $2 million in NEA funding since 2014. These grants have provided essential support for exhibitions, education programs and performances in disciplines including theater, dance, poetry and visual arts. Thanks to the NEA, organizations in this community have been able to offer summer dance camps, artist-in-residency programs, and arts education for students of all ages.
 
The value of an NEA grant isn’t just in the dollars awarded. An NEA grant award is an endorsement that arts organizations can leverage into hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional support. For example, just this past year PAMM received a $25,000 grant from the NEA for the exhibition Julio Le Parc: Form Into Action. With this internationally recognized seal of approval, PAMM was able to secure multiple additional private donations in order to present this extraordinary exhibition in Miami.
 
Similarly, the NEA has been instrumental in laying the foundation for some of PAMM’s most impactful youth programs. In 2010, the NEA granted PAMM $10,000 for the fledgling Brick x Brick program, an urban contemporary art and design program for local at-risk teens. This early, national support legitimized Brick x Brick and helped PAMM obtain six-figure funding that has ensured the continued existence of the program and grown the population served by more than 100%. It has been a two-time finalist in the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.
 
There is still time to make your voice heard. Please, tell your elected representatives how you want your money invested. Here are three ways you can do that:
 
1. Sign the national petition created by Americans for the Arts by no later than March 21. https://secure.artsactionfund.org/page/s/trump-arts-petition
 
2. Send a message to your US Representative and US Senators. Use this link to see/edit a sample e-mail and send directly to your area’s representatives. https://www.votervoice.net/ARTSUSA/Campaigns/47344/Respond
 
3. Post your support of the arts to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. #SavetheNEA #ArtsAdvocacy
 
As always, thank you for supporting the arts in this community, and for your continued support of PAMM.
 
Sincerely,

Franklin Sirmans Signature

Franklin Sirmans
Director
Pérez Art Museum Miami