Americans For The Arts Inc

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Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With 45 years of service, we are dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.


Americans for the Arts' mission is to increase private and public resources and advance public policies that create a climate in which the arts can thrive and promote participation in the arts by all Americans.


Americans for the Arts has a 45-year history. It is the product of an unusually successful merger of two nonprofits in 1996--the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies and the American Council for the Arts. Americans for the Arts embraces the best of both, serving members at the local level while recognizing leadership in support of the arts, and promoting the same, on a national scale. The organization that exists today grew from modest beginnings nearly a half-century ago to become a sophisticated, multi-faceted team dedicated to creating a climate in which the arts can thrive throughout our country.


Americans for the Arts conducts programs in five strategic areas, including: Policy and Advocacy: By building a stronger nationwide advocacy infrastructure, we continue to be a major player in shaping arts policy. Our online Arts Action Center is a virtual toolkit for activists, and the annual Arts Advocacy Day conference brings entertainment, arts, education, and policy leaders to Capitol Hill to make the case for the arts. Research and Information: Action-oriented research gives arts leaders, elected officials, and citizen advocates policy information they can use. Our influential studies make the case for the social, economic, educational, and cultural benefits of the arts. Online databases make our research tools and publications easily accessible. Visibility and Recognition: It takes a clear and persistent message to raise public awareness of the value of the arts. In many arenas--including a national public awareness campaign and awards for national arts leadership--Americans for the Arts puts the arts in the spotlight. Strategic Alliances and Partnerships: Connections with people and organizations in every sector and industry associated with the arts--government, business, philanthropy, and entertainment--are crucial in realizing our goals. Professional Development: Arts leaders need opportunities for learning, dialogue, and sharing strategies with colleagues. We expose experienced and emerging professionals to the ideas, issues, and tools that support success.


Americans for the Arts' efforts seek to make a case for the arts and build strong partnerships between the public and private sector to ensure that the arts contribute to the creation of more livable communities. A few examples of how our work is making a difference:

Our third Arts & Economic Prosperity report, released in 2007, shows that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166 billion for our national economy and supports 5.7 million jobs. We know this evidence is helping local communities, large and small, build the case for continued investment in the arts and the message is being heard in communities from Salina, Kansas to Seattle, WA.

Since 2002, MetLife National Arts Forum Series has brought together thousands of arts and business professionals to discuss issues of mutual interest. The series has explored the connections between the arts and workforce development, including implications of provocative new data that suggests our schools are not preparing students for the challenges required by the 21st century economy and the solutions that the arts can offer. The 2008 series of forums will take up the issues of leadership and diversity.

Americans for the Arts is ensuring that arts and arts education are part of the national conversation during the 2008 presidential campaign. We have developed a proposed policy statement that covers ten issue areas and provides suggested policy ideas.


* Foster an environment in which the arts can thrive and contribute to the creation of more livable communities.

*Generate more public and private sector resources for the arts and arts education.

*Build individual appreciation of the value of the arts.


Robert L. Lynch is the president and CEO of Americans for the Arts where he has worked since its inception in 1996. He was executive director of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies for 12 years, and managed the successful merger of that organization with the American Council for the Arts to form Americans for the Arts. In his 30th year of work for the arts industry, Bob is motivated by his personal mission to empower communities and leaders to advance arts and arts appreciation in society. He has presented more than 1,000 speeches and workshops in 49 states and 8 countries, for audiences ranging from Native American tribal gatherings to the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe to the President of the United States. Lynch currently serves on the boards of the Craft Emergency Relief Fund and the United Arts Organization of Washington, D.C. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. Lynch plays the piano, mandolin, and guitar, and lives in Washington, D.C.


United States



WASHINGTON, DC 20005-4940

Phone: (202) 371-2830

EIN: 52-1996467

Arts and Culture


Arts Education

Making the Case

Americans For The Arts Inc

Regular price $25.00

Your gift will support Americans for the Arts’ ongoing work to provide parents and teachers nationwide with the appropriate tools to make the case for arts education in our public schools. Check out online resources like our Ten Tips for Parents to learn more about what you can do to advocate for arts education and familiarize yourself with the movement that we are helping to...

Arts Leaders

Next Generation

Americans For The Arts Inc

Regular price $150.00

Your gift will support scholarship aid for young artists and arts professionals to attend professional development programs, including the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention and National Arts Marketing Project Conference. Both gatherings offer emerging arts leaders a productive meeting ground for professional development, networking and personal renewal. Join fellow art lovers to help develop the next generation of arts leaders.

Support Public Art

Public Art

Americans For The Arts Inc

Regular price $50.00

Your gift will help PAN serve the needs of public artists and public art programs throughout the United States. Help us ensure that the field continues to grow and that everyone has access to art that is free, engaging, and has lasting impact.