COVID-19 Relief Package Briefing: An Americans for the Arts Virtual Check-In
Recorded On: 03/31/2020
COVID-19 Relief Package Briefing
An Americans for the Arts Virtual Check-In
Join Americans for the Arts staff who will overview our advocacy and research relating to the new federal COVID-19 Relief Package. Speakers will discuss Americans for the Arts COVID-19 response resources, the new legislation, what parts relate to arts organizations, artists, and the creative economy and what you should expect in the next few weeks.
- Robert Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts & Action Fund
- Ruby Lopez Harper, Sr. Director of Local Arts Advancement
- Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research
- Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Executive Director, Americans for the Arts Action Fund
- Narric Rome, Vice President of Government Affairs and Arts Education
- Peter Gordon, Director of Federal Affairs
This recording is free to all who register.
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Robert L. Lynch
President and CEO, Americans for the Arts
Robert L. Lynch is president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. With more than 43 years of experience in the arts industry, he is motivated by his personal mission to empower communities and leaders to advance the arts in society, and in the lives of citizens.
In 1996, Mr. Lynch managed the successful merger of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies, where he had spent 12 years as executive director, with the American Council for the Arts to form Americans for the Arts. Under his 33 years of leadership, the services and membership of Americans for the Arts have grown to more than 50 times their original size. He has personally reached audiences in over 2,000 locations spanning all 50 states and more than a dozen nations, with diverse constituencies ranging from Native American tribal gatherings to the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe to the President of the United States.
During his tenure at Americans for the Arts, Mr. Lynch has overseen six mergers including the Arts and Business Council, Inc. and the Business Committee for the Arts into Americans for the Arts. He has also created the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and its connected political action committee to establish arts-friendly public policy through engaging citizens to advocate for the arts and arts education.
Under his direction, Americans for the Arts has become a leader in documenting and articulating the key role played by the nonprofit arts and culture industry, and their audiences, in strengthening our nation’s economy including its signature study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts community, Arts and Economic Prosperity V. He has also been instrumental in creating a strong portfolio of projects and information about the transformative power of the arts in non-arts areas such as civic dialogue, social problem solving and work with the Pentagon, West Point, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on the arts and military.
Mr. Lynch currently serves on the board of the Independent Sector. He has also served two terms on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, a position appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. In 2017, he was the inaugural recipient of the JFK Commonwealth Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. In 2014, he was awarded the Sidney R. Yates Award for Outstanding Advocacy on Behalf of the Performing Arts, and he was selected as one of the most influential executives in the nonprofit sector for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50.
Mr. Lynch earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and enjoys playing the piano, mandolin, and guitar. He lives in Washington, DC.
Ruby Lopez Harper
Vice President, Equity and Local Arts Engagement
Americans for the Arts
Mexican, Mother, Wife, Dancer, Photographer, Poet and Social Justice Warrior.
Ruby is the Vice President, Equity and Local Arts Engagement for Americans for the Arts. Her portfolio includes external equity strategies and field education, leadership development, local arts advancement, and cohort building for the local arts agency field, arts and culture administrators, and arts marketers. She is the chief architect of the National Arts Marketing Project Conference. She was selected as a 2019 Arizona State University Practices for Change Fellow. She was recognized as an 2019 Inspirational Woman (Arts Advocate) by “And I Thought” Women in Literature. She is a steering committee member for the National Coalition on Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, serves as Chair of the Gard Foundation, serves on the board for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (Grants Committee/Advocacy Committee) and serves on the WETA Community Advisory Council.
Ruby’s work has focused on equitable access, grantmaking, supporting individual artists, community development, economic development, cultural tourism, marketing and public art. She draws on a varied background that includes corporate affairs, community relations, volunteerism, employee engagement, marketing and communications, and business administration. She served on the Emerging Leaders Council for Americans for the Arts, was the primary contact for the Arts and Economic Impact Study for Central Ohio and recently served as a mentor with Arts Administrators of Color DMV. She is a 2017 National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Advocacy Leadership Institute Fellow, Class of 2017 American Express Leadership Academy Alum and Class of 2010 Next Generation of Leaders Fellowship program.
Vice President of Research
Americans for the Arts
Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research at Americans for the Arts—the national advocacy organization for the arts—where he has been empowering arts advocates since 1991. Randy stands out as a noted expert in the field of arts funding, research, and using the arts to address community development issues. He publishes Americans Speak Out About the Arts, the nation’s largest public opinion study about the arts, and produces the two premier economic studies of the arts—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national economic impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, a mapping study of the nation’s 675,000 arts businesses and their employees. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts blog received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for best blog post of the year. Randy led the development of The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the U.S. and the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture—launched in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. In the late 1990’s, Randy collaborated with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to create Coming Up Taller, the White House report on arts programs for youth-at-risk; and the U.S. Department of Justice to produce the YouthARTS Project, the first national study to statistically document the impact of arts programs on at-risk youth. A sought-after speaker, Randy has given speeches in all 50 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.
Randy has been a policy specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, founded the San Diego Theatre for Young Audiences, and worked in medical research for Stanford University and Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. His board work includes the League of Historic American Theaters. Randy is a past Chairman of the Takoma Park Arts & Humanities Commission, during which time the Commission completed a cultural plan, established the city’s Poet Laureate and public art programs, and led the development of a million-dollar conversion of the city council chambers into a performing arts space.
Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs, Americans for the Arts
Executive Director, Americans for the Arts Action Fund
Nina is both Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs at Americans for the Arts as well as the Executive Director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. Since 1993, Nina has served as the chief policy strategist for Americans for the Arts’ federal, state, and local government and public affairs work, grassroots advocacy campaigns, policy development, and national coalition-building efforts with both cultural and civic organizations to advance the arts in America. In 2009, she spearheaded the very successful “Arts = Jobs” advocacy campaign that strategically secured $50 million of federal support for more than 7,000 arts jobs and millions of dollars more for arts infrastructure projects within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Nina produces several programmatic events annually, including National Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill; the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and the National Public Leadership in the Arts Awards, which are presented in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors.
Serving simultaneously as the executive director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and its connected Political Action Committee, the only dedicated arts PAC in America, Nina mobilizes the political and legislative efforts of more than 420,000 citizen activists in advancing arts policy issues among legislators and candidates seeking federal public office. She recently completed ArtsVote2012, culminating with high profile arts policy events at both the Republican National Convention in Tampa and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. She is a graduate of The George Washington University with a B.A. in French Literature, and of The University of Richmond School of Law with a J.D. She is a member of the Virginia State Bar.
Vice President of Government Affairs and Arts Education
Americans for the Arts
Narric Rome serves as Vice President for Government Affairs and Arts Education at Americans for the Arts. In his role he manages federal, state, and local government advocacy, grassroots campaigns, policy development, and national coalition-building efforts with cultural, civic, and private sector organizations with the goal of influencing public policies that advance direct and indirect support for the arts and arts education.
Narric is responsible for promoting the Americans for the Arts’ message to Congress and the Biden Administration, and leading the policy development for the annual National Arts Action Summit, including Arts Advocacy Day, which involves coordinating over 85 arts organizations as partners. In 2019, the advocacy effort by Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund to "#SaveTheNEA" was celebrated by the Public Affairs Council with their Lobbying Innovation Award.
Most recently, Narric has pursued a national campaign to boost the creative economy and workforce by building support for a trio of congressional bills including the Creative Economy Revitalization Act, the CREATE Act and PLACE Act in Congress.
Narric also oversees the Americans for the Arts education program that seeks equitable access to the arts through advocacy at the national, state and local levels. This work has included overseeing a $1.5 mil. three-year multi-state policy initiative, and successful passage of the National Arts In Education Week resolution through both bodies of Congress.
Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Narric worked on the policy staff of Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign in Vermont and served as a legislative aide to Secretary Richard Riley at the U.S. Department of Education where he received the Peer Recognition Award in 1999. Earlier in his career, Narric worked on Capitol Hill, at the Podesta Group and on several state and national political campaigns. He is the immediate past-president of the Vermont State Society.
Narric holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
Director of Federal Affairs
Americans for the Arts
Peter joined Americans for the Arts in January 2019. Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Peter served as the Associate Director of Government Relations for the Council on Foundations, where he focused on tax policy and advocated on behalf of foundations on Capitol Hill. Before joining the Council, he was a Government Relations Specialist for the National Association of College Stores in Washington, DC. Previously, Peter worked on Capitol Hill in both the Senate, as a Staff Assistant for former Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL), and the House, as a Legislative Assistant for Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA).
Peter grew up in Massachusetts and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University and a BA in History and Political Science from Williams College. During college, he worked at the ’62 Center for Theater and Dance, where he developed a deep appreciation for the arts. Peter loves to visit museums and attend theater performances. He lives in DC with his wife, Corey, their daughter, Alex, and their son, Taylor.
Americans for the Arts Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource and Response Center
CARES Act Table of Loan, Grant and Compensation Opportunities for the Arts (This table is a helpful resource and is being updated almost daily as information becomes available.)
The Economic Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Arts and Cultural Sector Survey
The Economic Impact of Coronavirus on the Arts and Culture Sector Dashboard
National Endowment for the Arts FAQ and Information for Applicants and Grantees in Response to COVID-19
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