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.
We're gathering data and impact stories through this survey link. The survey will capture a broad spectrum of data and stories that will demonstrate how the arts and culture workers triumphed and survived this crisis as well as the effect of the outbreak on operations through cancelled events, lost wages, and additional expenses. We encourage you to share this survey with your communities.
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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
Senior Director of Local Arts Advancement, Americans for the Arts
Ruby is the Senior Director of Local Arts Advancement for Americans for the Arts. She is the Co-chair for the National Coalition on Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, serves as Co-chair on the Support for Individual Artist Steering Committee for Grantmakers in the Arts and serves on the WETA Community Advisory Council. She is also on the board of the Gard Foundation. Prior to joining AFTA, Ruby was the Director of Grants and Services at the Greater Columbus Arts Council in Columbus, OH. At the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ruby focused on grantmaking, community development, economic development and tourism, and public art. She has a varied background that includes corporate affairs, marketing, and business administration. She served on the Emerging Leaders Council for Americans for the Arts and was the primary contact for the Arts and Economic Impact Study for Central Ohio. She also worked with PhilanthropyOhio on their Member Services Committee.
Originally from California, where she was a dance instructor in her spare time, Ruby worked with local community theatre companies creating choreography for their musical theatre productions earning numerous local, state and regional recognition for her work both on and offstage. She has and continues to serve on grant panels for the Ohio Arts Council, Kentucky Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, MetroArts Nashville and the National Endowment for the Arts. Ruby has an associate degree from Cerritos College, a certificate in Corporate Community Involvement from Boston College, and is a trained meeting facilitator.
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 & Executive Director, Americans for the Arts Action Fund
Nina Ozlu Tunceli 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. For 25 years, Nina has served as the chief policy strategist for Americans for the Arts’ federal, state, and local public affairs work, grassroots advocacy campaigns, policy development, and national coalition-building efforts with cultural and civic organizations to advance the arts in America. In 2004, she also became the executive director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, a separate 501(c)(4) organization with a connected Political Action Committee—the only dedicated arts PAC in the country. Nina now mobilizes the political and legislative efforts of more than 365,000 citizen activists in advancing arts policy issues to legislators and candidates seeking federal public office. She is a graduate of George Washington University and the University of Richmond School of Law.
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 Trump Administration. He serves as the senior lobbyist for the Americans for the Arts legislative portfolio where he researches and pursues untapped federal funding opportunities. Additionally, he is editor of a dozen resource guides connecting cultural projects and initiatives to federal funding programs.
Narric’s responsibilities include leading the policy development for the annual National Arts Action Summit, including Arts Advocacy Day, which involves coordinating over 85 arts organizations as national partners. Narric oversees the Americans for the Arts education program that seeks equitable access to the arts and includes the State Policy Pilot Program, and advocacy programs at the national, state and local levels. Most recently, Narric has launched a national campaign to boost the creative economy by building support for the CREATE Act (S.661, HR1649) in Congress. Narric has 20 years of experience in the public policy and congressional arena. 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 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.
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, and their daughter, Alex.
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 Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.