COVID-19 Relief Package Policy
Recorded On: 04/29/2020
About this Plenary
This plenary session take a deep look at how the COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress has affected the arts and culture sector. We will review how organizations, artists, and small businesses in the creative economy are pursuing additional relief legislation that Congress is expected to consider this spring. This session will feature remarks from U.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) and Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
- Robert L Lynch, Americans for the Arts
- Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Americans for the Arts
- Ruby Lopez Harper, Americans for the Arts
- Peter Gordon, Americans for the Arts
- Heather Noonan, League of American Orchestras
- Todd Dupler, Recording Academy
This event is a part of the National Arts Action Digital Summit 2020.
How to View the Recording: locate the “COVID-19 Relief Package Policy Recorded” box on the right-hand side of this page. Click the box and a red VIEW VIDEO button will appear. Click on that button and the recorded session will open in a pop-up window. Please note that you must be logged in to your account and registered for this event in order to view the recording.
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.
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. Since 1993, 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 420,000+ 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.
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.
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.
Vice President for Advocacy, League of American Orchestras
Heather Noonan is the Vice President for Advocacy for the League of American Orchestras, the national service organization for the more than 1,600 orchestras in communities across the United States. From the League’s Washington, D.C. office, Heather represents orchestras to national policy leaders in the arenas of government arts funding, education reform, international cultural activity, and nonprofit and philanthropic policies, and leads the League’s efforts to communicate the public value of orchestras and to increase orchestras’ local advocacy capacity. Heather directs the League’s technical assistance to orchestras navigating the complex aviation and protected species rules related to travel with musical instruments, and represented global music interests in treaty negotiations at the 17th and 18th Conferences of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. She established and edits the League web site Artists from Abroad: The Complete Guide to Immigration and Tax Requirements for Foreign Guest Artists. Heather is the convener of the Cultural Advocacy Group, the working group of national arts, humanities, and cultural stakeholders that collaborate year-round to advance federal policy priorities.
Heather serves on the national advisory committee of the Arts Education Partnership, and has served on the boards of directors for the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras and the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning. Prior to joining the League in 1996, she was a legislative associate for the American Arts Alliance. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and studied art history at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
Managing Director, Advocacy & Public Policy, the Recording Academy
Todd Dupler is the Managing Director, Advocacy & Public Policy for the Recording Academy, the organization internationally known for the annual GRAMMY Awards. In this role, Dupler works with Academy leadership to develop policy positions on issues affecting the music community, and represents the interests of the Academy’s members before Congress and federal agencies. In addition, he manages GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day and District Advocate, the Academy’s signature grassroots advocacy programs. Dupler also coordinates state and local advocacy with the Academy’s 12 regional chapters.
With over two decades of experience in Washington, D.C., Todd Dupler has extensive knowledge of Capitol Hill and the legislative process. He previously served as legislative director for Rep. Lamar Smith during Smith's tenure as chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property. In this role, Dupler helped facilitate negotiations to reform copyright law and was a liaison to stakeholders in the creative industries.
Dupler also served on the legislative staff for Rep. Kevin Brady and Sen. Phil Gramm. In addition, he was a Presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Labor and has experience in state government. Dupler received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and his Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science from Baylor University. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and serves on the board of the Texas State Society of Washington, D.C.