How the CARES Act Supports the Arts Sector

Recorded On: 04/08/2020

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About this Webinar

With the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) signed into law, Americans for the Arts Government Affairs staff and guests will lay out the various pieces of the legislation and how it pertains to the arts sector.  With $2.3 trillion of funds, there are several sections of the legislation that can directly, and indirectly support artists, arts organizations, and small businesses in the creative economy.

Speakers:

  • Robert L Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts
  • Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs & Executive Director, Americans for the Arts Action Fund
  • Narric Rome, Vice President of Government and Affairs and Arts Education
  • Peter Gordon, Director of Federal Affairs
  • Lauren Cohen, Government Affairs and Grassroots Manager
  • Sarah M. Mercer, Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
  • Sonia Church Vermeys, Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
  • Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President and Counsel for Public Policy, United Way Worldwide

Take the Coronavirus Impact Survey

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.


Americans for the Arts is providing the arts and culture field with this and other COVID-19 webinars and resources at no charge to you. Please consider supporting our ability to deliver this important work with a donation by clicking HERE 

We also encourage you to become a member with us for access to even more webinars and other resources, please visit www.americansforthearts.org/membership for more information 

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.

Narric Rome

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.

Peter Gordon

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.

Lauren Cohen

Government Affairs and Grassroots Manager, Americans for the Arts

At Americans for the Arts, Lauren works with the Federal Affairs team in federal lobbying and government affairs activities, including composing position statements, monitoring federal legislation, drafting legislative proposals, coalition building with the Congressional Arts Caucus and other Congressional staff.  She enjoys teaching others how to become compelling arts advocates and how to pursue strong arts policy.  Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Lauren worked for a member of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives for over two years where she managed the arts, humanities, and museums portfolio.  Before coming to Washington, DC, Lauren worked for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia.  There, she held positions in the Education Outreach, Historical Interpretations, and Curatorial departments.  Lauren earned her Master of Arts degree in Public History from James Madison University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Tennessee.  Lauren's passion for the arts began at age three when she first started ballet lessons and continues to this day as she enjoys dance and theater performances, museums, and art shows.

Sarah M. Mercer

Shareholder Attorney, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

Sarah Mercer pairs her litigation background with her passion for local and state government to develop creative political and administrative solutions for her clients’ legal problems. She helps her clients overcome challenging and entrenched legal issues by navigating the complex and fickle political landscape.

Through her close ties with elected officials and bureaucratic staff at all levels of local and state government, including legislative leaders, department directors, mayors, governors and attorneys general, Sarah forms connections and bridges relationships within the firm and for her clients.

Her multi-state practice, which includes Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, encompasses lobbying, political and regulatory advocacy, campaign finance, land use and gaming. Sarah’s involvement in several high-profile policy matters demonstrates her leadership and skill in the field. She succeeded in persuading the Colorado General Assembly to authorize private equity investment in the provision of elder care on behalf of InnovAge, which resulted in the expansion of services to Colorado’s seniors while allowing them to remain in their own homes. Sarah was also successful in the unanimous passage of state legislation which removed licensure requirements so that individuals can watch up to three pets in their homes without regulatory oversight and can more easily participate in the sharing economy through platforms like the firm’s client Rover.com. Further, her advocacy on behalf of Smart Colorado resulted in legislation that prohibits edible marijuana in forms that can be confused with traditional candy and secured a $9.2 million increase in funding for marijuana education in elementary, middle and high schools across the state.

Sonya Church Vermeys

Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

Recognized as a top Nevada lawyer, Sonia Church Vermeys helps clients navigate Nevada's complex regulatory requirements related to commercial development and liquor and gaming licensing. Her practice primarily focuses on commercial transactions with an emphasis on gaming, liquor, real estate and land use matters. She also advises clients on corporate restructuring and financings.

Sonia assists in business transactions by advising clients on purchase and sale agreements, particularly those with hospitality and licensing requirements, and can also assist on land use regulations for project development. Sonia's hands-on knowledge of the hospitality industry means she can help clients build a regulatory foundation that will guide them from acquisition through operation.

With intimate knowledge of new Nevada Gaming Control Board regulations concerning various aspects of the gaming industry, Sonia is well-positioned to help her clients set up and stay current on their compliance plans. She also represents individuals and businesses before regulatory agencies including the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada Gaming Commission, Clark County Commission, City of Henderson, City of Las Vegas and City of North Las Vegas.

Steve Taylor

Senior Vice President and Counsel for Public Policy, United Way Worldwide

Steve Taylor is Senior Vice President and Counsel for Public Policy for United Way Worldwide.  Since 2007, he has led United Way's public policy work, serving as the chief liaison between the United Way system, Congress and the Executive Branch.  Mr. Taylor spent over 10 years working in various staff positions for four United States Senators, most recently serving for two years as General Counsel to then U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE).  Mr. Taylor served as Senior Counsel on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights for six years.  Mr. Taylor serves on the public policy committees for Independent Sector and the National Council of Nonprofits. Mr. Taylor serves on the board of Nonprofit Vote.  Mr. Taylor holds a bachelor of arts in political science from University of New Mexico, and a juris doctor from the University Of New Mexico School Of Law.

Website: https://www.unitedway.org/

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