The Latest in Tax Policy for Artists, Organizations, and Philanthropy | Briefing Session

Recorded On: 04/05/2021

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About This Session

Exploring tax policy for artists, organizations, and philanthropy in the 117th Congress. The discussion in this advocacy briefing session will include how the universal charitable deduction, Legacy IRA Act, Artist-Museum Partnership Act, Performing Artists Tax Deduction, and other potential policies address tax inequities impacting the cultural sector.

This session is sponsored by Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA).

Speakers 

Peter Gordon, Americans for the Arts
Sally Schaeffer, Uncorked Advocates
David Thompson, National Council of Nonprofits
Brian Flahaven, Council for Advancement and Support of Education
Sandra Karas, Actors' Equity Association
Kim Schoenstadt, Kim Schoenstadt Studio/Now Be Here Art
Maureen Bray, Art Dealers Association of American (ADAA)

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Brian Flahaven

Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

Council For Advancement And Support Of Education

Brian Flahaven is vice president, strategic partnerships. He also directs CASE’s government relations activities and tracks federal and state legislative and regulatory issues of concern to CASE members, as well as overseeing CASE’s public college and university foundation programs.

Prior to joining CASE, Brian was the manager of government relations and public policy at the Council on Foundations. He also served as the first Public Policy and Philanthropy Fellow at the Council of Michigan Foundations and worked for former Illinois Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood.

Brian received his bachelor’s degree in political science, economics and history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Master of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. 

In 2016, Brian earned the designation of Certified Association Executive from the American Society of Association Executives. From 2011 to 2016, Brian served as an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner representing the southeastern Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington DC.

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, their daughter, Alex, and their son, Taylor.

Sandra Karas

Secretary-Treasurer

Actors' Equity Association

Sandra Karas is a working actor and Secretary-Treasurer of Actors’ Equity Association and a member of SAG-AFTRA, both performing arts unions. She is also an attorney in private practice in the areas of Taxation, Financial Planning, Estates, Trusts, Contracts and Business Law.  She is a frequent lecturer on tax, finances, estates and long-term planning, trusts and advanced directives to the entertainment industry and as well as to the legal and accounting communities. Among other union leadership roles, she chairs Equity’s House Affairs Budget Committee and SAG-AFTRA’s local Reinstatement Obligations Review Committee.  She has authored articles on taxation for Equity News and other publications for more than 35 years. Ms. Karas spearheaded an effort to lobby for legislative reform in the Internal Revenue Code that resulted in the 1986 Tax Reform Act’s creation of the Qualified Performing Artist provision to allow for dollar-for-dollar deductions for low- to middle-income performers.  This remains the Code’s first and only provision of its kind to address the needs of our industry and has benefitted thousands of employees who work in theatre, film, television, radio, streaming, webcasts, music, and video gaming work.  Ms. Karas also currently serves as Director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and has been a pro bono preparer and instructor for more than 35 years.  Ms. Karas has a BFA from Ithaca College, a MA from Schiller International University in Berlin, a MFA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD from Syracuse University.  She holds licenses in the areas of tax accounting, securities and investments, and the law, and is admitted to practice in all New York State courts, Federal District Court, United States Tax Court and the United States Supreme Court.

Sally Schaeffer

Consultant

UNCORKED ADVOCATES

Bringing nearly two decades of experience, Sally Schaeffer is founder and owner of Uncorked Advocates, a federal government relations firm, which she started after the 2016 Presidential election. Among her current clients are some of the largest nonprofits in the country, including American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Association, and YWCA USA.

She specializes in nonprofit tax, appropriations, and women and children’s issues, particularly gender-based violence. Previous to starting her own firm, Sally represented more than 500 nonprofits and foundations as the Government Relations Director at Independent Sector. She also served as the Washington advocate for Girls Scouts of the USA. Sally started her career on Capitol Hill working for former Rep. Louise Slaughter as her Legislative Director and then Chief of Staff.

Ms. Schaeffer holds a B.A. in Political Science from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Fel’s School of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sally is also the immediate past President of the nonpartisan Women’s Congressional Golf Association.

Kim Schoenstadt

Artist and Organizer of Now Be Here Art

Kim Schoenstadt Studio / Now Be Here Art

Kim Schoenstadt is a Los Angeles based artist. She is known for projects such as “Now Be Here” which gathered nearly 1,000 women-identifying and non-binary artists for a photograph. The photograph visually showed the world artists that are not always included in exhibitions and collections. In 2020 Now Be Here transitioned into a nonprofit that hosts a visual directory of national and International women-identifying and non-binary artists work and developes opportunities to promote their work to wider audiences. She is also known for large scale wall drawings which weave architecture and sculptural shapes together to make a memory map. Kim’s work will also be featured at the Fairview Heights Metro station on the Crenshaw/LAX line in Los Angeles which is set to open later this year.  Born in Chicago with a B.A. from Pitzer College, CA, her selected exhibitions include: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL; Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL; Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Prague Biennale; Poland Biennale, Lodz, PL; The Getty Center, Los Angeles; and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. 

Instagram: @kimschoenstadt , @nowbehereart

David Thompson

Vice President of Public Policy

National Council of Nonprofits

David L. Thompson is Vice President of Public Policy for the National Council of Nonprofits, the nation’s largest network of nonprofit organizations. The organization is active at the local, state, and federal levels advancing nonprofit policy priorities in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Through its member state associations and nonprofit allies, the Council of Nonprofits amplifies the voices of America’s local community-based nonprofit organizations, helping them engage in critical policy issues affecting the sector, manage and lead more effectively, collaborate and exchange solutions, and achieve greater impact in their communities.

Thompson has served in all three sectors over the course of his career. He practiced law for 17 years specializing in labor relations, employment law, government contracting, and subsequently directed federal and state advocacy for a government relations firm. He served in the public sector from 2001 to 2007 as a Senior Counsel and as Policy Director to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, notably as Counsel to the Pension Protection Act conference committee. Those experiences have served him well in guiding advocacy efforts for the network of the National Council of Nonprofits. He was honored as one of the NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 for 2019 and 2020.

David Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a law degree from the University of Georgia Law School.


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