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April 6, 2011 / Christian Clansky

Arts advocates and celebrities take their message to Capitol Hill [News, 4.6.11]

Yesterday was Arts Advocacy Day, Americans for the Arts’ annual convergence of hundreds of advocates on Capitol Hill making the case for arts and arts education.

This year, Kevin Spacey and Alec Baldwin were on hand to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee about funding for the National Endowment for the Arts – which is currently threatened by a cuts in the range of $20-40 million.

When the hearing was canceled due to emergency budget negotiations, Spacey instead delivered his remarks to a huge crowd. Committee hearing or not, Arts Advocacy Day drew quite a bit of attention to a very worthy cause. (WTOP, 4/6)

Video: A flash mob chorus sings America the Beautiful during the event kick-off.

HEALTH | Study Examines How Much of Health Grants Go to the Needy (Chronicle, 4/5) The report –Towards Transformative Change in Health Care: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy – says that “[t]hirty-one percent of foundations that give money to improve people’s health direct at least half of those grant dollars to poor communities.”

A spotlight on page 27 and 28 of the report features the Consumer Health Foundation’s work and discusses their approach to health justice.

WORKFORCE | Though unemployment continues to be a serious challenge for parts of our region, the area as a whole has the lowest unemployment rate among large cities in the nation at 5.9 percent.  (WBJ, 4/6)

EDUCATION | Prince George’s schools suspend foreign hiring after being fined (WaPo, 4/6)

EVENT | On April 15th, Venture Philanthropy Partners is hosting a funder briefing on their Social Innovation Fund youthCONNECT initiative – featuring partners College Summit, KIPP DC, LAYC, Metro TeenAIDS, Urban Alliance, and Year Up NCR. Social Innovation Fund director Paul Carttar will be the featured speaker. [Registration and details.]

While we’re thinking about Kevin Spacey, I have to share my favorite Spacey moment – SNL’s Star Wars auditions featuring Spacey impersonating Christopher Walken, Walter Matthau, and Jack Lemmon. Darrell Hammond’s Richard Dreyfus is also phenomenally hilarious.

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