The SAAC mission is to enrich the community through the arts. We work to increase access to the arts through all segments of our community including arts experiences and arts education for young and old alike. Because exposure to the arts has real, measurable impact. Research from the U.S. Department of Justice demonstrates students who participate in the arts, both in school and after school, show increased academic performance. Data from The College Board shows students who take 4 years of arts and music classes while in high school score 98 points better on their SATs than students who took only a half year or less. The National Institute on Aging reports that “research on music, theater, dance, creative writing, and other participatory arts shows promise for improving older adults’ quality of life and well-being, from better cognitive function, memory, and self-esteem to reduced stress and increased social interaction.”

These results show that the arts are far from expendable. 

But as economic anxieties rise, the funding of arts experiences and education is threatened. What can you do to help? It’s simple. The resources below will help you make a real impact in keeping the arts alive and accessible throughout Illinois. 

Take Action to Support Nonprofit COVID-19 Relief

As Congress debates the next COVID-19 funding package – and thinks about what relief comes after – it’s critical that we collectively remind our representatives that our organizations need their support.

Right now, a bipartisan letter is circulating the Hill, asking that nonprofits on the front lines of serving our communities get the critical relief they need to keep going. The call to action is simple: ask your Representative to co-sign the letter.

The deadline is April 28 and with just a few quick clicks, you can help guide billions of dollars to nonprofits and charities in need across the country.

Click here to send a letter to your Rep —> 

Fix the CARES Act to Support the Nonprofit Sector

The CARES Act was an important first step for supporting nonprofits during this pandemic. But some critical fixes need to happen to ensure that all organizations can continue to serve their communities. Please take 60 seconds to send a letter and tell to your representative to co-sponsor the Save the Organizations that Serve (SOS) America Act. This bipartisan legislation expands and makes permanent the universal charitable deduction and ensures nonprofits are a priority in all future COVID-19 relief programs.

Click here to take action ->

  • Supporting the arts is a policy issue. Below you’ll find information about active legislation and the arts organizations that advocate for them.

Arts & Cultural Agency and Education Programs Funding 

Interior Appropriations Bill
U.S. House bill includes a $12.5 million increase for national grantmaking, to $167.5 million,
for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Education Appropriations Bill
U.S. House bill provides a $6 million increase to Education Department arts education grant
program–the largest increase to date.

Arts & Veterans, Servicemembers, and Trauma Victims

Defense Department Appropriations Bill
U.S. House bill includes language to increase support for creative arts therapies for treating
Defense Department servicemembers with traumatic brain injuries and psychological health

Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill
U.S. House bill includes language that would dedicate $5 million in funding for creative arts
therapies in treating veterans with traumatic brain injuries and psychological health conditions
through the VA’s Office of Patient Care and Cultural Transformation through their Whole Health

RISE from Trauma Act–S.1770
Bipartisan legislation to improve the identification and support of children and families who
experience trauma. It includes support for local and state arts agencies and adds a new
trauma program grantmaking category at the National Endowment for the Arts.

Arts & Juvenile Justice Programs

Justice Department Appropriations Bill
The U.S. House bill includes language to call on the Department of Justice Office of
Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention to include arts-based juvenile justice
programs among its strategies.

Arts & the Creative Economy

The CREATE Act–H.R. 1519, S.650
Through minor adjustments to existing federal programs, the legislation takes steps to better
invest in our country’s workforce and creative industries, while empowering the
entrepreneurs and artists and encouraging their role as contributors to the small business community.

Arts & Transit

The STAR Act–H.R. 3437
A bill to reinstate flexibility and allow local transit authorities to incorporate art into federallyfunded transit projects and facilities. Transit agencies and communities benefit from integrating art into transportation projects. Artists aid in transit design, which improves safety
and security, increases ridership, reduces vandalism, facilitates communication and
community pride, and boosts economic activity through tourism.

Arts & Technology

Save the Internet Act–H.R. 1644, S. 682
This bill restores net neutrality and broadband competition protections for all Americans,
ensuring that artists and arts organizations not be disadvantaged based on the business
practices or other preferences of Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Arts & Tax Policy

The Artist-Museum Partnership Act–H.R. 1793

A bill to provide artists a fair market value tax deduction when they donate their art work to

The Performing Artist Tax Parity Act–H.R. 3121

A bipartisan bill to increase the existing Qualified Performing Artist (QPA) tax deduction
income ceiling to more appropriately reflect today’s cost of living: $100,000 for individuals
indexed to inflation.

The Universal Charitable Deduction–H.R. 1260

A bill to allow all taxpayers (both itemizers and non-itemizers) to utilize the charitable tax deduction.

Click here to check the latest status of each bill and to take action by contacting your members of Congress to support these bills.