Welcome & Statement from Mayor London Breed

- Welcome to Mayor London Breed- August 2018 -

Arts for a Better Bay Area welcomes and congratulates newly elected Mayor, London Breed, on her post as the chief leader of our dynamic and beautiful City by the Bay. We also thank Mayor Breed and her office for her statement addressing the arts community, in response to our welcome. Please find the statement, here.

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Leading SF Mayoral Candidates and the Arts – Watch and Share Before June 5, 2018 Election

The arts community asked the four leading San Francisco mayoral candidates - Angela Alioto, Supervisor London Breed, Supervisor Jane Kim, and Senator Mark Leno - their position on how to best support the arts in our city.

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The Art of Advocacy

By Demone Carter

Online Commons Contributor

Tension are high within the arts sector with the news of the Trump administration’s credible threat to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Both institutions were founded in 1965 as independent agencies of the federal government to ensure that millions of Americans would have access to arts and culture. Inherent within their creation is the belief that the arts and culture are important to civic life.

Both the NEA and NEH represent a tiny fraction of the federal budget, receiving only $148M in 2016, or 0.0003% of the overall federal budget. Therefore, their proposed elimination would not signify a significant savings for the government. Rather, the rationale for putting the NEA and NEH on the chopping block is grounded in the cynical ideology we have come to expect from the Trump administration.

As a result, the current political context brings to the forefront the need for artists to engage with politics. If we do not, we risk being steamrolled to the margins of American society. Simply put: it is time for arts professionals to engage deeply and in more meaningful ways with the political system that affects the work we do and the communities we serve. Advocacy is the order of the day.

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Theatre Bay Area: Letter on President's Budget

 Urgent Letter from Theatre Bay Area to the theatre & arts community.


March 17, 2017

Dear Friends,

I am sure many of you have received the alarming, but not unexpected, news that the President’s budget proposes to eliminate the nation's cultural agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

First, let me be clear: the cultural heartbeat of our nation is in crisis.

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#ArtsDayOak Social Media Kit

On Tuesday March 21st, in conjunction with the National Arts Advocacy Day (Americans for the Arts), Oakland artists and advocates are launching a campaign to implore Oakland City Council members and Mayor Schaaf to take a real stand for development without displacement by investing in arts as a cultural preservation strategy, starting with $3 million to increase the Cultural Funding Program (keeping artists creating, working, teaching in Oakland) and to develop a deep community leadership process for the 2017 Citywide Cultural Plan.

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Be media ready for March 21st! #ArtsDaySF



Join an all-day campaign to reach out to your local elected officials through social media to thank them for their continued public investment in arts and culture, to encourage them to increase resources to the arts across SF, and to remind them of the value of cultural and creative expression as core to San Francisco values and identity as a city.

The goal is to have every SF Supervisor hear from #ArtsDaySF advocates in all 11 Districts, from every corner of the city, representing a myriad of arts disciplines and project sizes!

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Getting Started With Voter Engagement

Make A Plan

If your arts and culture organization is not already promoting voter registration and getting out the vote, now is an excellent time to start.

NonprofitVote.org offers a voter engagement checklist to help you consider your organization’s capacity and begin a coordinate, achievable effort with your team.

Register Online

Californians with a social security number and a valid California driver's license or California-issued identification card may complete registration online at the California Secretary of State's website.

Voter registration may also be completed at a Department of Motor Vehicles location.

Host a Polling Place 

The Department of Elections is responsible for providing suitable polling sites for each of the 576 voting precincts located in San Francisco. If you have a clean, well-lit, accessible lobby or other space that might be usable, you may contact Precinct Services at (415) 554-4551 or e-mail us at [email protected]

Be a Poll Worker

The City and County of San Francisco and Alameda County are both accepting applications from those interested in becoming poll workers.

Find your Polling Place

You can enter your address and find your polling place on the CA Secretary of State website. Information will be available 2-4 weeks prior to the election.


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Advocacy & Non Profits


On Wednesday, June 29, 2016 several ABBA leaders got the chance to attend the Worry-Free Advocacy training by Bolder Advocacy, An initiative of Alliance for Justice. The training is very relevant as institutions tied to ABBA look for ways to advocate for ballot measure campaigns such as Arts and Homelessness within the confines of what is allowed. Nonprofits are encouraged to lobby and have the right to do so. Many of the activities that can influence policy do not technically meet the definition of lobbying, examples include expressing a view on a ballot, or an indirect call to action. 

During the training useful tools such as the 501 (h) expenditure tests were discussed and contextualized to help nonprofits determine their limits. The training also touched on the importance of tracking contributions to ballot measure campaigns to report on the IRS Form 990, along with the amount of time staff members can spend on ballot measure campaigns before reporting that contribution of staff time.

You can find more resources below along with future training dates.


Election-related Activity:

California Ballot Measures:

Interested in more workshops?

If you would like to bring a Bolder Advocacy training to your organization, please fill out this form, and we will contact you to discuss your options.

You can checkout upcoming public trainings and webinars here!


Have more questions about your nonprofit advocacy rights?

Please feel free to contact the attorney on call at advocacy(at)afj(dot)org or 866-NP-LOBBY (866-675-6229) if you have any questions. In addition, you can share my contact information with anyone who would prefer to receive their asistencia técnica en español: sara(at)afj(dot)org and 510-444-6070 x 2002.


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SF Arts Advocacy Day Needs Your Support


Arts Advocacy day is a day to broadcast our 2016-17 Arts Budget & Policy Priorities and to SHOW our elected officials why the arts are integral to a healthy city, while giving them examples on HOW to support our priorities this year.

when - Monday May 16, 2016 @1pm | where - City Hall steps, Polk St. (1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, 94102)

Please join us in demonstrating that vibrant neighborhoods, healthy communities, and cultural equity make San Francisco a vibrant City.


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Data & Research



Advocacy, Policy Papers and Analysis

Status of Bay Area Nonprofit Space & Facilities
 - 3/16
First regional report on nonprofit displacement, from Northern California Grantmakers
2015 Portfolio: Culture Across Communities - 11/5/15
11-city report on the cultural sector released by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Findings include the Bay Area's strong gains in revenue (+25.9%) as well as the biggest growth in contributed revenue (+39.7%) of any region despite a decrease in individual giving (-20.9%). 

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