U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has some words for an arts advocacy group.


Federal funding for the arts has remained flat for some time, according to Durbin, who spoke to the Arts Alliance Illinois annual members meeting in Chicago, but he warns things could change if the political winds shift. In particular, he believes the Tea Party would be inclined to cut arts funding.


“The push to gut NEA, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting certainly haven’t diminished this year with the emergence of Tea Party voices, primarily in the House but also in the Senate,” Durbin said. “Fortunately we know from past battles how to protect America’s investment in the arts and humanities.”


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Durbin told Arts Alliance members that there are a few things to do to ramp up support for the arts. He says utilizing social media and e-mail to contact legislators is key. The second tip is to have on hand conservative actors and artists who can speak to the importance to the arts. Finally, Durbin says it’s important to show legislators how the benefits travel beyond large cities


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