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CAA Advocacy Policy


This policy sets forth: (1) guidelines for CAA’s involvement in public policy, litigation, and advocacy, whether at the local, state, federal, or international levels; and (2) the procedures for determining when and to what extent CAA should become so involved. CAA’s goal is to serve its members by providing them with information regarding issues of concern to them, raising their awareness, and motivating them to take action.


CAA recognizes that its members have a diverse set of interests, philosophies, backgrounds, and beliefs. As CAA members, they have in common their commitment to support the visual arts and humanities, to promote professional ethics and standards, and to address issues that may arise in their various workplace environments.

Accordingly, CAA’s interests necessarily focus on a particular set of issues:

  • government funding for the arts and humanities
  • freedom of expression and censorship
  • intellectual property rights, such as copyright
  • conservation of the artistic integrity of public spaces
  • higher education, including the promotion and use of technologies such as communications to facilitate distance learning
  • philanthropy for the arts and humanities
  • tax policy, as it affects CAA members
  • conditions in the university, museum, and other workplace environments of CAA members

From time to time, CAA may supplement or modify the issues set forth above to meet broadly supported interests or needs of its members. Any such changes require the approval of the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors.

CAA Involvement

As resources permit, CAA monitors legislative, regulatory, and policy developments, litigation, and advocacy efforts relating to the issues set forth above. CAA may choose to become more directly involved in:

  • issues at the federal level, such as support for the federal cultural agencies, or issues that implicate First Amendment or tax policy matters, as indicated above
  • regional and local issues that have broader implications for CAA or its members, such as state and municipal actions affecting arts policy and funding
  • developments that affect specific institutions or individuals, but have a national profile or would establish an important precedent, such as litigation or municipal actions that threaten art and arts-related institutions

CAA may become directly involved in these developments in one or more ways, including by:

  • lending its name by way of endorsement and support
  • writing letters
  • contacting press
  • meeting with legislators, policymakers, or other responsible officials
  • filing, or joining, amicus briefs
  • working collaboratively with other organizations
  • motivating and coordinating grassroots action by its members

The nature, timing and degree of CAA involvement will necessarily vary depending on the matter and issue, and available resources. CAA generally should refrain from becoming directly involved in any matter where a substantial proportion of CAA members have made known their opposition to such involvement.

In connection with any advocacy matters, individual members of CAA and the board may not suggest that they are speaking for or on behalf of CAA unless specifically authorized to do so by the president, the Executive Committee, or the board, depending on the nature and urgency of the matter.

A CAA staff member is assigned to monitor the issues of interest to CAA and, in the first instance, to determine in which issues CAA will become directly involved, and the nature and degree of that involvement. This staff member is responsible for drafting letters and press releases, coordinating grassroots activities and meetings with officials and policymakers, and providing updates on CAA’s activities to the Board of Directors.

Where significant effort or resources of CAA or its members may be required or committed for direct involvement, the staff member will consult with the executive director. Depending on the timing and urgency of the issue, the staff member will consult with or, if necessary, obtain the approval of the president, the Executive Committee, or the Board of Directors. Any matters involving litigation, such as CAA statements in support of or in opposition to a litigant, or the filing of any briefs by or on behalf of CAA, must be approved by the CAA counsel.

To ensure that CAA members understand CAA policies and involvement, are committed to CAA objectives, and have the information needed to be effective advocates, CAA posts advocacy alerts, advocacy updates, and other information for member advocacy activities (such as contacting elected officials) on the CAA website. CAA also publishes advocacy updates in its weekly email newsletter, CAA News (please subscribe today).