March 05, 2019

Udall, Dingell Reintroduce CREATE Act to Expand Arts Opportunities for American Students, Families, and Entrepreneurs

Will bolster the creative economy in New Mexico, Michigan, and across the country

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12) re-introduced legislation to stimulate the development of arts businesses, jobs and the creative economy in New Mexico, Michigan and across the nation. The Comprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy (CREATE) Act - would promote the expansion of arts and grow the creative economy by promoting creative and performing arts in local economic planning, and leverage federal resources to ensure artists and arts entrepreneurs have access to federal economic development tools.

Udall first introduced the CREATE Act in 2016 and Udall and Dingell reintroduced the CREATE Act in 2017. Since its original introduction, the lawmakers have worked closely with artists and stakeholders —improving the bill to better support local communities. The bill is being introduced to coincide with 2019’s Arts Advocacy Day, where hundreds of supporters of the creative economy and the arts will go to Capitol Hill to support the bill along with additional arts policy priorities. 

“New Mexico artists help form the heart and soul of our state — shaping our culture, stimulating the tourism economy, and creating jobs,” said Udall, Co-chair of the Senate Cultural Caucus.“Under this administration, funding for the arts has come under attack, making this legislation more important than ever. Artists and artistic entrepreneurs who are integral parts of our diverse communities and cultures should be able to access the resources that they need. On the Appropriations Committee and in the Senate, I will continue to fight for strong resources to help protect and grow New Mexico's creative economy.” 

Udall is the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and has successfully increased funding for these important endowments after the administration proposed ending their funding.

“Across the country, support for the arts and humanities helps us dig deeper into our cultural heritage and stimulate local economies,” said Dingell. “The CREATE Act provides critical investments in our creative workforce and industries while empowering artists and providing them the resources necessary to realize their potential. Arts are woven into our culture and investing in our creative workforce moves our country forward.”

Key provisions of the bill include:

— Encourages the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to work with micro-lenders, traditional lenders and regulators to ensure that artists and entrepreneurs have access to micro-loans, and loan program criteria are not discriminatory toward arts-related businesses. 

— Supports the development of SBA technical assistance programs targeted to meet the needs of the creative economy. 

— Ensures the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Administration supports the arts industry through their traditional economic development tools, such as incubators and grant programs. 

— Establishes an Artist Corps (similar to the AmeriCorps) within the Corporation for National and Community Service to help expand access to arts and arts education in communities, and to assist art entrepreneurs with grant writing, marketing, and financial planning.

— Creates a demonstration project to promote creative and performing arts in local economic planning. 

— Establishes measures to expand cultural and educational opportunities for American students and families by encouraging foreign governments to lend artwork to U.S. museums and educational institutions and expediting the visa process for foreign visual and performing artists hosted by American organizations.

— Expands qualifying activities under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to include creative placemaking or integrating arts, culture, or design in programs that advance community development.