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Review for Art Pride New Jersey Foundation Inc, Burlington, NJ, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been connected to ArtPride for about 10 years in a variety of capacities: as a funder, I managed a corporate foundation budget that contributed to the ArtPride Foundation; as a chair of a non-profit arts organization; and finally as a member of ArtPride's Board of Trustees. ArtPride has developed a reputation for excellence in its advocacy campaigns that transcends its primary clients, the arts organizations around the state of New Jersey. Legislators, arts advocates and corporate supporters appreciate ArtPride's grassroots approach to advocacy in this state. Several years ago, then Governor James McGreevey threatened to abolish all grants from the state. ArtPride's systematic grassroots campaign to rally not only arts organizations but supporters and patrons is widely credited with forcing Governor McGreevey to back down on his threat to discontinue grants funding for the arts, cultural tourism and history. Moreover, the campaign's success is largely credited with having led to a dedicated funding source for the arts, cultural tourism and history in New Jersey. As a product of the intense public reaction generated by arts advocates, legislation was enacted by New Jersey lawmakers that ensured state funding for the arts from a dedicated revenue stream produced by an occupancy tax known as the Hotel/Motel tax. Even in the financial crises provoked by the stagnant and unpredictable economic environment of the last two years, ArtPride's leadership in its advocacy efforts has protected the arts organizations in New Jersey from the elimination of state funding. ArtPride's use of electronic communications is a model for grassroots mobilizing for the purposes of getting the messages to legislators and the media in a timely fashion. Thousands of letters and emails are largely responsible for a newfound respect for the impact that the arts community has on the economic development of this state. The mantra, "The Arts Mean Business," created by ArtPride as a means of building recognition, and respect, --at the same time that it communicates an important message--to identify the arts as an economic engine with which to be reckoned. A word or two about the leadership of the organization is in order. As Executive Director, Ann Marie Miller's effective, reasoned approach to helping ArtPride craft appropriate messages is a model of professionalism and garners admirers and advocates well beyond the arts community. And, with the forceful, articulate leadership of Mark Packer, the Board and membership are well represented, and highly respected, by legislators and the media. Witness Mark Packer's op-ed piece during the 2009 pre-holiday freeze on state funding proposed by former Governor Corzine as only one example of the tone, and effectiveness of ArtPride's messaging and outreach. In my view, ArtPride has no peer when it comes to grassroots advocacy and the respect it has engendered on behalf of the arts organizations in the state of New Jersey.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my role as President of a non-profit arts organization. ArtPride is solely responsible for reversing a threatened elimination of state funding to the arts under former Governor McGreevey that would have diminished my organization's capacity to survive.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Role:  Board Member & My task is to represent a "corporate" point of view that is combined with that of a Board President and trustee of an arts organization. To that end, I participate in discussions about messaging and advocacy efforts. Most recently, I serve as a member o.