Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Artist Grants from Mass Cultural Council

The deadline for artists' grants from the MCC is
December 9th. I understand that the application for
these grants is very simple and straightforward.
Please go to the following URL for more information:


Disciplines eligible to apply in FY2006 are:
Drawing/Printmaking/Artist Books
Fiction/Creative Nonfiction
Traditional Arts
Postmark Deadline: Dec. 9, 2005

These are individual artists' grants.


Absolutely Art Fest in Acton, MA, May 13, 2006. Location: Parker Damon School lobby and cafetorium, Acton, (new, attractive school with ample parking). We are seeking artists to submit three images for consideration in drawing, painting, sculpture, metal, printmaking, ceramics, jewelry, wood, glass, photography, paper and mixed media. The deadline for entries is February 15, 2006. Entry fee $25.00. The booth fee for accepted artists is $25.00 for 10?x10? space. Artists provide booths, tables, display units. No commissions taken. Requests for entry form to: Absolutely Art, P.O. Box 753, Acton, MA 01720-0753, or download form at: www.actonabsolutelyart.com

From John Caggiano

Senate Bill Lets Artists Claim Price for Gifts
Artists who donate their work to a museum would earn a tax deduction based on full fair market value under the measure.

Currently such work receives only a deduction based on the cost of materials unless it is donated posthumously by the estates.

The measure was approved as an amendment to a broader $59.6 billion tax relief bill passed by the Senate early Friday. It now goes to a House-Senate conference committee. The House version of the tax relief bill does not include the arts provision, but the senators who introduced the amendment - Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, and Pete V. Domenici, a New Mexico Republican - said they were hopeful that the committee would support it.

Under the bill, artists could donate their work during their lifetimes at full market value provided that it is properly appraised and handed over at least 18 months after it is created.

The provision seems likely to open the way for more acquisitions by cash-strapped museums. "It's very important for cultural institutions and libraries to be able to be the recipient of these works of art that otherwise might go into private hands," said Mimi Gaudieri, the executive director of the Association of Art Museum Directors.

"Especially for small to midsize institutions with modest acquisition funds, as a gift from the artists, it's a great opportunity to enhance their collections," Ms. Gaudieri said.

The donated work must be related to the purpose or function of the museum or charitable organization receiving the donation.

Mr. Schumer, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said the measure would even the playing field for arts donors. "Right now, artists are better off waiting until after they die to donate their works to a charity or a museum," he said, adding that the amendment "fixes that problem and treats artists the same as anyone else who works hard and wants to donate something to charity at the fair market or appraised value."

Arts professionals described the measure as long overdue. "Artists donate to cultural nonprofits or other nonprofits, and all they get is the cost of their materials," said Tom Healy, president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which represents arts groups downtown. "If you have a painting that's worth $5,000, you may be able to deduct $20 for the canvas."

As long as the work is physically tangible, it can be contributed as a deduction, said Robert L. Lynch, president and chief executive of Americans for the Arts, an advocacy group. "A score has value just like a painting," he said.

Applying the provision may present challenges for the Internal Revenue Service, given that appraising a work of creativity is often a highly subjective process. "It's a pretty new day in tax policy," said Dean A. Zerbe, a senior tax lawyer and investigator for the Senate Finance Committee. "It has the potential for people to want to go back and expand it."

He suggested that some professionals might seek a deduction for a product like a legal brief or a medical operation. "It's something the house will have to look at closely," Mr. Zerbe said.

The bill also comes with stricter rules for the qualifications of appraisers. "The public is now going to be made aware of what a qualified appraiser is," said Fran Zeman, the former chairwoman of the personal property committee of the American Society of Appraisers. "It's important for everyone to understand the importance of using someone who is qualified."

Ms. Zeman said that noncash contributions to charitable groups are often overvalued. The Internal Revenue Service has grappled with the valuation of donations ranging from automobiles to frequent-flier miles.

Mark W. Everson, the I.R.S. commissioner, raised that issue in testimony last spring before the Senate Finance Committee. "Valuation issues are often difficult," he said. "Overvaluations may arise from taxpayer error or abuse as well as from aggressive taxpayer positions."

From Pat Lowrey Collins

In brief "Mother & Child" is a concert of motets, mass settings, and music of Hanukkah and Christmas. Some carols you'll know, some will be new to you… they are all "Joyful Music of the Season." The singers will be joined by piano, organ, bassoon and 2 flutes! Please join us on either Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m., Christ Church of Hamilton & Wenham, 149 Asbury St., Hamilton, or on Dec. 4 at 4:00 p.m., St. Paul's Episcopal Church,166 High St., Newburyport.
Tickets will be available at the door or you can purchase them from me or online and receive a discount. Adults $20Seniors $15, 21 and under free. Details are at Cantemus.
We've been working long and hard to prepare this concert and truly hope you'll be able to share it with us.
Pat Collins