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An urgent message from the AAMD about
The Artists' Fair Market Value Deduction Bill

We received the following urgent communication about a bill now before the Senate and House of Representatives which affects all artists. We are reprinting it here as received.

Dear AAMD Colleagues:

I am happy to report that the artists' fair-market value deduction bill has been reintroduced in both the Senate and the House. This year both bills have the same name and, as in the past, are identical bills -- although they each have a different bill number. They are also the same bills that have been introduced in each Congress since 1999.

In the Senate, S. 548, the "Artist-Museum Partnership Act" was once again introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Robert Bennett (R-UT) to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for their unfailing support of this bill. The Senate bill currently has 19 cosponsors (see list attached). If your senators are not on the list, would you contact them and ask them to cosponsor (see contact information and draft letter below).

In the House H.R. 1524, the "Artist-Museum Partnership Act" was introduced by Representatives John Lewis (D-GA), Jim Ramstad (R-MN) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).

Representative Lewis gave a rousing introduction to the bill last week to a standing room only crowd at Arts Advocacy Day when he compared the arts to the wings of the bird of freedom that carried the civil rights movement forward when he marched in Selma with Reverend Martin Luther King. He said the movement was given life by the arts in its songs, posters, photographs, paintings and plays.

In past years there have been over 100 cosponsors in the House in support of this legislation. Past cosponsors and new members to Congress all must be contacted and invited to cosponsor (see contact information and draft letter below.) Would you please fax or email me copies of the letters to you send to the Hill, they are important when I do follow up visits, my contact information is below.

With your help I believe that this is the year the bill will pass.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or need more information.


Anita M. Difanis
Director of Government Affairs
Association of Art Museum Directors
1319 F Street NW
Suite 201
Washington, DC 20004
Phone 202-638-4520
Fax 202-638-4528
Email aamdgov@aol.com


If you know your legislators' name you can call
the Capitol Switchboard at  202-224-3121 and ask
for the phone and fax number of your legislator.
Letters to the Hill must be faxed, since postal
service is irregular to legislators? offices. I do
not recommend emailing legislators -- they receive
so many emails they are often ignored or sometimes
deleted. Unfortunately, their web site will not
likely give a fax number -- for that you will need
to call their office or the Capitol Switchboard.

If you do not know your legislators' names: for
the House go to http://www.house.gov at the top
left put in your zip code to find your
representative; for the Senate go to
http://www.senate.gov at the top right see Find
Your Senators.


[Insert a paragraph about how the legislation
would help a non-profit institution you know and
why it would be important to your community.
Personalize it in any way you wish.]

[Address for Representatives]
The Honorable _____________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

[Address for Senators]
The Honorable _____________
U.S. Senate
Washington,  DC 20510

Dear Representative ____________: or,
Dear Senator _____________:

I urge you to become a cosponsor of [insert House
or Senate bill number] the "Artist-Museum
Partnership Act" which would allow artists to
deduct fair-market value for self-generated works
donated to a non-profit institution.  Passage of
this legislation would enable museums, libraries
and archives to solicit original works from
artists, writers and composers who are both
regional and national and help us strengthen the
collections in  [name your community or
institution]. Currently, an artist, writer or
composer can only deduct the cost of materials to
create the work, which is not a large incentive to
donate, particularly since the majority of
artists, writers and composers in this country
earn very little.

Since the law allowing artists to deduct the
fair-market value of self-generated works to a
museum or library was repealed in 1969 there has
been a dramatic decline in the number of such
gifts offered to institutions. Many national and
important regional artists, writers and composers
sell their original works to private collectors or
abroad, which effectively keeps them from ever
being enjoyed by the American public. We are, in
essence, deprived of part of our cultural and
artistic heritage.

I look forward to hearing that you have become a
cosponsor of this most important cultural
legislation and to sharing that information with
[my community, my board of trustees, etc.].

[Your name and affiliation, if appropriate]

Emily Roberts
Association of Art Museum Directors
120 East 56th Street
Suite 520
New York, NY 10022
Tel: 212-754-8084
Fax: 212-754-8087