We take an active and vocal role in arts advocacy by:

  • Publicizing the intrinsic value and economic impact of the arts and the need to increase local, state and federal government funding 
  • Monitoring pending legislation and other initiatives that impact the nonprofit cultural sector and working artists
  • Informing the creative community about issues that impact their lives and livelihoods and encouraging their activism
  • Championing policies and practices that value diversity, foster equity, promote inclusion and improve accessibility, and challenging systems and policies that create inequality, oppression and disparity
  • Defending freedom of artistic expression, including protecting street performer rights
  • Signing amicus briefs in court proceedings
  • Encouraging our volunteer lawyers and accountants to engage in arts-friendly advocacy
  • Supporting initiatives that impact artists’ ability to work and thrive, including development of affordable live/work spaceaccess to healthcare and safety preparedness
  • Collaborating with cultural partners to share consistent messaging

VLAA is a proud member of Missouri Citizens for the Arts and Arts Alliance Illinois.

Pulphus v. Ayers

St. Louis artist David Pulphus completed Untitled #1, which depicts a civil rights demonstration, while he was a student at Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School. His allegorical painting was one of more than 400 works selected as part of the 2016 Congressional Art Competition. Untitled #1 was on display in the U.S. Capitol’s Cannon Tunnel for more than six months without incident. After several Congressmen called the portrayal of police offices disrespectful, Stephen Ayers, Architect of the Capitol, who is responsible for the operation of the U.S. Capitol complex, retroactively determined the painting did not comply with the suitability guidelines and removed it from the exhibit.

Read more about Pulphus v. Ayers and our involvement with the case here.