The Columbus Area Arts Council is proud to announce that its Regional Services Director, Jeff Kuehl, has been selected to serve as State Captain for the State of Indiana at National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington DC.
Kuehl will lead a delegation of Hoosier arts supporters in lobbying Indiana legislators for policies that support the arts at the national level, including funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, arts education, and nonprofit tax issues. Indiana Arts Commissioner Sherry Stark is pleased that Kuehl was selected to play such a key role at the March 24 and 25 event. “His passion for the arts and effective organizational skills will help ensure that our arts advocacy message is heard in DC,” said Stark.
Hosted by Americans for the Arts (AFTA) and cosponsored by more than 85 national arts organizations, National Arts Advocacy Day is the largest gathering of its kind, bringing together a broad cross section of America’s cultural and civic organizations to support arts-related issues at the national level. AFTA is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.
One of Kuehl’s main duties as State Captain is to make sure all components of AFTA’s Message of the Day are discussed in meetings in the legislators’ Capitol Hill offices. One of these key points is to endorse Dr. Jane Chu as Executive Director of the National Endowment for the Arts. A resident of Kansas, Dr. Chu received her Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University. Kuehl will attend training sessions with AFTA, train attendees from the Hoosier State on talking points, set appointments with Indiana legislators, and make sure the appointments are kept by attendees.
Indiana State Representative Jud McMillin (District 68) believes art is an important aspect of every culture and community and is always inspired by the incredible talent and creativity that Hoosier artists possess. “As Congress continues to contend with policies affecting the arts, we need more individuals to advocate on behalf of the state to ensure that Indiana continues to be a leader in this area. I applaud Jeff for assuming the role of Indiana’s chief advocate at Arts Day on Capitol Hill, and as a leader in the artistic community already, I’m confident he will represent our state and carry out his new responsibilities effectively,” said Representative McMillin.
Kuehl has been an employee of the Arts Council for 14 years and has been a member of the arts community as an actor and arts advocate for decades. “Jeff has displayed quality leadership skills as an arts advocate. I feel confident that he will be an ardently active representative of Indiana at Arts Advocacy Day in Washington DC,” said Indiana State Representative Eric Koch, District 65. In 2009 Kuehl was selected to be a board member of Indiana Coalition for the Arts (INCA) and is INCA’s current board president, assuming the role in July 2012. Since 2010, Kuehl has served as Door Captain at Arts Day at the Indiana Statehouse, where arts supporters from around the Hoosier state visit their state leaders and inform them about the positive impact of the arts.
Indiana Arts Commissioner, and former Arts Council board member, Suzie Rentschler said of Kuehl, “There could not be a more articulate or enthusiastic advocate for the arts than Jeff Kuehl. We have worked together for almost 15 years and it has always been a joy. He makes a positive outcome on any given assignment. He also has the ability to communicate and clearly explain even the most ‘colorful’ issues. Jeff will be an extremely effective State Captain for Indiana.”
The Columbus Area Arts Council is a public, not-for-profit corporation supported by private donations, the City of Columbus, the State of Indiana through the Indiana Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.