This policy sets forth:

(1) Guidelines for SNA’s involvement in public policy, litigation, and advocacy, whether at the local, state, federal, or international levels; and

(2) The procedures for determining when and to what extent SNA should become so involved. SNA’s goal is to serve its members by providing them with information regarding issues of concern to them, raising their awareness, and motivating them to take action.

SNA recognizes that its members have a diverse set of interests, philosophies, backgrounds, and beliefs. As SNA members, they have in common their commitment to support the visual arts and humanities, to promote professional ethics and standards, and to address issues that may arise in their various workplace environments.

Accordingly, SNA’s interests focus on a particular set of issues:

– Philanthropy for the visual arts
-Conservation of the artistic integrity of public spaces
-Higher education, including the promotion and use of technologies such as communications to facilitate distance learning
-Government funding for the visual arts
-Freedom of expression and censorship
-Intellectual property rights, such as copyright
-Tax policy, as it affects SNA members
-Conditions in the university, museum, and other workplace environments of SNA members

From time to time, The SNA may supplement or modify the issues set forth above to meet broadly supported interests or needs of its members. Any such change requires the approval of the National Executive.

SNA Involvement
As resources permit, SNA monitors legislative, regulatory, and policy developments, litigation, and advocacy efforts relating to the issues set forth above. The SNA may choose to become more directly involved in:

-Regional and local issues that have broader implications for the SNA or its members, such as state and municipal actions affecting visual arts policy and funding.
-Developments that affect specific institutions or individuals, but have a national profile or would establish an important precedent, such as litigation or municipal actions that threaten art and art-related institutions.
-Issues at the federal level, such as support for the federal cultural agencies, or issues that implicate first amendment or tax policy matters, as indicated above.
SNA may become directly involved in these developments in one or more ways, including by:

-Lending its name by way of endorsement and support
-Writing letters
-Contacting press
-Meeting with legislators, policymakers, or other responsible officials
-Working collaboratively with other organizations
-Motivating and coordinating grassroots action by its members

The nature, timing and degree of SNA involvement will necessarily vary depending on the matter and issue, and available resources. The SNA generally should refrain from becoming directly involved in any matter where a substantial proportion of SNA members have made known their opposition to such involvement.

In connection with any advocacy matters, individual members of the SNA and the board of trustees may not suggest that they are speaking for or on behalf of SNA unless specifically authorized to do so by the President or the National Executive, depending on the nature and urgency of the matter.

The Honourable Secretary and the Chair of the Bureau of Information are assigned to monitor the issues of interest to SNA and, in the first instance, to determine in which issues the SNA will become directly involved, and the nature and degree of that involvement. They are responsible for drafting letters and press releases, coordinating grassroots activities and meetings with officials and policymakers, and providing updates on SNA’s activities to the National Executive.

Where significant effort or resources of SNA or its members may be required or committed for direct involvement, the Honourable Secretary and the Chair of the Bureau of Information will consult with the President. Depending on the timing and urgency of the issue, they will consult with or, if necessary, obtain the approval of the President and the National Executive. A counsel appointed by the  SNA  must approve any matters involving litigation, such as SNA statements in support of or in opposition to a litigant, or the filing of any briefs by or on behalf of SNA.

To ensure that SNA members understand the SNA policies and involvement, are committed to the Society’s objectives, and have the information needed to be effective advocates, SNA posts advocacy alerts, advocacy updates, and other information for member advocacy activities (such as contacting elected officials) on the SNA website. SNA also publishes advocacy updates in its monthly email newsletter.


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