Moderator: Patricia Pasqual, Director, The Foundation Center (Washington, D.C.)
- Tamara Bibb Allen, Director, Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Robert Cogswell, Director, Folk Arts Program, Tennessee Arts Commission
- Melissa Franklin, Director, Pew Fellowships in the Arts
- Brian Kerrigan, Program Administrator of the Policy, Training, and Analysis Service, Student Financial Aid Programs, United States Department of Education
- Alexandria Wailes, student, University of the Arts
You can't talk about careers in the arts and not talk about money. Here to moderate our panel discussion is Patricia Pasqual, the director of The Foundation Center in Washington, D.C.
Good morning. And a very special welcome for those of you who are outside the Washington, D.C. area. If someone hasn't already mentioned it, I wanted to remind you that last week Washington was rated as the number one metropolitan area in the northeast corridor as the best place to live. When Money magazine was asked why is this so, they said that what really put Washington over the top was the fact that it had the largest number of cultural institutions in this corridor. From the National Gallery of Art to the National Sports Gallery, the arts really enrich this community and so I think it's very significant that you are having your conference here and I think it bodes well for those of you who went to work in the arts.
My name is Patricia Pasqual and I am the director of The Foundation Center. I'm going to be telling you a little bit more about the Center because we are an institution that is very important in the lives of artists. People come to us when they are looking for money to go to school, when they direct arts organizations, and to find money for special projects. I'll speak about that later.
One of [the] most satisfying aspects of [my] work [at] The Foundation Center is the opportunity to meet a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, people from a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. I work with people from small organizations and large organizations and in the process, I hear about a wide variety of societal issues and I meet some of the most amazing people who are trying to resolve them.
Just the other day a woman came in looking for money to train grief counselors and she told me that more people will die [from ?] than during the black plague. A sobering thought, but an interesting one, and this weekend I got the opportunity to read about the issues facing people with disabilities who want to be artists.
I read your concept papers with growing interests because my sister is a struggling artist in New York and many of the issues that you face, specifically the ones about money, I know she is facing - with [a] slightly different spin, but some of the same issues. I was very glad to be able to moderate a panel on money as a barrier to people working in the arts.
The conference planners have assembled a wonderful panel for you this morning. We had a lively conference call last week, and in the interest of time, we will not be giving you the complete biographies of the speakers. They are in your packet under Tab 7 so you can read more about them. The ground rules will be that we will be doing 10-minute presentation from each presenter. We are going to hold questions until the very end and we may not be able to get in the questions at this general session but all of the speakers will be in breakout sessions and you can bring your specific questions to that segment. I have my clock. We will stay on time this morning, I promise. We have broken down the presentation into two parts:
The first three panelists will talk about the broader issues about money as a barrier. Then the last three speakers will talk about resources for artists, so we will talk about the problem and possibly some solutions in the second half. Our first presenter is Tamara Bibb Allen, who is director of the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Tamara Bibb Allen
It's a great pleasure to be here this morning. It's very intimidating to be actually on stage here at the Kennedy Center. In fact, everyone at the office was accusing me of only agreeing to be on this planning committee and be a panelist just so I could make my personal debut here at the Kennedy Center on stage. It does have a lot of appeal but it's amazing how when they lift you up over everybody's head it's all of a sudden intimidating than if we were right there with you. We look forward to being with you later to talk in breakouts.
It's a tremendous honor for me to be here representing the 82 state vocational rehabilitation agencies across the country that are part of the public rehabilitation program. That industry has a long and illustrious career and many of us who have become employed have had experiences with vocational rehabilitation, some of them good, some of them bad. I hope I [can] share insight into that today.
It also is very important to be here today to talk about careers in the arts because it's a topic very near to my personal heart in that I'm married to a fine water color artist who also is a person with a disability, and I know a little of the trials and tribulations of facing the combination of being a person with a disability and also being a professional artist.
The whole notion of careers in the arts, vocational goals in the arts for people with disabilities in some ways presents an interesting paradigm shift for vocational professionals. Thirty years ago, 35 years ago, I went to VR myself as a client, and said I wanted to be a social worker and my counselor said, "Well, you can't be a social worker. You are in a wheelchair. You have to be a teacher because the only jobs that girls in wheelchairs can do is either be a teacher or be a secretary. So which one of those do you want to be?" I said "I don't want to be either one of those - I want to be a social worker."
He went on very patiently to explain to me all of the reasons why I couldn't be a social worker as he saw the job - because I couldn't climb steps, I couldn't go to the housing projects, and so forth. So I went to my school guidance counselor and I said I wanted to be a social worker and my school guidance counselor said "Well, the only two jobs that girls in wheelchairs can [do] are secretaries and teachers. I think you really need to give that up and you need to go on and do one of these things. Which one? Do you want to go to college or do you want to be a secretary?"
So I went on, and being a very stubborn and persistent person, I said we are going to work this out. I kept persisting and going ahead and dragging my VR counselor and school counselor along with me in many ways. I went to school and I got a degree in social work. [When] I was about to graduate, I went to the career guidance center to find out how to get a job. They said "Oh no, we have made a terrible mistake. We have let a girl in a wheelchair do four years of college in a field that you can't get a job in. The only thing you can do is to be a teacher."
So I decided that if nothing else, I was going to go out there and prove all those people wrong and get a job in social work, and I did go into the field of helping people and ended up in vocational rehabilitation for 30 years. I have had that experience, but I think that the reality of how it was 35, 40 years ago where people with disabilities didn't get out much. We didn't have the ADA. We still had no bathrooms we could use. We certainly couldn't participate in the arts as a patron in the kinds of things we could do now.
That whole shift that we have made with the introduction of our civil rights and ADA and all of the progress that we have made in America today creates a whole new paradigm shift. [A paradigm shift] we are up against now where people with disabilities are going into what would be thought of as nontraditional employment - and the arts are certainly a nontraditional employment from the point of view of a vocational rehabilitation program.
But the good news is that vocational rehabilitation is a public program for people with disabilities who have a barrier to work because of their disability. Part of the essence of what vocational rehabilitation is about is about an individualized program for each person who comes to the state vocational rehabilitation agency. I think the challenge for people with disabilities who are coming to VR for services who want to access the money that is available to [them], ... is learning how to work the system.
...You as a person with a disability coming in for services work in partnership with the professional employed in the agency to develop an individualized plan for services for you ... personally. Your involvement, your participation, and your choices [regarding] what you want to do are very, very important and [are] really the driving force behind the program of services that would be developed for you in all of the 82 rehabilitation agencies.
The other thing that's important to know is that the focus of vocational rehabilitation is an employment outcome. I think that somewhere we have to sort of take some reality in thinking about how many dancers start out dancing and go to become famous immediately? How many of them wait tables and dance and wait tables and dance and then finally do more dancing than waiting tables [to] ultimately become dancers?
If we are going to pursue careers where we might not be able to become fully employed immediately, ... part of the challenge is to think ... a little "out of the box" about our career. [For example, ask yourself] "What's a good theater occupation [which will provide me with the] steady income [needed] to get the security from which I can then pursue my ultimate creative goal?" Sometimes being a ... professional dancer in the ballet company like we saw yesterday might not be the job that you could start out with. [Instead,] think [about] the "feeder" kinds of [jobs] that would get you involved with the dance field, with people who know people that can refer you to people and that you could network through and that would be true for any kind of the visual performing arts and all of the other arts administration and other kinds of fields. We have to talk about other skills that might be useful to us to gather and to go into employment.
The purpose of a vocational rehabilitation program is [to develop a plan to acheive your occupational goal] within a reasonable period of time. That is something that's good to know before you go in to talk to people about vocational rehabilitation. I think the other challenge that comes to us in the field of vocational rehabilitation is ... to learn to think "out of the box" that we have ourselves in and we have people with disabilities in. [We must] realize that careers are opening up immensely in America for people with disabilities, and that we have got to continue to push the envelope with the types of choices that we can help people make. [These choices need to be] informed decisions about ... careers in unusual fields or untraditional fields that have not historically been open to people with disabilities in the past. And so for some of us who have been working in our field a long time, it's going to be like my VR counselor who thought that girls in wheelchairs could only do two things. I'm pleased to say that I have over 500 VR counselors working for me back home and they are not like that any more.
If you are encountering folks in our system who are still way back in the other paradigm, then you need to ask for another VR counselor. There are wonderful, creative young people coming into the art just like there are wonderful young people coming in to seek employment. Those people have come in with the new paradigm. They have the idea that they understand the principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act. They understand the variety of ... careers that are available for people.
[Today's disabled artist] seeking employment will come to the agency with some ideas about how to work more strategically with VR as well as their own career. [He or she can] work in partnership with an energetic counselor who is also willing to push the envelope. I believe that there certainly is a role for the vocational rehabilitation program to help people in the field of the arts to access the money.
I appreciate being a part of the panel today. Thank you.
I come from Nashville, Tennessee. Several years ago I was asked by arts supporters in the Nashville area to participate in a panel about careers in the arts, income, and employment opportunities in the arts. [During the panel session, I told the participants that] if they wanted more insights than I [what] could provide them, then they might consider ordering a pizza and asking the delivery person how [his/her] songwriting career was going. It's a tough town.
But making a career out of the arts is a tough business. My reflections of it come [from the perspective of] an arts administrator who has seen through the experience of traditional artists, so I don't consider myself an authority. Ten years ago I was trying to make noise about some of these issues that are being brought up today. I had been tabbed because I have a loud mouth and [am willing to] raise some touching issues.
There is sort of an elitist unrealistic notion that's been floating around the arts for a long time that only artists who are full-time professional artists have the right to be considered artists. I think that's wrong. I think that artists with disabilities are beginning to raise this issue. I think there are lots of other pockets in the arts where people are present - people who have been marginalized for similar issues.
I think one of the [issues] that is toughest of all is [the conflict of] social benefits programs and arts income. I have seen this problem [arise] in many, many different guises, sometimes with artists with disabilities, other times with artists that are marginalized [by their] age, [by] chronic poverty, or [by] illiteracy. We are also living in a time that makes some of these issues very politically charged [interms of the efforts of] welfare reform movements.
There are lots of different programs that may pose this kind of structural problem, not just Social Security, [but also] Medicaid, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, and food stamps [programs] have also raised this issue. Subsidized public housing programs, workers' compensation programs - [all of these programs] have affected different artists in different ways. [One major issue facing artists today is] the problem of [risking] the violations of supplemental income ceilings and restrictions [from artistic income]. We ... arts administrators ... are often not aware of [these issues] until we get to know the experience of the artists better.
It is obvious to arts administrators that the receipt of social benefits programs has discouraged some artists from accepting income from fellowships and other publicly sponsored initiatives [which] celebrate and recognize and encourage artistic excellence. But I think the problem goes deeper than that and I think people who have lived with it understand some of the other implications.
There are also disincentives for artists to realize the full monetary potential of their art or disincentives to pursue the highest standards of excellence of which they are capable when artists practice within legal income. Some artists become vulnerable to marketing arrangements and [face] threats to the stability of their life patterns when they violate the legal income and supplemental income ceilings of the programs from which they receive assistance.
The EDA's National Heritage Fellowships ... stumbled on [this very problem] in 1985, [when] a traditional weaver was announced as one of the annual winners of the National Heritage Fellowship. The press reported that this lady was getting $5,000 [from EDA], after which the representatives from the agencies which administer her social benefits immediately busted her. So, the intent of the [National Heritage Fellowship awards] program was to celebrate this lady's lifetime [of work] and wonderful achievement in traditional arts and culture, and unfortunately, this very embarrassing incident [overshadowed it]. It was resolved by the intervention of a Congressman, but it presented us in folk arts with a classic example [of the lack of a] clear resolution for this [problem] and [the need for us] to be wary. The problem has affected apprenticeship programs in folk arts across the country.
In 1987, the Mississippi Arts Council presented a detailed position paper which documented the experience of an arts administrator mediating a problem with artists - [a problem which] involved a program whereby masters of traditional arts were to be paid to pass their art form on to members of their own culture. It was a case in which many different types of benefits programs were involved. One of the really startling things was that most of the people who became involved in this crisis situation were penalized in their benefits programs far beyond [the time period in which] the actual violation occurred. [Those who violated their] supplemental income ceilings [had to wait] six months to get back into their programs, so complicated were the bureaucratic entanglements.
As a long-time organizer and presenter of concerts, festivals, and special events on grassroots and regional levels, I can tell you that I run into this problem all the time. I can also tell you that every hillbilly band leader in the world has run into the problem as well. How do we report this income? How do we deal with the practicing artists who are affected by these problems? I have had artists absolutely shun my attempts to get them to come to the National Folk Festival or to be nominated for a National Heritage Fellowship because they have said that if it might jeopardize their check, they can't do it.
I have to respect this, and ultimately it boils down to a situation of individual risk, but it's also a situation where as an arts administrator, I feel like I have to have some role in trying to empower, inform, and assist. It puts me in a very difficult position, and I have resolved never to write anything about an artist in my files if I know [he or she is] somehow vulnerable. It's not that I'm participating in any potential violation, but it's that I have to be sensitive to the artist's point of view. In approaching social workers, people in benefits programs, I feel at something of a bureaucratic impasse. Summed up, what do we do as folk arts administrators when our third generation traditional artist is a welfare cheat? It's touchy business.
One other [issue] I want to raise, though, [is one] that is not necessarily on this agenda, but [which] is even more alarming to me. That is the gray area between arts income and cash economy. Working with traditional basket makers in Kentucky and Tennessee since the early 1980s, I have become very aware of how this problem impacts the entire marketing network for communities of traditional artists. People who are in violation of their benefits programs and don't accurately report their income are taken under protection by their dealers, and that protection is sometimes violated: if the artist won't sell at a lower price or sell more baskets, the dealer then threatens to [report] the artist [to the benefits agencies], and have [his/her] food stamp privileges taken away. This is absolutely part of the tradition in the communities of traditional artists with which I am familiar.
I'm not sure how widespread [this problem] is in other arenas of traditional art. I'm sure it's out there [to some degree], but it's something that people don't talk about. It certainly affects not only artists with disabilities but artists [affected by] other marginalizing factors. This entire pattern has also been replicated in the insider folk arts movement in the past 15 years or so. The marketing network of more culturally savvy representatives very often takes advantage of people in these situations.
Let me say a couple of things about possible solutions. Can waivers be negotiated? This is a tough political question. Certainly [it would help to have] policies in the administration of programs that would allow more flexibility in re-enrolling in government assistance programs. We need help: creative help from the legal assistance network surrounding the arts. I hope they will soon be a greater interest in these problems. We might establish replica models such as trust funds for artists who are involved in these situations, so that money that is incurred can then be redistributed to them at a schedule that does not violate supplemental income ceilings. Finally, we also need more united action by artists who are involved in these situations. I think the Lindy model that has been at work in economic development circles might provide some ideas for further work along these lines. Thank you very much.
Thank you very much. I'd like to say what an honor it is for me to be here today. It's a wonderful experience already. I know many of you have dealt with these kinds of issues for many years and since the civil rights era, since the ADA, I believe I'm a product of the current generation due to your work and your assertions. I'm here to share my experience with VR as I have gone through college. I'd like to share my personal experience in terms of financial issues with college, and my experience in going to a hearing college. I wanted to go to a college that offered a program that wasn't available at Gallaudet or in my state college. I wanted a dance program. VR was happy to support my goals in that realm, but then two days before I was to leave for college, I got a call from my VR counselor telling my mother not to let me go to college, that I couldn't go yet. When we asked why, they said there is a problem for funding with the interpreters. This was two days before I was to leave for school. I was told I couldn't go because of funding for interpreters. Apparently the school wouldn't pay, VR wouldn't pay. Here I was stuck in the middle. So we ended up contacting the civil rights office to find out what our rights were. And they didn't quite threaten but they communicated with the school about the law and what their responsibilities were. With one thing leading to another, finally it was worked out that I was able to go but I felt like jeez I haven't even started yet and already we have got red tape problems. That was hard and of what was to come during the next several years. There were several times when there would be funding problems that would be raised. They certainly did give me the freedom to do what I wanted in terms of meal programs, dormitory arrangements and other living arrangements. That was really no problem, but the primary barrier that I faced was paperwork. Sometimes it would take four months, sometimes two weeks. It would always be difficult to know how to go about getting what I needed. The only thing I knew was that I would have to wait. I would often feel like I was kind of stuck in the middle again. I felt like the government, the government organization should be a bit more organized but again and again we came to this barrier of paperwork and it was very complicated. I can give a couple examples of some of my experiences and it seems like not only every year, but every semester at the end of the semester I would frequently get a call from the financial office at the school there saying you owe this much money so you won't be able to return for this coming semester until you pay it off. I would have to call VR, we have already paid that. I would have to call the school. They have already paid it. They would go back and forth and back and forth. Again, I was stuck in the middle. I felt like I'm the underdog and I wasn't going to be able to get anything done with these institutions. I was the messenger. I had to relay information back and forth when I didn't have the ability to affect the outcome of the situation. It took personal time to get through those systems. I did finish my four-year program and I am very grateful for my VR counselor. I hope that, I don't take this opportunity lightly, lightly, that is. I don't see any of this as personal, but I see it as an institutional problem that is vocational rehab. If things were better organized, if the system was more streamlined so that it was easier and quicker to accomplish some of these administrative things that I had to deal with because whereas my fellow students would have gotten through registration and administrative processes, I would still be stuck with these limitations in paperwork. It was ironic that anything that was designed to provide access and freedom and opportunity was in fact limiting my opportunities. I would be stuck in this conflicting information. It's a very strange experience. Having gotten through college and graduated now, looking at my peers who have gone to Gallaudet or have gone to other programs using their VR support and opportunities, I'm not quite sure whether my situation was similar or better, worse. I think now as I begin to look at my future I don't know what the solutions are. It seems like a complex problem. I was able to break through frustrations and take advantage of the system as it was available to me, despite those problems. I hope, though, that we can find solutions to some of these problems for the future because I know that as a deaf student, every day I faced barriers and was able to break through those barriers and open doors that will be open for other deaf students. And I have no fears about that. I'm a very assertive person. I think my experiences with VR have taught me to be more assertive in demanding what I need, in making sure I got what I want in my education, in my career, and that helped both professionally and personally, so it has been a wonderful personal growth experience. I also wanted to mention another detriment. When we look at students who completed a four-year degree and who are interested in going to graduate school, my own experience, this was as a freshman, I began mentioning the opportunity of graduate school to my VR counselor whose reaction was lukewarm. We'll see. I kept getting the same answer. I was told VR is very employment oriented, what you ought to do is find a job first and see how that goes. Well, I want to go to graduate school. It doesn't seem that I'm being given that choice. The only choice that I'm being given is that I need to find a job and they will help me find other information, grants, scholarships and the like and that's certainly helpful, but that's things I can do myself. I know that I needed to find a job first. That's very clear, the message that I have been given so far, but I don't quite know that that's fair. I plan to go to New York City and maybe I will end up one of those waiters. I don't know yet. But I plan to see what's out there and what kind of dance opportunities I can find but I still want to go to school. I'm feeling a bit frustrated. I am very enthusiastic. I do have the energy to continuing following through on these holes but who I'm hoping that you can get from my experience in just having graduated from college as a deaf person, some of my personal experiences and my colleagues at school, my siblings, I see their hope for the future is better even based on my what experiences are, so I think we are all in this together even as individuals that we are. And that getting through all these paperwork issues and the financial troubles and whatnot, I think there is a great future ahead. Thank you. MS. PASQUAL: We are moving from larger issues to more specific issues and practical information. Our next two speakers will be talking about funding sources. We are going to start with Melissa Franklin, director of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts program. MS. FRANKLIN: My presentation will be very brief because a lot of what I had to say as an arts administrator is what Robert has already said from his experiences. But it's an honor for me to be here today as part of this very distinguished assemblage. I want to thank Tim McCarty for inviting me and offer my congratulations to Tim, who was involved in putting this forum together. I think it's an important dialogue that we are having here. I look forward to hearing from all of you. I wish I could say that we funded artists with disabilities, but we haven't. What Tim asked me to do about was about the Pew Fellowships in the Arts and my own experiences with artists experiencing barriers in applying to programs like mine. The Pew fellowships was established in 1991. We provide grants to working artists in the amount of $50,000 on the grounds for artists working in a variety of literary and performing arts disciplines. Our focus is on Philadelphia, investment from the ground up. Last week we funded our 100th artist, that's $5 million into the hands of artists and the purpose of the grants is to provide economic freedom to artists to apply time for artists to focus on their endeavors. Our program operates by application, and we actually don't collect any information regarding artists with disabilities. I do know that several artists with disabilities have applied to the program and several of those artists have been finalists in our program, although none of them have received fellowships. From my experience, talking to artists was a very vocal group in our community with new visions. My understanding from them is that the most difficult obstacle is SSI. The risk of losing these benefits. So I think there needs to be a recognition that grants and fellowships are opportunities for artists to do their work and they are not going to change the economic realities of being an artist. At best they are short of reprieves from the economic realities. So an artist who is receiving SSI takes an enormous risk and has to sort of have it, do a deep exploration to see if that risk is worth it for them. Perhaps fellowship programs of the chances of receiving a grant or fellowship are so slim any way and then to sort of decide that you want to give up your benefits it just makes the disappoint the that much greater for those artists. I know of two artists who have received funding from us, have also lost benefits. One is an artist with, was on medical assistance and lost all of his medical assistance after receiving a grant from us. Another artist lost all of their childcare assistance. We worked with the state and tried to work with the state agencies and went back and forth to no avail. Neither of those artists have had their benefits reinstated. I think there needs to be some flexibility built into the system so that artists can take advantage of the opportunities to participate in programs like the fellowships or many of the other wonderful grants programs around the country without losing their benefits. Because really not only are artists with disabilities being silenced but we as a society are losing from the opportunity to benefit from the work of these artists. I found in the concept papers Deborah Lewis' paper very interesting and I certainly ebb courage all of you to be evaluated on artistic terms. If we can sort of get through these hurdles, the more artists who applying to programs like mine and others around the country, all that will mean is that people in the funding world will have a more difficult time dismissing your applications based on disabilities, but will have to look at your applications on artistic terms. I encourage you to keep doing it. MS. PASQUAL: Our next speaker is Brian Kerrigan with the U.S. Department of Education. MR. KERRIGAN: I'm happy to be here. I had two thoughts coming here, the first, God I'm going to be late because of a traffic jam and the second is that I did make it here on time. At various conferences here I learn much more than I'm able to impart in the audience. That's certainly the case so far. Again, I'm very thankful to be here. Secondly, I was listening to NPR radio as I was driving in this morning and a previous speaker talked about technology and that we had advances that are being made in technology right now and there was a couple of bits on NPR radio. One of them was talking about new computer- assisted piece of equipment that would be very helpful for some people and I thought it was just amazing. It was a pair of glasses that weigh no more than two ounces and there were basically two cameras in the glasses that basically allowed the person to interact with a computer paced on eye movements. I thought about the fact that because of technology now, there are a lot more people who want to take advantage of various types of training. The other thing is do you have money to do something. That's where I come in. The programs I worked with, the federal financial assistance programs. I do provide a lot of money for students to attend postsecondary education. The assistance as provided is basically need-based assistance. It doesn't take into consideration on a specific level a disability or whether or not you want to take course work that would lead to something in the arts or anything else. Basically it's any type of postsecondary education that a person would take at an improved school, and there are over 7,000 approved schools and just about every type of discipline you can imagine so certainly there are a lot of people who are taking various things that are related to art education who are receiving assistance from the Department of Education. It is need-based assistance, which means that you have to fill out an application. We do have a booth set up outside, at least it was being set up when I came in that has information, applications, and the student guide. At any rate, the concept of need- based assistance is very simple. The poorer you are, the more money you are going to get from the Federal Government for this purpose. And you have to fill out an application. Basically it means that you have to indicate what your resources are, what your income is, what your assets are and things of that nature. If you are a dependent student, you have to indicate the income and assets of your parents. I don't see a whole lot of people who would be dependent students pause, and forgive me if I insult anyone out here but if you are 22, 23, or 24, if you are above that age, you are automatically independent student and I think most people out here are a little bit older than 22 or 23. Basically we are talking about your income and your assets. You fill out the application, send it in. You do get an assessment of your need that's based on a formula that Congress has given us. The only area where disability is going to enter into the picture is once you get your assessment of need and you turn up at the school you want to attend, you are also going to have as part of the concept of seeing how much money you need, they are going to look at your cost of attendance at that school. The cost of attendance basically is things like tuition and fees, room and board, miscellaneous expenses, transportation expenses, supplies, books, and things like that. But there is a provision that indicates that if you have a disability that you possibly have some additional costs that should be factored in in determining what your costs are. It may take into consideration your needs for special assistance, special transportation, people to help you, interpreters or whatever. All these things can be factored in and can increase your cost of attendance. You are eligible for more money with an increased cost of attendance. There is a concept in our programs called special circumstances. And if you have some special circumstances that you want to bring to the attention of the financial aid administrator, that administrator has something called financial responsibility, has professional judgment, can take advantage of something called professional judgment and can lower the amount of assistance or lower the amount of resources that are considered to be available to you based upon his or her professional judgment or again can increase your cost either of which can cause you to receive additional funds from the programs. Very briefly, the programs that we offer, if you have been involved or associated with anyone who has been involved with postsecondary education, I'm sure you have heard of some of these programs. There are grant programs, loan programs, believe it or not we have to explain that loan programs or programs for which you do have to pay money back and there are some programs called work study programs. The basic grant program is called the Pell grant program and the Pell grant program is unique compared to some of the other programs in that if you qualify for the Pell you are going to get that money regardless of whatever else you are going to get from whatever other source when you are attending school. A lot of the other programs, notably the camp bus-based programs, the aid office is going to look at your entire aid package, your need, and he is going to see whether or not everything that you are receiving from all of the sources is equal to or more than your cost of attendance. If it is, he is going to reduce or eliminate some awards you might otherwise qualify for to make sure you don't receive more money that you need. With the Pell grant, you are going to receive the amount of the Pell you are entitled to. The main loan program, basically there are two of them. One is called the family federal education loan program, guaranteed student loan program, that in conjunction with the direct loan program basically loans money to people. With the FFELP program we are talking about money coming from banks from private sources. With the direct loan program the money comes directly from the Federal Government. Basically they are the same types of programs called Stafford loans. They can be subsidized if you have need which means that the government will pay the interest on those loans while you are in school and also for a short period after you get out of school or they can be unsubsidized. As I mentioned previously three campus-based programs, another loan program, supplemental grant program and Perkins loan grant program and work study program. There is one other loan, the tax relief act of 1997. There are two tax cuts that are going to amount to $5 billion in the next five years for various people who qualify for them. The first one is called the hope tax credit. It can be up to $1,500 for a person's first two years of education. It basically takes into consideration tuition and fees and then you can get a tax credit based upon those fees if in fact you incur those costs. If you are a dependent student and your parents are claiming you, then the parents are the one that's going to get the tax break. If you are an independent student, you can get the tax break. In addition to that, you have something called the lifetime learning credit which can be up to about $1,000 a year as a credit and it's for any of the years that you are in school and it's for any course work that you are taking. With the full credit you have to actually be in a program leading to a degree or certificate but with a lifetime learning credit, you can take any type of training. If you incur the cost, you can apply for the credit. The credit is not like the earned income credit which is basically a negative income tax, rather you have to owe tax to have your tax be reduced with these types of credits. The last thing I'll mention is again, there is a lot of money available out there. The commitment that the Federal Government has made for need-based assistance is the largest commitment since the GI bill, largest investment in education and you are talking about in fiscal year 1999 between about $45 and $50 billion available. I would encourage all of you if you have any interest in this or know anyone who does to stop by the booth out there and get some additional information. MS. PASQUAL: How many of you have actually heard of or used The Foundation Center? Can I see a show of hands? Less than half. We are a nonprofit organization and our business is to get information about foundation and corporate grants out to the grant seeking community. I want to mention we publish over 50 tights. I want to mention just a few. We have two categories. Most foundations and corporations primarily give to nonprofit organizations. Your best source of money is through a nonprofit as opposed to you going through corporations as individuals. One of our most popular books is called the foundation grants to individuals. If any of you come to the breakout session, I have actual samples of the publications you are going to look at when I come to my session and we recommend two good books on the market, we don't publish them. Individual's guide to grants and fiscal sponsorships, six ways to do it right. Those talk about how you work as an artist or individual or how to procure private funding. For those of you who weren't directly working with nonprofits, three of the most popular topics we have is your national guide to funding in arts and culture and our grants which are really interesting publications. They are actual sample grants to organizations and we have one on arts, culture, and humanities and the second one on film, media, and communications because I mentioned these are teasers to get you to come to my session because I have all of these books up there in the breakout session. The second type of publication I wanted to bring to your attention is some of our statistical studies. You have the arts funding study in your concept papers but I do want to mention that we do studies on an ongoing basis and since that study was out things in the arts have changed significantly so that we are doing another update on a foundation of funding in the arts. That study ended in 1992 and since then there has been a significant dropoff in arts funding. You want to see what's happened in '92 to '96. Another way to do that is called foundation giving. I think that's what is the most important thing to remember, we are more than books. We have libraries in five major cities. In Washington, Cleveland, San Francisco, Atlanta, and New York. More importantly, we have a network of what we call cooperating collections. In most major cities in your public library you can find a core collection of information on funding. Most of the books I mentioned specific to artists, especially foundation grants to individuals and you can use those materials and electronic resources in many cases for free and the incorporating collections do training on how to do grants research. I do have a listing after the session of all the cooperating collections throughout the United States. It's also on our website, and please make a note of it. The best way that you get a really comprehensive view of what we do. It's www.fdncenter.org. It's in your case book at Tab 7, and overlays and publications that we do for the entire community. Three different places on our web page you can go as an artist -- we have very good FAQs, or frequently asked questions. If you are unclear as to what is fiscal sponsorships, there is a very good FAQ on that. We have one on how to approach foundations as an individual and we have one on scholarships. We have an online tutorial that will walk you through how to apply for foundation and corporate grants and those are on our web page and it's a section called the online library and you go to that section, click on the button and you'll see the list of possibilities. Check on those FAQs. Check on our link to nonprofit art organizations. There are wonderful sites, home page that various arts organizations have up there and we act as a clearing-house to those sites on the online library. That's our web sites for you. Just two other things I want to mention is we do have dialogue searching which is an online database where you can get really specific results for a search. That's a pay by the minute kind of service. You have to know what you are doing when you are doing your search. We have a wonderful product that came out last year called an FC search. It's a CD and if you have never used a CD-ROM reference tool in a library, this is one that should get you hooked. You can search it for free. You can put in arts and disability and various regions in the country and types of support and come up with a lister of funders who fund in those areas. It's an excellent tool. I have samples of everything I talked about for the breakout sessions if you want to learn more about that. That gives us time for questions. Let's hope we have some questions for the panelists now. How many books on grant writing are recorded in braille? None that I know of officially. What the center's policy is, and you might want to keep this in mind, is that we will actually loan to people with visual impairments, you can take them home. We don't loan books to anybody. But it is something the way we have been handling is we will actually loan you the books for you to take home and to work with readers from your home, and we do that at the five foundations and our libraries. I would be glad to give you more information about that. Our website www.fdncenter.org. MR. FRANKLIN: Thank you. My name is Larry Franklin. I was wondering sometimes I get confused. I am a nonprofit organization. I got started in the area of organizations. How am I going to make a transition from working in a nonprofit to this organization. I come to conferences and I tray to start volunteering and working with nonprofit organizations, volunteer, sometimes if a person is working, how would one transition from a nonprofit? MS. PASQUAL: Do you want to get paid as opposed to being a volunteer? MS. ALLEN: It seems like in addition to being nonprofit organizations, personally my experience has been nonprofit organizations are sometimes some of the best avenues into career fields, but there might be organizations that would lead more directly into the profession that you are looking at such as if you are interested in visual arts, you may want to find the promoting organization in your state or your town that actually puts on art displays for visual artists and then volunteer, start volunteering with that organization, make yourself totally indispensable in that they would hire you and then that could lead you in the door from a volunteer point of view into a career perhaps or employment. I was taken with the young lady on the dance teal. She is in a great spot to find out about other jobs that are available that come by there as well. Those can be some avenues. MS. PASQUAL: In the libraries, we have people with good ideas who are artists. They do all the foot work. They do their research and get the grant prepared so that the nonprofit submits it and then as a result they hopefully will get a job. Question in the front. >> I work for one of the largest corporations in the country. They told me they could not train me for computers because of my hearing disability. The company downsized and I lost that job because of the money. I made a mistake. I would like to get back into that and for five years, I couldn't do it. I would like to know how I can get back into that setting. MS. PASQUAL: She is a textile artist. She was with a company that was downsized. She unfortunately signed some papers that she could not get money from the company for retraining and she wanted some advice. Any advice for her? MS. ALLEN: I think perhaps if she had gone to vocational rehabilitation at the time when they were not able to train her, that perhaps one of the things that one of the roles that vocational rehab, state agencies play is to help people retain their employment. Where a job is training that they are not readily available for, then perhaps VR could provide whatever is necessary, whether that be computer training or interpreters during the time that the training was provided for others in the company, but my suggestion in terms of an employment arena would be to go at this point if she is unemployed to go back to vocational rehabilitation or go to them and ask for help in getting back into your career opportunity. MS. FRANKLIN: I want to applaud him. ROBERT: I agree as well. That's true in my part of the country. I think that my immediate topic about social program conflicts accelerates that process, artists involved in that, you might have a worse time then there is a general description of individual artists as far as having disincentives for participating in remuneration of their art. MS. PASQUAL: I wish we could take more questions. There are breakout questions. I'm getting the hi sign that we have to break. Let's thank the panelists once again. TIM: I want to thank our panel. Some great information, great sharing. These folks are going to be around. Grab them for lunch or head over to the Arts Cafe and talk to them. Hang here and we'll talk about breakouts in a bit. One of the things that we did this morning that it's in your program, I just want to share with you. The speeches this morning were video streamed on to the Internet, so folks who couldn't be here could watch the video and in the back we are doing some real-time captioning. It's going into a chat room for those people who are deaf or hard of hearing. And at 11:15 we are going to have our first live chat. Vickie Lewis is going up to the arts ED office so there are ways that folks who couldn't be here are able to participate and ask questions. I want to thank, we have heard you talk about our concept papers. Carol couldn't be here. Certainly has made a great consideration to this forum. Deborah Lewis. You have heard mention of her paper this morning. Ron Mace, who you saw speak this morning, Ann Stocking you saw perform this morning, Will Reed from the National Institute of the Deaf and a gentleman from Yale. These papers are there to be used as long as you want to recognize the Kennedy Center and contact the education office and let you know how you are going to be using them. We will have more discussions about how they are going to be republished or distributed later. We find them to be really valuable tools. A reminder that if you are flying out Tuesday or Wednesday that we do have signup sheets for the shuttle service that we are going to be providing, and now you are going to go to work. You have been sitting, listening, and learning. Now we need your ideas. You are going to the breakout sessions. We have got a lot of people here and we are going to be for the rest of the time upstairs in the roof terrace level, and you are really going to discover how many people we have here because it's going to be crowded. And as we mentioned yesterday, this is not a conference center. This is a performing arts center but we felt that it was important to be here at a performing arts center to talk about the arts, so we are going to need your cooperation as we go through the breakouts and also any of the sessions upstairs. It's going to be crowded. That's a fact. We just wanted you here. There was so many people who wanted to come. We are just going to have to deal with that aspect. Let's keep focusing on why we are here. Your work is going to happen in these breakout sessions. The topics that we have for follow-up on the money topics, fellowships, internships, commissions, and summer work. That breakout session is in the north Atrium foyer. We have signs up there to help indicate where that is. Training, SSI, and rehab is in the Theater Lab. And then the professional -- grants and fellowships is in the Education Resource Center. How do you get there? There are two ways. Those of you may know the Kennedy Center and think that you can go straight up and over. We can't do that today because food service is preparing our lunch on this side so there is no access from this side. Here is the way, there are two ways. We can be exiting from the various doors into the hall of nations and you can take the elevator down to the A level and cross over to the other side passed the gift shop, pass that gift shop, please, don't shop now, did to the elevators all the way up to the top. So that's one way. Those of you who are manually rolling yourself might want to consider that. We have this wonderful red lush carpet. That's a little easier access. Those of you who are powering yourself might want to think about that. The other way to go is remember where we were yesterday, that was in the Hall of States, that other Great Hall. Go down the corridor, the big foyer towards the stage where we were last night, turn right at the Hall of States where you see all the flags and then take those elevators all the way up to the top. Those are the two ways to get there. Once you are out there, there are people to help you find the locations.