The Congressional Arts Caucus and the Congressional Art Competition: History and Current Practice Jerry W. Mansfield Information Research Specialist January 30, 2015 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov R42487 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Summary Sponsored by the Congressional Arts Caucus, and known in recent years as “An Artistic Discovery,” the Congressional Art Competition is open to high school students nationwide. Begun in 1982, the competition, based in congressional districts, provides the opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since its inception, more than 650,000 high school students nationwide have been involved in the program. Each year, the art of one student per participating congressional district is selected to represent the district. The culmination of the competition is the year-long display of winning artwork in the Cannon House Office Building tunnel as well as on the House of Representatives’ website. This report provides a brief history of the Congressional Arts Caucus and the Congressional Art Competition. It also provides a history of sponsorship and support for the caucus and the annual competition. The report includes copies of the original correspondence establishing the competition, a sample competition announcement, sample guidelines and required forms for the competition, and a chronological list of congressional co-chairs. Congressional Research Service Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Contents History ............................................................................................................................................. 1 Congressional Arts Caucus ........................................................................................................ 1 Congressional Art Competition ................................................................................................. 1 Legislation ................................................................................................................................. 2 Administrative and Financial Support ....................................................................................... 2 Current Operating Practice and Procedures for the Congressional Art Competition....................... 4 Prizes and Scholarships ............................................................................................................. 5 Figures Figure A-1. Letter from House Office Building Commission Chairman Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. to Representative Fred Richmond ............................................................................................ 6 Figure A-2. Letter from AOC George White to Chairman Thomas O’Neill Jr. ............................... 7 Figure B-1. Congressional Art Competition Announcement ........................................................... 8 Figure B-2. Congressional Art Competition Guidelines for Congressional Offices ........................ 9 Figure B-3. Congressional Art Competition Guidelines for Students and Teachers ...................... 13 Figure B-4. Congressional Art Competition Form ........................................................................ 16 Figure B-5. Art Submission Checklist ........................................................................................... 18 Tables Table C-1. Congressional Art Competition Leadership, 1982-2015 .............................................. 19 Appendixes Appendix A. Letters Establishing the Congressional Art Competition ........................................... 6 Appendix B. Congressional Art Competition Sample Forms .......................................................... 8 Appendix C. Congressional Art Competition Leadership ............................................................. 19 Contacts Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 21 Acknowledgments ......................................................................................................................... 21 Congressional Research Service Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice History Congressional Arts Caucus Representative Frederick Richmond reportedly began forming what became the Congressional Arts Caucus in response to proposals by the Reagan Administration to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the defeat of other prominent arts advocates in Congress.1 Within days, 77 Members of the House of Representatives had joined the caucus,2 and by the start of the 98th Congress (January 1983), House membership had grown to 166 Members—reportedly one of the largest caucuses on Capitol Hill at that time.3 Representative Richmond served as the first chairman and Representative Jim Jeffords as the first vice-chairman.4 (See Table C-1 for a list of the chairs.) Congressional Art Competition In July 1981, on behalf of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Representative Richmond proposed to the Speaker of the House, Representative Thomas P. O’Neill Jr., a program for encouraging nationwide artistic creativity by high school students through art exhibits in the tunnels connecting the Capitol to the House Office Buildings. In October 1981, Speaker O’Neill, in his role as chair of the House Office Building Commission,5 indicated no objection to an exhibit as long as it was conducted at no expense to the government. The Speaker further required that the Arts Caucus work with the House Office Building Commission and the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) on the details and to ensure that a jury of qualified people approves the final selection of student art for the exhibit. A detailed proposal for the manner of display of the artwork was also requested. (See Figure A-1, letter from Speaker O’Neill to Representative Richmond.) In February 1982, the AOC sent a letter to the chairman of the House Office Building Commission in which he submitted the proposal for the National Art Competition program as prepared by the Arts Caucus. In the letter, the AOC expressed his approval and recommended that the House Office Building Commission do the same. (See Figure A-2, letter from AOC George M. White to Chairman O’Neill.) The letter includes the signatures of all three of the House Office Building Commission members. 1 Carla Hall, “The Art of Advocacy; Fred Richmond, the Congressman Behind the House Arts Caucus,” Washington Post, January 25, 1981, pp. H1, H4. 2 Ibid. 3 Irvin Molotsky, “Congressional Arts Caucus Thriving,” New York Times, January 15, 1983, Section 1, p. 13. 4 For more on the history of congressional Member organizations (caucuses), see CRS Report R40683, Congressional Member Organizations: Their Purpose and Activities, History, and Formation, by Robert Jay Dilger and Matthew E. Glassman. 5 The House Office Building Commission is composed of the Speaker, who serves as chair, and the majority and minority leaders of the House. Congressional Research Service 1 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Subsequently, on February 9, 1982, Speaker O’Neill and several members of the Arts Caucus announced the first annual Congressional Art Competition. Representative Richmond said, about the competition, that “members of Congress would conduct the contest among high school students in their districts. The winning art will line a corridor in the Capitol.”6 Legislation No legislation has been introduced to authorize, sanction, or otherwise make permanent the Congressional Art Competition. On July 23, 1991, H.Res. 201 (102nd Congress, first session) was introduced by the Congressional Art Competition co-chair, Representative Ted Weiss, to recognize the 10th anniversary of the competition. On November 18, 1991, the resolution was agreed to by voice vote.7 The only other piece of legislation was H.Res. 1453 (111th Congress, second session), introduced by the Congressional Art Competition co-chair, Representative Steve Driehaus, to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the competition. This resolution was introduced on June 17, 2010, and referred to the Committee on House Administration with no further action.8 Administrative and Financial Support The House Ethics Manual addresses the issue of the appropriateness of congressional involvement in the Art Competition in the section on “Official and Outside Organizations.” House ethics rules generally prohibit endeavors jointly supported by a combination of private resources and official funds. For example, House Rule 24 prohibits the use of private resources for the operation of both congressional Member organizations (CMOs) and Member advisory groups. Yet, the House Ethics Manual goes on to explain that, “Nevertheless, the giving of advice by informal advisory groups to a Member does not constitute the type of private contribution of funds, goods, or in-kind services to the support of congressional operations that is prohibited by House Rule 24.”9 Later the Ethics Manual specifically addresses the Congressional Art Competition in the following: “One instance when cooperation with private groups has been explicitly recognized is the annual competition among high school students in each congressional district to select a work of art to hang in the Capitol, referred to as the Congressional Art Competition. Members may announce their support for the competition in official letters and news releases, staff may provide administrative assistance, a local arts organization or ad hoc committee may select the winner, and a corporation may underwrite costs such as prizes and flying the winner to Washington, D.C. Private involvement with the Congressional Art Competition in this manner is not viewed as a subsidy of normal operations of the congressional office. Members may not solicit on behalf of the arts competition in their district without Standards Committee [now Committee on Ethics] permission unless the 6 United Press International, press release, February 10, 1982. See https://www.congress.gov/bill/102nd-congress/house-resolution/201?q= %7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22%5C%22hres201%5C%22%22%5D%7D. 8 See https://www.congress.gov/bill/111th-congress/house-resolution/1453?q= %7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22%5C%22hres1453%5C%22%22%5D%7D. 9 See Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, House Ethics Manual, 110th Cong., 2nd sess. 2008, Ch. 10, p. 339, available at http://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/documents/2008_House_Ethics_Manual.pdf. 7 Congressional Research Service 2 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice organization to which the donation will be directed is qualified under § 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.”10 The general guidelines concerning Member solicitations continues in the Ethics Manual,11 and solicitation guidelines as related to the Art Competition are addressed in the “Ethics Guidance” document developed for a 2015 Congressional Art Competition staff briefing on January 21, 2015.12 In their earliest years, the Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition were financially supported by a $300 contribution from the allowances of members of the caucus. The funds were used to pay the salaries of two full-time staff and other operational costs.13 During the period 1982 to 1994, the caucus used its staff and interns to manage administrative duties related to the competition, such as announcements, guidelines, deadlines, the receipt of completed forms and art, and recordkeeping. These individuals also coordinated the art competition’s awards program and reception to honor the winning artists. After 1995, many administrative tasks were undertaken by two Member offices—typically the offices of the co-chairs of the Arts Caucus. From the competition’s inception, the AOC curator and the House superintendent have assisted with the moving, arranging, labeling, and hanging of the art works, as well as returning the art to participating Members’ offices at the end of a competition—this is done in May of each year just prior to the commencement of a new competition. The curator also arranges the winning artwork alphabetically by state, maintains a tracking system, works with the House carpenters to have the artwork hung in the Cannon House Office Building tunnel, and prepares and attaches the accompanying descriptive labels. In 2005, General Motors, which had provided financial and logistical support to the Art Competition since 1982, asked the Public Governance Institute14 to assist with logistical support. In 2009, the Congressional Institute, Inc.15 took over from the Public Governance Institute, providing both advice and logistical support for the competition. According to its website, the Congressional Institute was founded in 1987 and “is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to helping Members of Congress better serve their constituents and helping their constituents better understand the operations of the national legislature.”16 10 Ibid., p. 346. For more information on the history of CMOs and the rules under which they operate, see CRS Report R40683, Congressional Member Organizations: Their Purpose and Activities, History, and Formation, by Robert Jay Dilger and Matthew E. Glassman. 11 Ibid., pp. 347-349. 12 See https://housenet.house.gov/sites/housenet.house.gov/files/documents/office_ethics_guidelines_pdf.pdf. 13 Irvin Molotsky, “Congressional Arts Caucus Thriving,” New York Times, January 15, 1983, Section 1, p. 13. 14 See http://www.publicgov.org. 15 See http://www.conginst.org. 16 Ibid. Congressional Research Service 3 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Current Operating Practice and Procedures for the Congressional Art Competition Currently, each participating House Member solicits entries from high school students for the event and establishes his or her own method of judging the submissions. There is no entry fee for the competition and previous entrants (including winners) may re-enter as long as they are high school students. A copy of the Dear Colleague letter announcing the 2015 Art Competition is available as Figure B-1. Information for congressional staff is available on the House of Representatives intranet.17 The winning artwork must conform to strict guidelines and meet all deadlines. By mid-February of each year, the Art Competition guidelines and forms to accompany the submitted art are available to the public on the House of Representatives website at https://www.house.gov/ content/educate/art_competition. It is the prerogative of the co-chairs, the Congressional Institute, Inc., and the AOC curator to modify the guidelines from year to year. Two sets of guidelines are available: • The “2015 Rules and Regulations for Congressional Offices” are on the House of Representatives intranet at https://housenet.house.gov/sites/housenet.house.gov/ files/documents/2015_Rules_for_Offices.pdf (shown as Figure B-2). • The “2015 Rules and Regulations for Students and Teachers” can be found at https://housenet.house.gov/sites/housenet.house.gov/files/documents/ 2015_Rules_for_Students_and_Teachers.pdf. (Shown as Figure B-3). Similarly, the “Student Information & Release Form” is available at https://housenet.house.gov/ sites/housenet.house.gov/files/forms/2015_Student_Release_Form.pdf (shown as Figure B-4). A “2015 Art Submission Checklist” is available at https://housenet.house.gov/sites/ housenet.house.gov/files/documents/2015_Art_Submission_Checklist.pdf (shown as Figure B5). Since 2009, the Congressional Institute, Inc. has assisted and advised Member offices on how to run the competition. The institute responds to questions from participants, collects district winner information, prepares the list of winners, organizes the receipt of the artwork, and shares coordination of the reception honoring the district winners. The institute also photographs the artwork and provides a digital record of each annual competition to the House of Representatives for posting on its public website.18 It has been the practice for the Congressional Institute to mail the invitations, print the programs, and provide food for the annual reception. The reception, celebrities’ transportation, name tags, T-shirts, photography, event website, and program printing have always been privately sponsored. Recent corporate sponsors have included General Motors and Southwest Airlines. Members of Congress may also obtain the services of local sponsors to assist with transportation and local awards. 17 18 See https://housenet.house.gov/serving-constituents/art-competition/documents. Information obtained in e-mail exchanges with Congressional Institute staff in January/February 2012. Congressional Research Service 4 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice At the culmination of the annual Art Competition, the winning entries from participating congressional districts are available on the House of Representatives website. The names of the 2014 winners and their artwork are available at http://www.house.gov/content/educate/ art_competition/. The Congressional Art Competition co-chairs generally invite an artist from their respective congressional districts to address the student winners at the reception. Since it began in 1982, “over 650,000 high school students nationwide have been involved with the nation-wide competition.”19 Prizes and Scholarships There are no required procedures for selecting the winning entries for participating congressional districts. Any entry that conforms to the general specifications stated in the “Guidelines for Students and Teachers” is eligible to represent a congressional district. Members of Congress may have local art teachers, art gallery owners, civic leaders, local businesses, or Member office staff assist with the judging to select their district winner. Members of Congress may also enlist the participation of businesses in the congressional district to donate plaques, savings bonds, and other prizes, or to sponsor a reception or event to announce the competition’s district winner. For example, since 2004, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, GA, has offered scholarship opportunities to the first-place winners of the district competitions as long as funding is available, according to school sources.20 The $3,000 scholarship may be renewed annually. Other scholarships are targeted for winning entrants from a specific congressional district. In recent years, these have included scholarships to the High School Summer Institute at Chicago’s Columbia College and the Art Institute of Phoenix. Georgia’s 13th congressional district winner may receive a scholarship to the Art Institute of Atlanta, and in Pennsylvania, the 15th congressional district winner is eligible for a full-year scholarship to the Baum School of Art in Allentown, PA. Additional prizes that have been awarded include roundtrip airfare to Washington, DC, for the opening of the annual exhibition, gift certificates to local art supply stores, family memberships for a year to an art museum, and cash. Although no congressional or taxpayer funds may be used for prizes and scholarships, corporate sponsorship is allowed. As in the past, Southwest Airlines is providing two roundtrip tickets to winning entrants from a congressional district if any part of that congressional district is within 200 miles of any airport served by Southwest Airlines. These tickets provide flights into Baltimore-Washington’s Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) and are to be used within the period between two weeks before and two weeks after the Washington, DC, Congressional Art Competition ceremony. Southwest Airlines does not provide hotel accommodations or hotel discounts. 19 20 See https://housenet.house.gov/serving-constituents/art-competition. See http://www.scad.edu/content/recognized-achievements. Congressional Research Service 5 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Appendix A. Letters Establishing the Congressional Art Competition Figure A-1. Letter from House Office Building Commission Chairman Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. to Representative Fred Richmond Source: Architect of the Capitol curator’s office. Congressional Research Service 6 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Figure A-2. Letter from AOC George White to Chairman Thomas O’Neill Jr. Source: AOC curator’s office. Notes: Attached in the upper right corner is the routing slip that accompanied the letter. Congressional Research Service 7 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Appendix B. Congressional Art Competition Sample Forms Figure B-1. Congressional Art Competition Announcement Source: U.S. House of Representatives, https://housenet.house.gov/serving-constituents/art-competition/ documents. Congressional Research Service 8 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Figure B-2. Congressional Art Competition Guidelines for Congressional Offices Congressional Research Service 9 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Congressional Research Service 10 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Congressional Research Service 11 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Source: U.S. House of Representatives, https://housenet.house.gov/sites/housenet.house.gov/files/documents/ 2015_Rules_for_Offices.pdf. Congressional Research Service 12 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Figure B-3. Congressional Art Competition Guidelines for Students and Teachers Congressional Research Service 13 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Congressional Research Service 14 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Source: U.S. House of Representatives, https://housenet.house.gov/sites/housenet.house.gov/files/documents/ 2015_Rules_for_Students_and_Teachers.pdf. Congressional Research Service 15 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Figure B-4. Congressional Art Competition Form Congressional Research Service 16 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Source: U.S. House of Representatives, https://housenet.house.gov/sites/housenet.house.gov/files/forms/ 2015_Student_Release_Form.pdf. Congressional Research Service 17 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Figure B-5. Art Submission Checklist Source: U. S. House of Representatives, https://housenet.house.gov/sites/housenet.house.gov/files/documents/ 2015_Art_Submission_Checklist.pdf. Congressional Research Service 18 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Appendix C. Congressional Art Competition Leadership Table C-1. Congressional Art Competition Leadership, 1982-2015 Year/Congress Member Co-Chairs Party/State 1982 (97th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Fred Richmonda Representative Jim Jeffordsb D-NY R-VT 1983 (98th Congress, 1st session) Representative Tom Downey Representative Jim Jeffords D-NY R-VT 1984 (98th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Tom Downey Representative Jim Jeffords D-NY R-VT 1985 (99th Congress, 1st session) Representative Tom Downey Representative Jim Jeffords D-NY R-VT 1986 (99th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Tom Downey Representative Jim Jeffords D-NY R-VT 1987 (100th Congress, 1st session) Representative Bob Carr Representative Jim Jeffords D-MI R-VT 1988 (100th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Bob Carr Representative Jim Jeffords D-MI R-VT 1989 (101st Congress, 1st session) Representative Bob Carr Senator Jim Jeffords D-MI R-VT 1990 (101st Congress, 2nd session) Representative Bob Carr Senator Jim Jeffords D-MI R-VT 1991 (102nd Congress, 1st session) Representative Ted Weiss Senator Jim Jeffords D-NY R-VT 1992 (102nd Congress, 2nd session) Representative Ted Weiss Senator Jim Jeffords D-NY R-VT 1993 (103rd Congress, 1st session) Representative Louise Slaughter Senator Jim Jeffords D-NY R-VT 1994 (103rd Congress, 2nd session) Representative Louise Slaughter Senator Jim Jeffords D-NY R-VT 1995 (104th Congress, 1st session) Senator Jim Jeffords (Assisted by the House Committee on Oversight)c R-VT 1996 (104th Congress, 2nd session) Representative George Gekas Representative Frank Pallone Jr. R-PA D-NJ 1997 (105th Congress, 1st session) Representative Frank Pallone Jr. Representative Curt Weldon D-NJ R-PA 1998 (105th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Neil Abercrombie Representative Curt Weldon D-HI R-PA 1999 (106th Congress, 1st session) Representative Adam Smith Representative Curt Weldon D-WA R-PA 2000 (106th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Adam Smith Representative Tom Tancredo D-WA R-CO Congressional Research Service 19 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Year/Congress Member Co-Chairs Party/State 2001 (107th Congress, 1st session) Representative Elijah Cummings Representative John Shadegg D-MD R-AZ 2002 (107th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Mark Foley Representative Hilda Solis R-FL D-CA 2003 (108th Congress, 1st session) Representative Katherine Harris Representative Darlene Hooley R-FL D-OR 2004 (108th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Marsha Blackburn Representative Ed Pastor R-TN D-AZ 2005 (109th Congress, 1st session) Representative Vito Fossella Representative Linda Sánchez R-NY D-CA 2006 (109th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Susan Davis Representative Heather Wilson D-CA R-NM 2007 (110th Congress, 1st session) Delegate Madeleine Bordallo Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño D-GU R-PR 2008 (110th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Dan Boren Representative Jeff Miller D-OK R-FL 2009 (111th Congress, 1st session) Representative Mike Castle Representative Rick Larsen R-DE D-WA 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Jason Chaffetz Representative Steve Driehaus R-UT D-OH 2011 (112th Congress, 1st session) Representative Donna Edwards Representative Leonard Lance D-MD R-NJ 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd session) Representative Hansen Clarke Representative Tim Griffin D-MI R-AR 2013 (113th Congress, 1st session) Representative Robert Aderholt Representative Suzanne Bonamici R-AL D-OR 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session) Representative Bill Huizenga Representative Loretta Sanchez R-MI D-CA 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session) Representative Lois Frankel Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson D-FL R-PA Source: Prepared by CRS from the Congressional Yellow Book, news stories, Member websites, and information provided by the Congressional Institute, Inc. a. Representative Richmond was the co-founder and first chairman of the Congressional Arts Caucus and the Congressional Art Competition. b. Representative Jeffords was the co-founder and first vice-chairman of the caucus and competition. c. Senator Jeffords was one of the original co-founders of the exhibition in 1982 when he was a Member of the House of Representatives. His association and support continued through the years. When the Legislative Service Organizations, or LSOs (caucuses) were disbanded at the start of the 104th Congress in 1995, Senator Jeffords used the services of one of the staff members of the Congressional Arts Caucus on his senatorial staff to run the program that year. Congressional Research Service 20 Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Art Competition: History/Current Practice Author Contact Information Jerry W. Mansfield Information Research Specialist Acknowledgments Thanks to Tim Lang and Amy Hinderliter of the Congressional Institute, Inc. for the provision of some historical information. Congressional Research Service 21