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Costa Hosts First Meeting of Arts and Cultural Caucus

Arts and Cultural MeetingIn late October, my colleagues and I announced plans to form a bi-cameral, bi-partisan caucus of the General Assembly focused on supporting and advancing the arts and cultural opportunities in Pennsylvania. I co-chair the caucus along with my colleagues Sen. Patrick Browne (Northampton/Lehigh), Rep. Stan Saylor (York) and Rep. Tim Briggs (Montgomery). The development of the caucus was suggested by the Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania, a statewide arts advocacy organization and the Pa Arts & Culture Coalition, a statewide organization representing arts, culture, museums, public broadcasting, tourism and zoos.

After much planning and discussion, the Arts and Culture Caucus held its first meeting a few weeks ago in Harrisburg with great turnout and support from legislators, staff and our partners in the community.

The arts represent a significant economic boost and a job creation tool. I have supported the arts and cultural development for many years as a member of the Council on the Arts and on the boards of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Civic Light Orchestra. Being part of these organizations illustrated to me how important the arts are to the quality of life and marketability of a region.

Arts and Cultural Meeting

Rep. Stan Saylor and Sen. Jay Costa

Research indicates that the arts also contribute to education advancement as evidenced by higher college test scores. Students that take four years of music and art score 102 points better on their college entrance exams overall. Students with four years of art and music averaged 40 points higher on the writing portion of their SAT's than students with one-half year or less.

My goal, and that of my colleagues who joined the caucus, is to grow the awareness of arts and culture and to promote the development of our artisans.

Arts and culture are both an essential part of the fabric of Pennsylvania – both economically and culturally – and the creation of this caucus is simply one way that we as members of the General Assembly can support the incredible work of those in the community.

Arts and Cultural Meeting Arts and Cultural Meeting
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Costa Welcomes the University of Pittsburgh to Harrisburg

Senator Jay Costa

Rep. Paul Cosa, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, and Sen. Jay Costa

Rep. Paul Cosa, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor
Mark A. Nordenberg, and Sen. Jay Costa

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I was very pleased to welcome University of Pittsburgh students, faculty and staff to the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 13. My colleagues and I were honored to have Pitt students shadowing us for the day as part of the “Legislator for a Day program.”

Legislative advocacy days are invaluable to educational institutions as well as legislators. There is nothing more important than being able to hear first hand from the students and university officials. Their perspective and feedback on policy issues and funding matters help guide Pennsylvania lawmakers.

The dialogue created and the relationships fostered on advocacy days are useful and a part of the broadening the learning opportunities of students. We look forward to hosting this event again next year.

Senator Costa today spoke to a group of University of Pittsburgh students, parents, faculty, and alumni at Pitt Day at the State Capitol. It’s an annual event in which students, alumni, faculty and Pitt staff lobby state lawmakers about legislation important to higher education. Here’s more with Senator Costa who’s also a member of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees.Listen

Click here to read transcription

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