Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee


As a lifelong patron of the arts, I have made it a priority to assist the arts community both locally and nationally throughout my legislative career. The arts play a vital role in our community's economic growth and in providing cultural and educational benefits as well. I am pleased to have received an A+ on the Americans for the Arts Action Fund Congressional Scorecard.

Art in Memphis

I am acutely aware of the role the arts community plays in the Memphis economy, as well as its role in establishing Memphis’s unique atmosphere and culture. Memphis is recognized internationally as a haven and home for established and aspiring artists alike.

A 2012 Creative Industries report released by Americans for the Arts shows that Memphis is home to 1,740 arts-related businesses, and that these businesses employ 8,275 people. These are real jobs that contribute to our local economy and to our local pocketbooks. These jobs help to keep Memphis established as a cornerstone of tourism, which furthers economic development.

As a State Senator I worked to establish the Tennessee license plate “art is…a rainbow” which provides partial funding for the Tennessee Arts Commission.

National Endowment of the Arts

As a long-time supporter of the arts, I strongly oppose any cuts that would negatively impact the NEA’s ability to provide grants and other funding to arts-based businesses in Memphis. I have consistently voted against amendments to the federal budget and appropriation bills which would cut funding to the NEA as well as other organizations and programs that support the arts and jobs.

Art in Classrooms

Throughout my legislative career, I’ve advocated for more arts education, specifically more public arts education.  The arts should not be viewed as an ‘add-on’ to core educational programs but recognized as an integral part of a complete education.

Arts education programs provide various benefits for our youth and the workforce and therefore, it is important to find ways to make sure that arts academic courses receive equal support as math and science courses. I continue to support measures that prepare our future workforce through innovation and creativity in the schools through a well-rounded education.

More on Arts

August 16, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today noted the sad passing of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, who thrilled millions with her renditions of gospel, Motown, R & B, jazz and pop classics, and made the following statement:

July 12, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) announced a $142,362 grant to the National Civil Rights Museum to build the skills of young African American students and frontline staff members to address the lack of minorities in the museum field. Another grant for $24,855 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which was created by Congress in the legislation that authorized building the popular National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall, will go to the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery’s sports collection.

April 25, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today applauded House passage of the Music Modernization Act, a bill updating provisions of federal copyright law to account for the transformation of the music industry by the internet, music streaming and smart phones. It also expands federal copyright protection to pre-1972 sound recordings to ensure that legacy artists are appropriately compensated for the use of their work. The measure passed 415 to 0.

November 3, 2017 Enewsletters

Dear Friend,

August 17, 2017 Press Release


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, today announced that he will be introducing articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump following the President’s comments on the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

July 19, 2017 In The News

A group of liberal House Democrats stepped up criticism of President Trump on Wednesday, introducing a “no confidence” resolution that officially questions Trump’s fitness to serve as commander in chief.

It logs a laundry list of controversies swirling around the president — including his campaign’s many contacts with Russian officials, his refusal to release his taxes, his verbal attacks on women and the press, and his firing of FBI Director James Comey.

July 19, 2017 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, today introduced a Resolution of No Confidence in President Donald J. Trump. The resolution details President Trump’s unacceptable behavior as President and expresses a lack of confidence in his service. A copy of the resolution can be found here.

June 30, 2017 Enewsletters

Dear Friend,

June 29, 2017 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) welcomed recent Whitehaven High School graduate Darian Norfleet to his Capitol Hill office to congratulate her on winning this year’s Congressional Art Competition. As the Ninth District’s winner, Ms. Norfleet’s piece, a digital photograph entitled “Round and Round We Go,” will hang in public view on Capitol Hill for the next year. A photo of Ms. Norfleet’s winning piece is available here, and a photo of Ms.