Champion Your Cause
In this age of rapid technological change, it seems that the number of worthy causes known to people around the country and indeed the world is also growing at an exponential rate. Take the incredible ALS #IceBucketChallenge, for example, which reached millions on social media and raised over $115 million! But when videos are not flooding your newsfeed, how do you decide which organization to support, and when? Taking this thought one step further, how do you become an ambassador for your cause and inspire others to follow your example?
Supporting Americans for the Arts
When choosing to support an organization, their mission must align with your personal passion and deepest conviction, the cause nearest and dearest to your heart. That’s why I joined the National Patrons Council of Americans for the Arts in 2008. I have a longstanding belief that the arts serve as our society’s connective tissue – they link our past to our present and point the way to the future. The arts not only connect us all, but they can also play a powerful role in helping each of us develop critical life skills: creativity, empathy, patience, discipline, collaboration. Americans for the Arts’ mission is to ensure that every American has access to the transformative power of the arts, and their dedication to that mission, particularly their work with arts education and arts and the military, inspires me.
As a former ballet scholarship student and master ballet teacher, I am passionate about passing on my knowledge to the next generation. I believe that the arts are not a luxury, but a necessity. Americans for the Arts envisions a country where every child has access to – and participates in – high quality and lifelong experiences in the arts and that belief fires my imagination and resonates with my experience.
To advance arts education, Americans for the Arts provides tools and resources like the Arts Education Field Guide and the Arts Education Navigator to help people like me become a champion for arts education in my community. They also understand the importance of partnering with other public groups, like with the President's Committee on the Arts & the Humanities on Turnaround Arts and with corporations like VANS and KRIS wine whose cause marketing campaigns help advance the cause even further.
Arts & the Military
As an artist and educator, I know firsthand how participating in the arts can transform your life. Art can be a teacher, a disciplinarian, a healer, a voice. Americans for the Arts is harnessing the transformative power of the arts and making it available in health, healing and healthcare for military service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers through The National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military.
Being an Ambassador for the Cause
It’s not enough to just believe in something, you have to be willing to take action – to give your time, your resources, and your voice to your cause. Throughout my many years of service to a range of arts, social service, and healthcare institutions, and calling upon all I have learned as a teacher and businesswoman, I have come to understand the importance of individual connections. Bringing the right people together around an issue can inspire change and spark a movement. That is why I chose to host Americans for the Arts’ first National Patrons Council Salon— which brought together artists, business leaders, patrons, and nonprofit leaders from a range of different sectors to talk about the critical importance of the arts and arts education.
I urge you to go out and find a cause about which you passionately care, and give that cause your time and your treasure. My cause is the arts and I choose Americans for the Arts as my way to support it – I am writing today to spread the word and encourage others to join me!