Blog Posts for advocate

Why art?! We’ll tell you why. And, we can prove it.

Posted by Merryl Goldberg, Jun 07, 2017 0 comments

Last fall, the Stuart Foundation invested in San Diego, and I’ve had the privilege of heading up our project which is a collective impact model we hope will be the arts education equivalent to “Got Milk?” It is called ART=OPPORTUNITY. And we want you to take advantage of it. Our campaign has many facets, including mentoring from the business community for VAPA coordinators, summits and anchor events, a teen/youth council, bilingual parent education, and arts integration boot camps. Our goal in the ART=OPPORTUNTIY campaign is to change public opinion from arts as fluff to arts as essential. And, the reason to change public opinion is to directly effect educational policy and budgeting decisions.

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From Blues to the “Peanutcracker,” Government Support for the Arts Helps Create Access for All

Posted by Robert Lynch, May 25, 2017 0 comments

It’s easy to rattle off numbers, but what does this increase in funding really mean? Great projects across the country will now get to continue. Last year, the NEA recommended more than 2,400 grants in nearly 16,000 communities in every congressional district in the country. A review of NEA grants shows that the majority go to small and medium-sized organizations, and the diversity among these grant recipients is unmatched by any other U.S. funder. One grant program, “Challenge America,” is dedicated to reaching underserved communities—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

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Are You as Connected as You Could Be? Introducing our Member Briefing Series

Posted by Bridget Woodbury, May 16, 2017 0 comments

On February 8, Americans for the Arts launched our Arts Mobilization Center, which serves as a hub for all of our position papers. The Mobilization Center is available to the public and is intended to be a tool to help you advocate for the arts. Then, to help our members be the most effective advocates they can be, we launched a regular member briefing series on March 23. These are 30 minute calls available exclusively to members around a specific issue statement, topic area, or program update. During each call, Americans for the Arts senior staff members and I provide background on a given topic, then we take your questions live!

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Advocacy & Arts: Have You Seen the Ads?

Posted by Kate McClanahan, May 05, 2017 0 comments

Elected leaders care deeply about the areas they represent and the views of their constituents who elect them every few years. They may not agree with what they think, but they do care to know what they think—and it is certainly one key factor that weighs on how they cast their votes, what issues they focus on, and what areas they deepen their knowledge. Since we know that ads bring attention to issues, inspire and educate the public, and mobilize grassroots, they are one great way to invite data and impact stories that can lead to policy change. And, we know that legislators read their local newspapers, so the message gets through.

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Sometimes the Budget Pie is Big Enough for Everyone

Posted by Robert Lynch, Apr 26, 2017 0 comments

It’s the late 70s and I’m standing in the rotunda of the Massachusetts State House with a 10-foot-wide Boston cream pie. A pencil-thin line of white frosting drawn from the center outward like the minute hand of a watch is punctuated by a tall cardboard flag that says, “A piece of the pie for the arts.” This might get us some curious onlookers, maybe some pictures, I think. But before I know it, every elected official and staff member in the entire statehouse is drawn to the spectacle and descends into the rotunda not only to view it, but to get a piece. My fellow advocates and I served a lot of pie that day … and we also got an increase to our arts budget. 

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Under Siege and Thriving

Posted by Ms. Ahava Silkey-Jones, Apr 26, 2017 0 comments

As artists and arts educators, we are keenly aware of what it feels like to be under siege. Our arts programs are interwoven into the fabric of our communities, and even in the face of challenges continue to thrive. We can’t imagine our communities without our arts programs, and thus we have become masters at articulating their profound reach. It’s ingrained in our role as arts educators to fight for the importance, continued relevance, and impact of what we do. And what makes me particularly proud is seeing the inherent drive that emerges in my students when they’re tasked with defending the powerful influence of the arts in their lives.

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