Blog Posts for advocate

The Vision Thing

Posted by Mr. Brad Erickson, Jun 03, 2016 0 comments

Brad Erickson is an Americans for the Arts member and recipient of the 2016 Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award. Find out more about the Americans for the Arts Annual Leadership Arts Awards.

In 1988, as then Vice-President H. W. Bush was preparing to run for the Presidency, he found himself fending off complaints from within his own party that while he had a firm grip on the complexity of the many issues facing the nation, he lacked an overarching narrative that would tie his policy positions together in a clear and compelling way. His advisors suggested that he borrow Camp David for some time away to collect and articulate his thoughts. "Oh," the Vice-President responded dismissively, "the vision thing."

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The Importance of State Captains for Arts Advocacy Day

Posted by Eleanor Shingleton , Apr 13, 2016 0 comments

There is one thing without which Arts Advocacy Day could not happen—State Arts Advocacy Captains!  Though Americans for the Arts’ State Arts Advocacy Captains are instrumental in fighting for the arts year-round, their work is also integral to the success of Arts Advocacy Day each spring.

State Arts Advocacy Captains are the eyes and ears on the ground in each state nationwide, serving to recruit the best and most dedicated advocates from their state to attend Arts Advocacy Day. During the months leading up to Arts Advocacy Day, captains make sure colleagues, artists, university students, and concerned members of their states know the importance of bringing your voice to Capitol Hill to meet with your Members of Congress directly in the fight for arts and arts education.  

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So You Want To Be an Advocate?

Posted by Linda Langston, Apr 11, 2016 2 comments

Many bemoan the lack of commitment to the arts, but few take the time to learn some key advocacy tips. Advocacy is work and takes commitment AND it can make all the difference in the world.

  • First, you have to tell a story.
  • Second, the story must be relevant and real.
  • Third, connect your story to the person who can commit the dollars or change a policy.
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State Arts Advocacy = Informed Passion + Strategist Mind

Posted by Guillermina Gonzalez, Apr 11, 2016 7 comments

Leadership is a concept that comes to mind these days in the midst of one of the most contentious primary presidential campaigns we have seen in recent memory in the United States. Is what we see on TV real leadership? For the most part, it is not. Leadership combines informed passion in the mind of a strategist able to maximize limited resources to deliver tangible results, while bringing people together. Real leaders seek advice to make sounded decisions and give credit to those sources. An example of real leadership in state-level arts advocacy in the U.S. is the State Arts Action Network (SAAN).

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The Four Minutes That Changed STEM to STEAM

Posted by Kate McClanahan, Apr 01, 2016 0 comments

If you were in Washington, DC a few weeks ago, you might have participated in several events surrounding the National Arts Action Summit, now marking its 29th consecutive year of arts advocacy days on Capitol Hill.

One of those events might have been the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy, delivered by John Maeda, designer, technologist, and catalyst behind the national movement to transform STEM to STEAM. He was introduced by co-chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR).

How did this duo come together before a crowd of over 1,200 to talk about STEAM on the national stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts—for a lecture about how STEAM makes STEM taste better?

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The Passion of Arts Advocates Driving Change: Kennedy, U.S. Lawmakers, and You

Posted by Robert Lynch, Mar 30, 2016 0 comments

Earlier this month I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, giving a lecture on arts and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Policy. In lieu of standard hotel accommodations, I was offered the chance to stay in John F. Kennedy's senior year suite in Winthrop House—and of course I jumped at it. Sitting down at Kennedy’s desk—complete with an Underwood portable typewriter—I was profoundly moved. I thought of his inspiring words and they resonated with the event and work of the week to come, Arts Advocacy Day, when citizen advocates take to Capitol Hill to make the case for federal support for the arts and arts education.

I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.

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