Felix Padrón Director, City of San Antonio, Department for Culture & Creative Development

Being a member of Americans for the Arts is a valuable asset because it is the only advocacy organization in the country that is championing a diverse portfolio of cultural issues and initiatives to ensure that all Americans connect to the arts in a meaningful way. In the areas of arts education, the critical role the arts play in community development, as well as health and wellness with a great focus on well being of our military, and public support for the arts. Americans for the Arts also plays a key role in developing public and private strategic partnerships to build a stronger voice for the arts, providing key research to support better positioning that the arts are an economic strength.  Lastly, Americans for the Arts plays a strong role in professional development by providing training and research to the field.

It has given me greater access to a dynamic group of professionals and thought leaders that are as equally passionate about the arts as I am.  It has also expanded a much broader perspective on the complex cultural context we operate in. I think that it has really helped shape my conversation to where it is more informed and robust. Understanding the issues that stem from a broad national understanding and perspective.  It also gives me a higher-level credibility when having those conversations, specifically in a political environment or when tough issues are being debated.  Especially in an advocacy context, having Americans for the Arts by your side is a tremendous asset when talking to our federal, state, and local political leaders. It really makes a positive impact.