Arts Leaders and Americans for the Arts Members Getting Out the Vote

Posted by Abigail Alpern Fisch, Oct 22, 2020

As the 2020 election gets closer and many voters are already voting by mail or in-person, arts organizations around the country are doing their part to help voters make their vote count. This election is crucial to electing leaders at each level of government who will ensure that funding for the arts is protected and accessible for all. In this month’s Member Briefing, Americans for the Arts members Sheila Smith, executive director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Nate McGaha, executive director of Arts North Carolina, discussed using the arts to Get Out the Vote. They shared their experiences conducting voter outreach in their communities including their candidate forums, messaging about important voting deadlines, and partnership with other local, and national organizations including ArtsVote. If you missed the briefing live, a recording of the event is available now on ArtsU. Member Briefings are our quarterly opportunity to talk to you about what’s happening now, so mark your calendars to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at Americans for the Arts and across the sector. 

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10 (Newer!) Arts Education Fast Facts

Posted by Mrs. Kelly Fey Bolender, Rena A. Cohen, Sep 18, 2020

During this year’s National Arts in Education Week celebration, we’ve heard hundreds of #BecauseOfArtsEd stories from students, parents, and educators about the transformative power of the arts in education. The stories we share demonstrate the social and emotional impact of the arts, and are a vital part of effective advocacy. Great stories should be paired with compelling data and facts to help round out your advocacy strategy. In honor of the 10th anniversary of National Arts in Education Week, we’ve put together 10 new fast facts—exclusively featuring data collected within the last five years—illustrating the benefits of, support for, and challenges facing arts education in America today. You can put these facts to good use as part of your personal advocacy plan to make the case for arts education in your local schools and communities. 

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How to Secure a Local Proclamation for National Arts & Humanities Month

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Sep 08, 2020

Proclamations are a wonderful way that your mayor, city council, or your city (or county) in general can easily show its support for the arts and culture. Each year, Americans for the Arts encourages advocates to work with their local and state elected officials to issue a proclamation declaring October National Arts & Humanities Month in their city, county, or state. They allow elected officials to easily demonstrate their support for the arts, offer a written document for advocates to use year-round to demonstrate the value of the arts and culture, and serve as a tool to engage other arts advocates in their local communities. For those who have never done this before, I thought that I would offer a how-to guide help you understand the process of obtaining a proclamation.

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National League of Cities Takes Message of Arts, Racial Equity, and Healing to Mayors

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Jul 15, 2020

Americans for the Arts partners with a range of associations of elected officials at all levels of government to promote the arts and culture as solutions to cities’ various issues or problems. The National League of Cities (NLC) is one such partner. NLC represents mayors and city council members of approximately 2,000 cities of all sizes in the United States. Recently, the League reached out to Americans for the Arts to write an article on how the arts can help cities through this time of social and civil change and the need for racial equity and healing. We work with NCL and similar organizations to promote arts and culture at the national level in order to get the attention of elected officials, which allows you, the local advocate, to follow up. In other words, the elected official hears our message from their national association (at conferences, through blog posts, and other channels), and then hears it again from their local residents. This two-pronged approach shows the elected official that the arts are indeed a powerful tool and an organized political constituency.

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10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2020

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Mar 23, 2020

The effective arts advocate needs to articulate the value of the arts in as many ways as possible—deploying the right case-making tool in the right situation. Consider these “10 Reasons to Support the Arts” as your Swiss army knife for arts advocacy. Like so many sequestered at home during COVID-19, I write this while mindful of our challenging times, and yet inspired by how the arts still have found a way to permeate our lives. I have watched Yo-Yo Ma concerts online, visited the Smithsonian Museum with a click, and joined my neighbors for daily 6 p.m. outdoor singalongs. Even in this difficult environment, the arts are providing personal experiences and promote social cohesion (see tools #2 and #8 on your army knife!). While I am uncertain what we will look like on the other side of this crisis, tool #1 makes me optimistic that when it is time to stop practicing social distancing, it is the arts that will unify us. 

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Why You Need to Be in Washington, D.C. this June!

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Ms. Patricia Walsh, Mar 02, 2020

In 2020, the convergence of Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention with the refreshed and expanded Public Art & Civic Design Conference will spark a new level of conversation and thinking. The new shifts in format and structure that we’re setting up this year will make for an even more interactive and energizing conference, with over 50 sessions, more than 1,000 professionals from across a variety of sectors, and more opportunities to learn and network with colleagues from all 50 states and around the world. These two annual events—happening June 26-28 in Washington, D.C.—are the best place to come together with the full spectrum of people who are working to center the arts in equitable community development and creative placemaking. We are excited about holding these meetings in Washington, D.C. because the city and surrounding communities are about much more than national politics. It is a great place to engage in really deep and meaningful conversations about how we all work to make our communities the best they can be.

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