2023 National Arts Action Summit Update

For more than 30 years, the National Arts Action Summit has welcomed grassroots advocates from across the country to Washington, D.C., to learn from each other and meet with members of Congress about arts and culture legislative issues and impact. The Summit has also been one of Americans for the Arts’ central events.  

During last year’s Strategic Realignment Process, we heard from our stakeholders that advocacy is both one of our key strengths and their top priorities. We also heard that how we do our work is as important as what we do. Based on direct feedback from members and stakeholders like you, we have adopted Equitable Advocacy as the lens through which all our decisions are made. This approach will intentionally create more inclusive, diverse, and accessible practices, relationships, and programming.

As you know, advocacy doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It doesn’t exist only in Washington, D.C. And it isn’t limited to one time of year. Advocacy happens every day, in every community, across this country. And it takes all of us. With this in mind, we are flipping the script on the Summit and instead launching a year-long advocacy program, complete with webinar trainings, D.C.-based Legislative Fly-ins to lobby members of Congress, and Fly-outs for our staff to come to your communities to do advocacy training together throughout the country. 

I’m excited to share this new approach with you and hope this overview provides insight into our arts advocacy plan for 2023. Please explore the Advocacy Plan details below as well as read our FAQs for more information.  

I invite you to take this brief Arts Policy Survey and share your top five federal legislative priorities by February 22, 2023. This will help us focus federal advocacy efforts on the arts policy issues that mean the most to you. I look forward to working together to advocate more strategically for arts and culture at the federal level.  

This program will evolve over the year, and we welcome your input along the way. Please share your questions and feedback with us. You can also contact me directly or Tooshar Swain for federal government affairs issues or Jay Dick for state and local government affairs issues. Thank you for being an advocate for the arts and for your continued support.  

Warmest regards, 
Nolen Biven's signature
Nolen V. Bivens
President and CEO
Americans for the Arts

Read Our Advocacy Plan:

As part of a year-round advocacy program, we are pleased to work with our members and stakeholders to do the following: 

Expand our Federal State Arts Advocacy Captains program to create a robust Federal District Arts Advocacy Captains program to correspond with key Congressional House districts, representing those members of Congress in important decision-maker roles. We will look first to our local arts agency members to fill these Federal District Captain roles. Americans for the Arts will offer a stipend to each of the captains to acknowledge their time and work on behalf of artists and arts organizations in their state/district. If you are interested in becoming a District Captain, please email Tooshar Swain at [email protected]. 

  1. In the first quarter of 2023, Americans for the Arts will convene a national webinar on how to engage with elected officials, what are best practices, an overview of the current federal legislative landscape, and legislative priorities. Following this webinar, we will convene a second national webinar on how to secure congressional earmarks and how to work with your federal legislators to successfully obtain them.  
  2. In the second quarter, Americans for the Arts will host D.C.-based Legislative Fly-ins for up to 25 advocates and captains to come to Washington, D.C., to lobby their members of Congress on the entire field's behalf. Americans for the Arts will provide specific training and a travel stipend. Additional webinar-based advocacy training will also be conducted nationwide. 
  3. In the third quarter, Americans for the Arts will conduct Fly-outs, where our staff will work with our local arts agency members, district and state captains, and others to organize larger in-person advocacy training throughout the country in key legislative congressional districts. This will culminate with op-eds in local newspapers and community arts leaders meeting with their members of Congress back home, instead of in Washington, D.C. Additional webinar-based advocacy training will also be conducted nationwide. 
  4. In the fourth quarter, Americans for the Arts will host another Legislative Fly-in to Washington, D.C., that will specifically focus on the release of the Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 Study. This Fly-in will involve key local and state participants in that study that correspond with targeted federal decision makers. Additional webinar-based advocacy training will also be conducted nationwide.

Take the Americans for the Arts Policy Survey:

To help us prioritize our federal advocacy efforts on arts policy issues that mean the most to you, please complete by February 22, 2023, this brief survey identifying your top five legislative priorities.