posted by Christopher Howard — Jan 22, 2013
CAA encourages you to register and take part in three upcoming events this winter and spring in Washington, DC: Arts Advocacy Day, Humanities Advocacy Day, and Museums Advocacy Day. At each, participants meet their senators and representatives in person to advocate increased federal support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
Previous lobbying experience isn’t necessary. Training sessions and practice talks take place the day before the main events—that’s why, for example, Arts Advocacy Day is actually two days, not one. Participants are also prepped on the critical issues and the range of funding requested of Congress to support these federal agencies. It is at these training sessions where you meet—and network with—other advocates from your states. The main sponsoring organization for each event makes congressional appointments for you.
You may have mailed a letter or sent a prewritten email to your congressperson or senator before, but legislators have an algorithm of interest for pressing issues, in which a personal visit tops all other forms of communication. As citizen lobbyists, it’s also important to have a few specific examples about how arts funding has affected you: don’t be afraid to name-drop major cultural institutions—such as your city’s best-known museum or nonprofit art center—in your examples of why the visual arts matter in your state.
If you cannot attend the three advocacy days in person, please send an email or fax to your representatives expressing your concern about continued and increased funding for the visual arts. If you don’t know your representative or senators, you can look them up at www.congress.org.
Museums Advocacy Day
Join fellow advocates in Washington, DC, for Museums Advocacy Day, taking place February 25–26, 2013, and help make the case that museums are essential—as education providers and economic drivers—in every community. If museums are not at the table, they could be on the table. Registration is open through January 25.
Humanities Advocacy Day
Registration for the annual meeting of the National Humanities Alliance (March 18) and Humanities Advocacy Day (March 19) will help you to connect with a growing network of humanities leaders, to communicate the value of the humanities to members of Congress, and to become a year-round advocate for the humanities. The advance deadline for registration is January 31, 2013.
Arts Advocacy Day
The 2012 election made a dramatic impact on Congress, with more than eighty new members taking office this month. The House and Senate will renew the focus on reducing the federal deficit and creating jobs, and it is imperative that arts advocates work together to craft a policy agenda that supports the nonprofit arts sector and arts education. CAA encourages you to register for Arts Advocacy Day, which takes place April 8–9, 2013, in Washington, DC, to help the cause. Register by the advance deadline to participate: March 25, 2013.