What can I do?
Everyone can play a role in Advocacy for Arts Education
I. What do you need to advocate?
A MESSAGE: Know what you want to accomplish. Make your message clear and direct. For example:
As our job market is changing from production to creation, our workers need to be thoughtful and creative. By including the arts and arts integration in our schools, our students have the opportunity to learn and practice these skills to be ready for the 21st century workforce.
INFORMATION OR SUPPORTING FACTS: Know the background information and the impact of your message. For example:
The Arts provide an economical and cultural vitality in our community
The Arts provide a better quality of life by improving physical, mental and social health
The Arts prepare our Worksforce for the 21st Century
-Critical thinking and Problem Solving
-Collaboration and Leadership
-Initiative and Entrepreneurship
-Agility and Adaptability
-Information Accessing and Analyzing
-Effective Oral and Written Communication
-Curiosity and Imagination
OPPORTUNITY: Know when, where and how to advocate. Create opportunities by networking and meeting with policy-makers.
Be sure to follow up when you receive a request from one of the local or national organizations to send a letter to your legislature. The systems provided by Americans for the Arts, the Florida Alliance for Arts Education, and others take 2 minutes to send a letter. And your letters DO MATTER. The more letters your legislators receive, the greater chance they see this as an important issue that must be addressed.
If you see one of your legislators at a community event or the grovery store, don't hesitate to thank them for their service and then hit them with your message and a supporting fact or two.
PERSISTENCE: Don’t give up. Advocacy is an ongoing process. There will be setbacks, but the players are always changing so everyday is a new opportunity. If you sent a letter last week, don't hesitate to send another this week.
II. What is your comfort level for advocacy?
LEVEL I – The Average Arts Education Advocate is:
Makes “comfortable” contacts with policy-makers
LEVEL II – The Advanced Arts Education Advocate:
Makes contact with policy-makers
Responds to advocacy alerts
Volunteers to support arts education
LEVEL III – The WOW Arts Education Advocate:
Accepts a leadership advocacy role
Testifies on arts education issues
Works at the national level on arts education issues