Advocacy Q&As

1. What is the difference between advocacy and lobbying?

Advocacy and lobbying are both integral parts of democracy in action. Advocacy encompasses arguing for a cause, sharing facts and information with elected officials, and increasing public understanding about the importance of an issue. Think of it as “decision maker education.” Lobbying is encouraging the passage or defeat of a specific legislative bill. The community at large has an essential role to play in both lobbying and advocacy, and each is essential for the development of public policy that encourages arts education in our schools and communities.

2. Why should I become an advocate?

  • To raise awareness
  • Educate
  • Change laws
  • Obtain funding
  • Improve services

3. How can I be a successful advocate?

  • Know your issue
  • Know what you want
  • Know your representatives’ position
  • Know your facts, figures and statistics
  • Know what others are saying about this issue
  • Know who supports and who opposes

4. How can I communicate with my elected officials?

  • Communicate with your elected officials via Washington State Arts Alliance’s Legislative Action Center
  • Write a letter to your legislator
  • Phone/fax your legislators’ officeWrite a letter-to-the-editor
  • Visit your legislators’ office

5. Why should I advocate for arts education?

In a system increasingly dominated by rote memorization and standardized tests, the arts offer a critical pathway for students to imagine, explore, and test what’s possible. The arts can also provide a lifeline where other subjects fail. In many cases, the opportunity to learn, perform, or practice art during the school day is the only reason some kids get out of bed in the morning and into the building.