Where to Start with Arts Advocacy

Brought to you by Andria Rodebaugh, ArtsEd Washington Intern, University of Washington Graduating Senior

Advocating for the arts can seem like a daunting task when you don’t know where to start. Through my recent Artivism 2.0 training I was able to get a grip on where to start as well as who to start with.

Where: Start getting involved in your local schools and creating opportunities for art interaction. The more opportunities for art interaction the more likely there will be community engagement and support.

Who: Start talking about arts advocacy with  principals, superintendents, your local arts commission, or your PTA. Just getting the conversation going can plant the seed for much more. Talking with other parents, teachers and community members and you’d be surprised by how many people want to help but just don’t know how. You can be the connection between this desire to do something and real change happening.

After garnering support and interest in arts advocacy the next step is getting your point across.

The Pitch: Having the ability to produce an elevator pitch is a valuable way to convey this point. Some key features of a great elevator pitch are:

  • specificity in what you want from the audience
  • clear examples of how to achieve this.
  • be passionate about the subject
  • start and end with your name and title keeps the audience focused on who you are and why your passion for arts advocacy matters.
  • express to the audience why supporting the arts will be good for them and what can they get out it

A great elevator pitch is only 1-2 minutes so rehearsing your pitch is crucial.

The Send: Once you have this concise and clear elevator pitch ready, the next step is disseminating it. This can be done a myriad of ways; through your PTA newsletter, talking with your local legislators, speaking at school board meetings and many other ways.

You can make a change in arts education. Be the reason students get to be immersed in the arts everywhere they look.