I recall I have already written a post on this topic, yet with all that is happening currently, I wish to reiterate the concept.
Arts advocacy in our current times has mainly been received by our own supporters. For many reasons, it has not reached a level of support by the general public. This is the main reason why it is so easy for administrations to put the arts and humanities on the chopping block. The arts are a sacrificial lamb to show they are making cuts, yet the cuts are insubstantial to saving money. The small amount of money that funds the arts does good for our society. Take this tiny amount away from the budget, and the very act does more harm than good.
Instead, they are inflating an already over inflated defense budget and building a wall (yeah, Mexico is not paying for this folks, we will be).
But I digress. The topic for today is to apply audience development to arts advocacy. Audience development is about building relationships, and I am sure the leaders of our sectors are working hard on this component. We the people can also use our connections, our communities, to collaborate and show we care about the arts (see how I inserted the 4C’s?).
The biggest reason that arts advocacy has not been as strong as it could be is because we are not organized as a collective voice, but more so, we are not using our individual voices to create word of mouth and general momentum for the concept that life without arts would totally suck!
The arts deserve to be funded for so many reasons, and you probably have your own personal reasons. When was the last time you shared your reasons with other people? We tend to live in little arts bubbles, and it is time to share with people that we know that may not be a part of our industry already.
So how do we do this exactly? The old fashioned and new technology way! Do both! Have coffee with people and share on social media. Create videos to get your point across. Host arts advocacy video contests. Develop signs! Have a march!
In my humble opinion, funding the arts is just as important as the other issues that we are organizing around.
And if for some reason a collective voice is not organized for us, we could take the underground, pass it on approach, which any one of us could participate in.
I leave you with my main arts advocacy Pecha Kucha I did a few years back. What would life be without the arts? I sure hope we don’t find out the hard way.
Cheers to loyal and happy arts advocates,
Chief Audience Builder for Audience Development Specialists
List of what you can do (yes you!):
- Sign this petition
- Sign this one too (even if not registering the count)
- Make your own video or presentation to send out!
- Keep informed and join The Americans for the Arts
- Tweet at your representatives in support of the arts
- Write/Callto your representatives in support of the arts
- Tag your representatives on Facebook
- Write to your local media:
- Tweet your “Why I support funding the arts” and post your pics and stories to Facebook!
- Send in your few seconds “Fund the arts because…” to my SpeakPipe voicemail box, and I can include it in an ADS Podcast!
Stay tuned for more arts advocacy initiatives!