It’s hard to believe, but six months has passed since we celebrated the first National Arts in Education Week (as declared by Congress). As we all know, legislative bodies don’t often operate on a timeline that is convenient for the rest of us (i.e. the fact that our federal government runs out of money in just a few days).
Because of that, a group of us on Twitter that gets together for arts education chats on Thursdays (search #artsed) came up with the idea of using that week to start projects that could be celebrated later in the year, or more specifically, a half a year later during what is known as Arts Education/Youth Arts/Music in Our Schools Month – March.
During that time, we have also been collecting signatures of advocates who promised to testify on behalf of arts education at their local school board meetings throughout the month of March. We just asked for regular people who support arts education in their local schools to show up to the meeting and say something positive about the arts during the public comment section, or even better, get on the agenda ahead of time.
All we promised was to help train them to advocate. On Tuesday, we will tape a webinar on that very topic that will be available on-demand in just a few days. The short session features an overview of the importance of boards of education in arts education in schools, advocacy tips, talking points, and examples of successful work with school boards in California and Alabama.
We only have two conditions. First, the webinar will only be available to those who have signed up to testify on our site or members of Americans for the Arts. Second, we ask that you email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your experiences attending your board meeting and I will share stories on ARTSblog.
As of last week, over 400 people from across the country agreed to testify, but we think we can do better than that.
I know we’re asking a lot, but if you think you can’t do it, read what three alumni were able to do on behalf of arts education at their Massachusetts alma mater earlier this month.
Thanks in advance for speaking out and I look forward to hearing from you soon!