For 25 years of the Congressional Arts Caucus¹ 30-year history, arts advocates have convened for one day on Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Hill to flood the halls of Congress to share their views regarding arts initiatives.
On this day, such active engagement by the arts community provides our representative government with a first-hand account of the state of the arts in our country. The opportunity to meet with our constituents and businesses with a personal connection to the arts helps to put a face (and a talent) to the idea of supporting the arts at a federal level.
Arts Advocacy Day (AAD) is a day to celebrate the vibrancy of the arts and the wide array of talents here in the United States of America. There is no better place to embrace the great diversity of our country’s artistic identity than in the nation’s capital.
For the thousands of you who have participated in AAD, chances are you have met with a congressional staffer or two (or 435). As the staff members that manage the Congressional Arts Caucus on behalf of its Co-Chairs, believe us when we say these meetings have a tremendous effect on gaining the attention of your Representatives and help to keep the arts community in the Members’ thoughts throughout the year.
Because of this, arts staffers are your greatest allies in making positive change for the arts with federal investments.
While Members have a world of issues with which to be concerned, we are responsible for listening, understanding, and conveying the needs of the arts community to our busy bosses. We assist you in keeping the Members informed of the arts’ significant contributions to your local economies—whether it is on the current state of arts funding, about changes in arts policy, or facilitating connections with arts groups in our constituencies.
Thank you for your past, present, and future participation in AAD.
The message you convey to us on this day plays a vital part in our everyday operations working to serve you, the constituent, and to better our nation as a whole.
On behalf of all arts staffers in the House of Representatives, we welcome you to the “People’s House” on April 17 and look forward to working with you!
Stefanie Winzeler & Kate Williamson
For the Offices of Representative Louise Slaughter and Representative Todd Russell Platts
Co-Chairs, Congressional Arts Caucus
¹ The Congressional Arts Caucus is a bipartisan group for Members of Congress dedicated to the promotion of the arts on Capitol Hill. The caucus is currently co-chaired by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Congressman Todd Platts (R-PA), and boasts more than 180 members. In addition to organizing Congressional support for arts-related issues throughout the year in the U.S. House of Representatives, the caucus actively participates in the annual national Arts Advocacy Day. Caucus members help to secure the necessary facilities, provide critical information on arts issues to their colleagues, and personally engage with arts advocates on AAD and throughout the year.
(Editor’s Note: For more information about Arts Advocacy Day and the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy taking place in Washington, D.C. April 16-17, please visit http://artsusa.org/events/2012/aad/default.asp)