Advocacy has become an integral part of my work and I hoped this blog could be another opportunity to suggest it become a regular part of your work as we work to advance our field. When I read Edward Clapp’s open letter, “This is Our Emergency” with this topic in mind I was struck by how similar our call to action is to the cries of so many marginalized groups over the decades: women, African Americans, gays, people with disabilities. The details are different, but it’s the sound of drums and grassroots and whispers becoming shouts.
Advocacy is critical to our work in moving forward and shaping this field. We all know the dire straights the arts and arts education are in, but if the last election cycle taught us anything, it’s the power of many voices shouting the same message to make real change.
To truly be leaders in our field we must be advocates, for the arts and for ourselves. Advocacy can be intimidating (I have to say what to which Senator?), overwhelming (I have to meet the deadline for this program, not write a letter), even mysterious (What exactly counts as advocacy?). I had all of these feelings several years ago when my own work in advocacy began; now it feels like second nature. Read the rest of this entry »