Arts and arts ed consultant and one of the San Diego arts ed advocacy masterminds, Victoria Saunders, gave an interview to the California Alliance for Arts Education. It’s posted on CAAE’s Facebook site. This story is so great, it gave me goosebumps. She says, “I told myself, if the Visual and Performing Arts Department goes away and I didn’t do anything to try to prevent that from happening, I will regret it for the rest of my life. If we lose it and we try at least we know that we tried and that we stood up for something we believe in.”
Here’s an awesome slice:
We also created a Facebook fan page to help build community support and share information. Then we combed through our Facebook fans to find out who supported our cause. I discovered that one of our “fans” was the brother of one of the school board members. That was useful information. In some cases, we got in touch with our fans to find out more about why they supported our issue. That helped us understand who we could leverage to help plead our cause.
For example, one of our Facebook fans was a former head of the local taxpayer’s association and now he’s an independent political consultant. I wrote to him and asked him about his interest in this issue. He wrote back and said that he has two kids in school, one in the band, and he’s always been a supporter of the arts. We had coffee and I asked for his advice. He suggested a media event emphasizing that we needed publicity.
I don’t do media. So I asked around for advice. I contacted a colleague who specializes in public relations. We put together a brief for her, and in 48 hours, she helped us pull together a media event. She told us that it is important to have strong visuals. So the VAPA Director helped get kids there – theatre students came in costume; arts students made banners, and musicians brought instruments. The Guild of Puppetry brought some huge puppets, including one Day of the Dead character.