This week, hundreds of advocates are gathering in and around Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, to communicate to our national elected officials the value and impact of the arts on local communities, on families, on individual lives.
This is an important day, not just for the arts community, not just for our Senators and Representatives, but for the people served by us, those who cannot be in Washington having these conversations.
I’ve worked within and outside of advocacy over the course of my career in the arts, so I understand why arts administrators are willing to make the commitment to travel to Washington, or even to their own state legislature, to promote the value of the arts. I know there is confusion about what roles arts nonprofit staff can take in the name of “advocacy” without jeopardizing their 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.
And I know our arts leadership, those most likely to speak with legislators, are also our busiest, most called-upon experts, and often feel that devoting several days to the work of advocacy is the best they can do under their current circumstances.
But, friends, it’s not all. The work happening in Washington this week is the chorus of the song we sing all year long: the arts build communities. The arts turn around lives. The arts stimulate the economy. Read the rest of this entry »