A List of Things Every Advocate Should Know

Know the Players – build and maintain relationships with elected officials at all levels from the school district to the White House.  These relationships, over time, put you in the position of being the ‘go to’ arts person. When expert advice is needed about policy issues related to the arts you will be the person your elected officials will trust. To find your legislators and their contact information visit Ohio’s E-Advocacy Center.

Know the Issues – by understanding a wide breadth of issues that are of concern to your elected officials, and ultimately impact citizens in your community and state, you are better able to communicate effectively and know how to be more strategic about the issues that are important to you: public funding for the arts, arts education, artists, etc.  

Know the Process – understanding the state budget process, timeline, and key players is important. Knowledge is power and it allows you to better understand the demands placed on policy-makers in the heat of the budget process. 

Know What’s Happening – stay in communication with Ohio Citizens for the Arts – watch your email in-box for news, action alerts, and advocacy tips. Be sure to take action when asked, share information with your circle of friends, and make advocacy a daily habit!

Know How to Become a Trusted Resource – stay in touch with your policy-makers and offer accurate and timely information that will support the arts and arts education.

Know the Value of an Active Advocacy Committee – assist in organizing an advocacy committee in your school, office, and business. Work with arts organizations in your community to form advocacy committees that provide information and updates to artists, educators, patrons, and vendors. Call on Ohio Citizens for the Arts for help in organizing your advocacy committee – 614.221.4064.

Know that Advocacy is Personal – the time and effort you put into arts advocacy will pay off over time. The time you spend making a personal visit, making a phone call, leaving a message at the office, sending an email, handwritten letter, or card, and/or inviting your legislators to arts events will help you build and maintain relationships with your policy-makers.

Know How to Move Beyond the Policy-Maker – spend some time reviewing talking points that have been prepared to support public funding for the arts through the Ohio Arts Council.  Consider writing a letter to the editor or an op-ed piece for the local paper explaining the value of public funding for the arts and how the arts funding impacts you, your family, the community, and local schools.

Know Where to Find ResourcesOhio Citizens for the Arts website has a host of resources including weblinks and pages for additional resources to support your advocacy efforts. Visit the site often. The OCA website is also home to Ohio’s E-Advocacy Center – your desktop advocacy solution. With the click of a few keys you are instantly connected to resources that let you personalize email and letter communications to your elected officials.

Know the Statehouse Run – Legislators are always running from one meeting to another, running from one event to the next, and running for re-election, even when it isn’t an election year. Put on your running shoes and get involved – attend hearings, events, and use your clout as a voter and a financial contributor to speak up for the arts.

Know How to Be Visible and Active in the Election Process – attend candidate forums, debates, and town hall meetings. Be prepared to share a few talking points at every event about the value of the arts to jobs, education, cultural heritage, and the economy. The arts are part of the solution! The arts are an investment in Ohio’s future. 

Know How to Join Ohio Citizens for the Arts – call the OCA office 614.221.4064 and we will process your membership today!

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