SC Arts Advocacy Day, Feb. 4, 2014
The South Carolina Arts Advocacy Day rally will be held at the South Carolina State Capitol Building on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 in Columbia, SC., beginning at 11:30 a.m. (see “What To Expect at the Statehouse” below).
You will also want to register for the Legislative Appreciation Luncheon, at the Capitol City Club, across the street from the State House, following the rally (see “What To Expect at the Advocacy Day Legislative Appreciation Luncheon“ below).
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE STATEHOUSE
- You can expect to meet up with arts supporters like yourself from across the state – arts administrators, board members, volunteers, educators, students, artists and parents.
- Advocates will gather in the Statehouse first floor lobby area by 11:30 AM to greet legislators as they arrive for the noon session. You will need to enter from the Sumter Street entrance and pass through security.
- Arts Advocates will be easy to spot. The Arts Alliance will provide our lightweight plastic white “hard hats” and our signature advocacy button – “ART WORKS IN SOUTH CAROLINA” with Mona Lisa wearing her hard hat. (If you still have your hat and button from a previous year – please wear them as they are now limited in number!)
- We’ll also have a NEW BUTTON for the occasion – a “bipARTisan” red and blue that says “thank you” – our theme for this year’s Arts Advocacy Day . Share that message with your legislators, for their support of the $1 million increase to the South Carolina Arts Commission’s base budget and the impact those dollars are having in communities and classrooms across the state!
- You are welcome also to make/bring your own signage but please be respectful and civil – “no bashing” – and keep it “bipARTisan”.
- As legislators and staff arrive – entering from the basement’s parking garage into the Statehouse for the day’s session — advocates will form a “gauntlet” and greet them by passing out our advocacy buttons and hats, thanking them for their support and asking for continued funding of the arts and arts education. We also plan to distribute business-size cards that state our message.
- If you see your legislator, remind him or her of the day’s Legislative Appreciation Luncheon and if you will be in attendance. Plan to take a photo of you and your Legislator with your camera phone and add it to your Facebook page or our’s at: www.facebook.com/scartsalliance.
- Some advocates will have already met with their legislators earlier in the morning (by making an appointment in advance or just stopping by their office for a brief visit and leaving information). You might like to do the same.
- If you missed seeing your legislator, there will be “call out” forms you can fill out and have delivered to your legislator to let them know you are in the lobby or gallery and request a brief visit. You can also use the forms at the “page desks” in front of each chamber.
- You can expect that both the first floor and the second floor lobby areas will be congested with many other citizens and groups advocating for their own issues, along with legislators and lobbyists. That’s a good thing! Mix and mingle.
- Once legislators arrive and move to the House or Senate chambers for the day’s opening session, you may want to view floor activities from their respective galleries on the third floor. It’s a real education! (There are also elevators.)
- The galleries are small in capacity, especially the Senate gallery. You will be ushered in as seats become available. Because the chamber galleries are popular and always crowded, seating may be limited. You are encouraged not to linger too long in the galleries in order for others to be seated. You may be asked to remove your “hard hat”, but be sure to put it back on in the lobby area.
- South Carolina’s Arts Advocacy Day will be announced from the “floor” of each chamber, and Arts Advocates should stand and be recognized.
- If you have a reservation for the Legislative Appreciation Luncheon, you will want to leave the Statehouse no later than 12:45 PM in order to arrive at the Capital City Club and check in on time. The Luncheon takes place across the street from the Statehouse at the Capital Center Building at 1201 Main Street, 1:00 – 2:30 PM. The Capital City Club is on the 25th floor. There is a parking garage in the building, which you can enter on the Lady Street side.
- You must REGISTER in advance for the luncheon and the cost is $35. However, please consider being an UNDERWRITER of the event, and take advantage of the “Special Advocate’s Deal” — $60 will cover a legislator’s lunch and your own! You can underwrite additional legislator lunches at $30 each.
- Even though all legislators will have received an invitation to the Legislative Appreciation Luncheon from the Arts Alliance and the event is on their official House and Senate calendars, contact your legislators to remind them of the Luncheon and that you will be in attendance. Legislators will arrive at the Luncheon following “adjournment”.
- If you can’t stay for the Luncheon, but still want to help make an impression on our policymakers, just join us at the Statehouse first floor lobby area by 11:30 AM. You will help to increase our numbers – putting a face on the arts – as the legislators arrive, and you’ll be back to work or class in no time!
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE ADVOCACY DAY LEGISLATIVE APPRECIATION LUNCHEON
- The South Carolina Arts Alliance sponsors a Legislative Appreciation Luncheon in honor of the Legislative Arts Caucus and attendees will include arts leaders from across the state, members of the General Assembly, special guests and you!
- There will be an exciting luncheon program featuring special recognitions, guest speakers, student performances, and news on important state arts issues.
- Each legislator will have received an invitation from the Arts Alliance to attend the luncheon. The event will also be listed on the House and Senate calendar of events. Let your legislator know in advance that you will be in attendance and looking forward to sitting together at lunch.
- The Luncheon takes place at the Capital City Club, which is located on the 25th floor of the CapitalCenter, right across the street from the Statehouse at 1201 Main Street. There is a parking garage in that building (enter from Lady Street), as well as other municipal parking lots and 2-hour street parking.
- When you arrive at the Luncheon, please check in at the registration table, pick up your name tag, and take care of your lunch payment, if you haven’t done that in advance. Remember that you can pay on line now with your credit card.
- A SCAA “host” can direct you to the appropriate table where you will be seated with other arts advocates and legislators from your region of the state.
- Legislators will arrive after the House and Senate adjourn for lunch, and throughout the program. Because last minute conflicts may arise, such as a called committee meeting, your legislator may not be able to attend the luncheon, even if he/she has responded in the affirmative. These conflicts, while disappointing, may be unavoidable. However, many legislators who have not made advanced reservations will also arrive for lunch and need to be seated. Some legislators will stay for the entire luncheon, while others may eat and run. We do expect the room to be filled to capacity.
- Take advantage of this special opportunity to get to know your policymakers. You may end up sitting with a legislator that you do not know. However, you shouldn’t have any difficulty talking with anyone about the wonderful things that go on in your community or schools and the importance of state arts funding.
- Be prepared to talk about the arts in your community and innovative arts education initiatives in your schools; about the need to create arts experiences and build arts participation; how the arts are revitalizing your downtown; creating jobs, increasing the tax base — the economic impact of the arts and cultural tourism in your community – and the importance of having a state agency that brings access to the arts to all of our citizens and all of our communities.
- The SCAA will provide some talking points and helpful information on the reverse side of your luncheon program. For additional facts and talking points, watch for our email Advocacy Alerts and check our web site at: www.SCArtsAlliance.net, and keep up with us on our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/scartsalliance or contact the Arts Alliance.
- Remember to thank legislators for their support of the arts over the last several years and ask for their continued support of the arts and arts education. Plan to send a “thank you” note to the legislators you meet over lunch – maybe on their Facebook page.
- Encourage your legislator to join the SC Legislative Arts Caucus! Forms will be available at the Luncheon check-in table for the House and Senate members. See our updated list of SC Arts Caucus members. For additional questions, please contact the Arts Alliance.
- The Legislative Appreciation Luncheon will feature remarks by current Arts Caucus Co-chairs: Senator Wes Hayes (R-York Co.) and Representative Leon Stavrinakis (Charleston Co.) and our newest co-chairs: Representative Rita Allison (R- Greenville & Spartanburg Counties) and Senator Vincent Sheheen (D – Chesterfield, Kershaw & LancasterCounties. You will also hear from other legislators and arts leaders. All legislators will be introduced throughout the luncheon program.
- This year you’ll enjoy a performance featuring students from the Eau Claire High School Steel Pan Ensemble from RichlandOneSchool District.
- The Arts Alliance will have its “Miss Mona” ART WORKS IN SOUTH CAROLINA tote bags (with a zipper closure) available for sale at the luncheon for $15.
- Feel free to use Social Media while you’re in attendance – Facebook and Twitter — to help share the news and excitement of Arts Advocacy Day!