Educators are some of our strongest advocates. Letting the world know of the impact the arts have on a child's education and future is a vital message to share. Check out these actions that educators and administrators can take in their schools and districts during Arts Advocacy Week!
Have a spare few minutes every day? Have only a spare few minutes in your week? Either way - here are some actions you can take to support the arts during Advocacy Week in the classroom that will take only a few minutes to complete! Take action early, and often!
- Post to Social Media! Snap a photo of your students creating their next art project, post a production photo from their last theatre performance, or even take a picture of your school and include a message about the role the arts play daily! Be sure to use the #CreativeSC! Visit our Facebook page and "Like" us while you're at it!
- Encourage Attendance! Encourage your students and fellow educators to attend an arts event, especially during Arts Advocacy Week. And while they're there, snap a photo of the artwork, band, or with an actor or artist - or even the building! Post it to social media with #CreativeSC!
- Email Elected Officials and School Leaders. Take a few minutes and email your Principal, Superintendent, and School Board members letting them know that the arts help make your classroom a success! You can also email your city, state, and national officials to let them know how the arts have impacted your life and your school community! Don't know where to get started? We have a template for your local (city / county) officials here, a portal to contact your state legislators here, and a template for an email to your federal representatives here.
- Speech! Speech! Do you have a school performance or student art show during Advocacy Week? Before the show starts, take a minute and tell parents and community members about the role the arts play in the classroom and how their support at the public policy level is important and vital to the success of the arts experience they're about to see. Need an idea of what to say? Click here!
- Invite Them! If you do have a school arts performance or showcase, invite your school board members and superintendent! And be sure to recognize them when they show up!
- Tell a Friend! Know someone who would be a great advocate for the arts? Tell them to become a free member of the SCAA! As an "Advocate", they'll get all of our advocacy updates and tips!
Carve out an hour or so during Advocacy Week and take some really powerful action on behalf of the arts. Here are some actions you can take to support the arts during Advocacy Week in your school that may take a bit more time than just posting to social media, but these actions have a lot more power behind them and are great ways to show your support for the arts.
- Write It Up! Want to tell your arts education story to the world? Write a blog post on your website! Or, write a letter to your newspaper editor! Stories are the best advocacy tool - more powerful that big picture statistics or reports, your personal story is what gives the arts a fighting chance. So tell it! And be sure to share your story with us too so we can use it!
- Say Cheese! If you've got a cell phone, you've got a video camera. Pull that thing out and start recording! Post a video of your students (with permission) celebrating the arts or telling their own story, or post a clip from a recent student showcase. Then post it to your social media, website, or send to us and we'll post it for you!
- Take Someone Out for Coffee. Your Principal and Superintendent need coffee too! See about asking your leadership to take some time after the school day and share some of those most meaningful stories and discuss strategies to make the arts stronger in your school.
- Set a Meeting! Your local officials - city and county councils, school board members, state legislators - love meeting with constituents. Set up a meeting with yours and talk to them about how they can support the arts in the classroom. Whether it's a casual coffee to just talk about the arts in general, or a meeting at City Hall to talk about a specific arts issue - or just to get to know them, ask for a meeting and advocate!
- Public Comment Section. Have you ever been to your School Board Meeting? Advocacy Week is a great time to start! Visit your district's website and see when the next board meeting is. If you're feeling up to it, have you or an "arts ally" parent sign up to tell your board members how much you want to see the arts grow in your schools during the public comment section. Need a starting place? We've got a template for that too. And don't forget to stay for the whole meeting! Learning the process is just as important, if not more, as speaking up.
Want to make the front page? Below are some "super star" advocacy actions you can take to make the arts the center of conversation at your school and district. These do take some time to plan and implement, but are well worth the effort. Be sure to let us know if you're thinking about planning one of these and we'll be sure to help with anything we can!
- Show Time! There is nothing wrong with a well-timed student showcase. Advocacy Week is a great way to use a statewide platform to shine the light on the role the arts play in your school. If you've got the time and the material, think about putting together a student showcase or performance during Advocacy Week!
- Send a Team to Arts Advocacy Day @ the Statehouse! Our Advocacy Day at the Statehouse attracts over 200 advocates from across the state each year! Rally at the Statehouse and then join us for a luncheon with legislators! Let's get some more teachers there! Click here for more information.
- Buy Some Stamps! Get together with your Social Studies or Civics teacher and have your students create cards and messages to mail to their elected officials! Not only are they bound to get a response, but they're bound to make an impression too!