All advocacy starts at the local level. Taking action in your community is vital to the entire arts field. Below you'll find some advocacy actions you can take to raise your voice in your own backyard!
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 that will take only a few minutes to complete! Take action early, and often!
- Post to Social Media! Whether it's a quick statement of support for the arts, a personal story about the impact of the arts, or sharing a statistic about the arts in your community or South Carolina, use #CreativeSC and let the world know about the impact of the arts. Visit our Facebook page and "Like" us while you're at it!
- Attend & Share! Go to an arts event, especially during Arts Advocacy Week. And while you'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. Take a few minutes and email your Mayor, City and County Council members, School Board members, State Legislators, and even Congressional Representatives. Let them know how the arts have impacted your life and your 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 performance of your own? A gallery opening? Before the ball gets rolling, take a minute and tell your audience about the role the arts play in their community 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 Your Mayor! Going to an arts event during Advocacy Week (or any other day)? Invite an elected official to attend with you! (Note: If you're an organization, you can't buy them a ticket or offer one for free, but a board member can pay for their ticket and take them as their guest.)
- 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 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 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 you telling your arts story, or post a video of art in your community. Then post it to your social media, website, or send to us and we'll post it for you!
- Email Your Audience. If you're an organization or company with a mailing list, then Advocacy Week is the time to use that list to give the arts a powerful voice. Check out our template which you can use to send to your audiences and encourage them to take their own advocacy action during Advocacy Week!
- 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 community. 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 a city or county council meeting? Advocacy Week is a great time to start! Call your City Hall and ask about when your Council meets and what the rules are for giving Public Comment. Sign up and when it's your turn, tell your Council members how much you want to see the arts grow in your community. 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 any community meeting. 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!
- Rally! Get all of the arts supporters in town together and make some (polite) noise! Check with your local government on the process and permits for hosting a rally on public property (such as City Hall or a park), and invite everyone you know! We've got a quick checklist to help you plan!
- Did Someone Say Forum? Want to get your public officials and/or arts leaders out there in the public eye and start some dialogue in your community? Host a forum at a local arts center! Give folks the chance to ask and answer questions about the impact the arts have on your community and the future of their support. Yep, we've got a checklist for that too!
- Attend 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! Click here for more information.
- Buy Some Stamps! Get your staff or a group of supporters together and write some letters to your elected officials! A good old fashioned letter campaign still has a big impact on legislators! Check out our elected official message template to get some ideas.
- Call the Press! Call your local media and set up a press conference during Advocacy Week! Invite all of the arts leaders and organizations in your community, as well as your elected officials. Band together to have a unified voice and let your entire community know that the arts are important to your city or town.
- Whereas... Talk to your City Council and see about having them pass an "Arts Advocacy Day" Resolution. Get your city to officially recognize the arts in your town each year! If you consider doing this, please let us know and we can help draft the language and make sure that everyone is coordinating for their city to declare the same day as all the others!