Friday, August 17, 2007

Advocating for Theatre Arts via Illinois Theatre Association

Anyone who looks at this blog occasionally might be forgiven if they think that all we do is travel and promote things at the Buchanan Center for the Arts and the Warren County Public Library. But my career was in the theatre and my heart still lingers there even though it is more difficult to keep up professionally when the financial support that one used to enjoy while teaching is no longer there.

A lot of my theatre energy is now directed toward serving as Director of Advocacy for the Illinois Theatre Association, where one of my duties is to write a monthly column for their newsletter. The August article is reproduced below.

"Having just returned from the 2007 Convention of ATHE (Association of Theatre in Higher Education) in New Orleans, where I gave a short paper on my Advocacy Involvement with the Illinois Theatre Association, I thought this might be the time to mention that advocacy materials are available on the ATHE website. You will find the Advocacy section under Resources. One site in their info bank that I mentioned a few months ago is still first rate. Take a look at
the Kennedy Center’s ArtsEdge.

A part of advocacy is pursuing rights for the members of our profession and you might find the following ATHE position paper on “Partner Benefits” interesting and helpful (even though it is aimed primarily at college teachers).

Now here’s a little gold mine. All in one place the Arts Education Policies of all the states in the union. Check out Illinois and a few others. Read, and then perhaps weep.

The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) has an arts education advocacy DVD, called Visions of the Future: Education in the Art, which offers reflections on the past and perspectives on the future of arts education from key leaders of education, arts and philanthropic organizations. As a bonus the DVD includes The Arts and Children: A Success Story, an advocacy video produced by AEP in 1996 featuring Meryl Streep. Check it out at

The final part of Advocacy this month is to remind you that renewing your membership in ITA (Ilinois Theatre Association) and committing to attend the convention in September is the sort of ‘put your money where your mouth is' proof that you do want to have a stake in influencing theatre arts policy in Illinois and in the country. All arts activities need your support!" If you want more information on the Illinois Theatre Association click on its web site at the left in this blog.

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