Thursday, October 15, 2009

October Arts Advocacy Bulletin

In the face of cuts in arts budgets all around the country, it seems clear that partnerships and coalitions on local, statewide, and national levels are becoming more important.
The Illinois Theatre Association is doing its part.

Our recent convention had a fine presentation on Advocacy by Ra Joy, Executive Director, and Scarlett Swerdlow, Advocacy Director, of Arts Alliance Illinois. An abridged version of the Alliance presentation, with some of their slides, is posted on: Their handouts are online at: If you are interested in hosting an advocacy training for your board, staff, volunteers, or school contact Scarlett Swertlow at:

On the national level you can help in the celebration of October as National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) This coast-to-coast celebration of culture in America is held every October and coordinated by Americans for the Arts. This year is special because it is the first time that National Arts and Humanities Month has been recognized by an official Presidential Proclamation. By issuing this historic public statement in his first year in office, President Obama has taken this opportunity to recognize the contributions that our cultural assets make to America's diversity, humanity, and economic health.

On the local level you can add your programs, events, and celebrations to the National Arts events map at You can also submit photos and videos via the NAHM groups on YouTube and Flickr or on Facebook. Get help with your planning by visiting the NAHM website where arts organizations can find planning and advocacy tool kits, as well as free downloads of the NAHM logo and web stickers that can easily be placed on websites, blogs, and social network user profiles. For more information about National Arts and Humanities Month, send an e-mail to

Do you think your school has a great theatre program? The Kennedy Center Alliance/School Boards Assocation is now seeking nominations for a a $10,000 cash prize to help strengthen a school’s arts education programming. Only one nomination per state will be considered by the award review panel and it must come from the State School Boards Association, State Alliance for Arts Education, or both organizations jointly. Nomination deadlines vary by state. Visit the KCAAEN website for more information. Nominations must be received by December 1, 2009.

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