Advocacy Toolkit

Visualize a World Where Support for the Arts Abounds...Take Action!

Why Advocacy?

As a constituent, you are the ideal grassroots advocate to convey to members of Congress how essential the arts and arts education are to your community. You have the power to educate them about the importance of the arts in your community and to engage them on important arts issues on Capitol Hill. Without your help, your member of Congress may not realize the ability of the arts to support jobs, engage kids in school, and change lives in your district. We want to make it easy for you to take action, build relationships with your representative’s office, and highlight the advocacy work you are doing in your community and schools.

Want to take action, but aren’t sure where to begin? We’ve put together some resources for you to customize and start advocating with ease.

Arts Education Advocacy Tips

  1. Brush up your advocacy skills:

    • Communicate a clear MESSAGE.
    • Be VISIBLE to decision makers.
    • Harness the influence of an advocacy NETWORK.
  2. Use the Unified Statement to connect your community to Federal education policy that supports high quality art education. The statement was prepared by NAEA and other national arts education organizations to support the arts in the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

  3. Work with your state/regional NAEA organization to connect and partner with the Americans for the Arts State Arts Action Network that includes the Kennedy Center’s state Alliances for Arts Education and state citizen arts advocacy groups.

Reach Out to Your Members of Congress to Support Arts Education!

Below, you’ll find four easy ways to get in touch with your Members of Congress. Be sure to refer to the Americans for the Arts’ calendar for simple advocacy actions to take from home throughout the year.

Four Ways to Reach Out to Your Members of Congress as an Individual:

  1. Use customizable letters online to e-mail your representative about current legislative issues. Just select an issue and enter your information to send your representatives customizable letter. Topics range from National Endowment for the Arts’ appropriations to arts education funding.
  2. Want to share your support with the local press? Use the E-Advocacy Action Center to write a letter to the editor of your local paper.
  3. Remind your member of Congress about the impact creative industries have in your district.  Login to the website to download a customized Creative Industries map for your county showing arts-related jobs and businesses.  Make sure your representative is aware of the presence of these creative organizations and the jobs they support.
  4. Meeting with your Representative or their staff in person? Here are some quick questions to ask:

Advocacy White Papers for Art Education

These essays communicate the value of visual arts education in a constantly changing educational environment and demonstrate why visual arts education is important for meeting each student’s educational needs. We urge you to share the White Papers for Art Education with colleagues, policy makers, supervisors and administrators, preservice art educators, and parents.

NAEA Platform and Position Statements

NAEA’s platform and position statements relate to national issues or topics of interest to the profession and/or field of visual arts education and advances the mission of the organization.

When the Arts Do Not Exist

Our students say it best…

Art Advocacy - Let Them Be Heard