The arts are being challenged these days. Funding for school arts programs is being cut, state grants are being squeezed, arts organizations struggle for sustainability, and artists press on in spite of it all.
Art is communication. People who love and live the arts can broaden the
conversation. That’s you and me.
Strike a strong chord.
This year we saw the impact of the emails, calls, and letters many of you sent to Pennsylvania’s state legislators during the advocacy campaign to secure the budget of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA). The budget passed with a $8,179,000 allocation to PCA for grant making. Although that was essentially the same level of funding as last year, at least the degree of continued erosion was minimal. Now the follow up work begins.
It takes all of us pulling together to protect what the arts bring to individuals and the communities in theLehighValley.
Arts advocacy is an important habit to learn and practice.
That’s part of what we’ll be doing on this blog: Keeping the arts front and center through ongoing dialogue, idea exchange, and ways to make a difference.
We need to showcase to the public and our elected officials the value that the arts bring to our lives and communities.
Be a voice.
You are an important voice for the arts within your own circles. What you say means something. We each deliver our messages in our own way and together they compound.
There are lots of ways that we can build a strong network of arts supporters.
Here are a few suggestions that will get the right kind of attention:
- Express gratitude: As an arts patron, send a thank-you note to the
producer or a funder about a special performance experience. It will help motivate future programming and support.
- Share experiences: When an arts experience touches you, share it. Let people know how the arts make a difference. Use word-of-mouth, Facebook, Twitter, your own blog, print media, or even a soapbox. Your message resonates with others when it comes from your heart and captures your joy.
- Patronize the arts: Make a point to attend arts experiences regularly, bring your family and friends along, or organize a field trip. One way to demonstrate the importance of the arts is to patronize them. Everyone wins that way.
If you love the arts, please don’t wait for the ax to fall on arts budgets, programs, and organizations before you express yourself. Keep legislators, community leaders, and philanthropists informed about the value of the arts and the work you may be doing in the arts community.
Your voice matters. Our commitment as the Lehigh Valley Arts Council is to be a voice too, advocating for the arts and all that they bring into our lives.
Our efforts are strengthened when we hear from you and when others know that we’re engaged with one another. Here’s how you can help:
- Subscribe to our blog and/or comment on our posts when you can
- Follow us on Facebook and comment on posts there
- Follow us on Twitter and share our blog posts with your followers
- Visit our website and take advantage of information and services there
Your support makes a difference. Together we can ensure that the arts remain an essential part of our life in theLehighValley.
Now, what topics would you like to read about here? We’ll do our best to cover them for you.