Arts and Creativity Strengthen Our Nation: A Narrative and Message Guide

To grow public resources for the arts, advocates can skillfully position the arts and creativity to appeal across the political spectrum. Learning from the views of both arts champions and skeptics, we can galvanize support from conservative, centrist and progressive policy makers alike.

This NASAA guide can help! Arts and Creativity Strengthen Our Nation shows advocates how to make a case for public support of the arts as a core necessity—rather than as an optional nicety. Its recommendations originate from extensive message testing and research on the values that motivate elected officials.

Arts and Creativity Strengthen Our Nation

Much more than a laundry list of talking points, this guide offers evidence based advice on narrative framing, helping us to understand the panpartisan power behind certain language and ideas. It also shows advocates how to improve the success of how we talk about the impact of the arts in the economy, health, communities and education.

How to Talk about Public Funding

While the benefits of the arts are embraced by many policymakers, not all believe it is the business of government to fund them. It takes a structured set of arguments to secure their support. Include four key points—in a certain order—to help elected officials understand why public-sector investment in the arts is essential.

The Core Message

This one-pager contains a succinct summary of a core message that helps elected officials get excited about supporting the arts. It distills five key components to convey to policymakers, their staff and other key influencers. If you’re short on time, this “elevator pitch” is a good place to begin.

Making a Strong Case for the Arts

In this NASAA Learning Series session, hear a concise overview of Arts and Creativity Strengthen Our Nation, then learn how three state arts agencies have used the guide to make a convincing case for public investment in the arts and inspire support across the political spectrum.

For additional advocacy guidance, consult NASAA’s advocacy resources and our arts and economic recovery research tools.

Photo credit: Delaware Arts Alliance