February 1, 2023
Proven Tool to Advocate for Arts and Creativity
In recent weeks, a number of state arts agency leaders and advocates have taken time to let me know that NASAA’s advocacy messaging guide is proving quite productive for their work. I really appreciate the feedback for a couple of reasons. First, I want all our resources to help gainfully advance and strengthen the work of state arts agencies. I’m delighted that’s the case here. Second, all of your feedback, including constructive criticism, helps our team fine-tune NASAA’s services, keeping them in alignment with member needs. Always keep the feedback flowing!
I’m also grateful for the positive feedback because it’s helping me pause to realize that, with so many new leaders in our field since NASAA published the resource, it’s likely that newer members are less familiar with the publication. For this reason, I’m pleased to call it to your attention.
In 2021 we launched the new advocacy messaging guide, which is custom-made for our field: Arts and Creativity Strengthen Our Nation. This guide is the result of NASAA’s journey to advocate more effectively across the political spectrum. It contains messages proven to be effective in motivating your elected officials—whether progressive, centrist or conservative—to support public funding for the arts. Developed using research and testing with policymakers, the guide was created by a nationally recognized communications firm with special expertise in the science of framing messages to build public will.
Arts and Creativity Strengthen Our Nation contains specific language recommendations, sample narratives, and insights into how advocates can hone our arguments to broaden support for the arts and position the arts as a necessity. The guide includes fresh perspective on what messages appeal to lawmakers, as well as advice on how to adjust the framing of tried-and-true arguments about the economic, educational, health and civic benefits of the arts.
Here are a few of the ways you can use the new guide:
- Consult it as you prepare for conversations with governors, legislators and partner agencies in state government.
- Share it with arts advocates in your state.
- Use the guide for inspiration when preparing key communications, such as agency impact statements, budget justifications or strategic plans.
- Refer to the guide when orienting staff, council members or partners to the work of your agency and why it is important.
- Use it to help prepare for media interviews that include an opportunity to promote how arts and creativity strengthen your state.
Our advocacy messaging page includes a couple of one-pagers drawn from the new guide that should come in handy:
- How to Talk about Public Funding: a structured set of arguments emphasizing why government support is essential
- The Core Message: an “elevator pitch” distilling five key message components
These evidence based messages are already helping some state arts agencies and advocates more effectively communicate with policymakers and influencers across the nation. To help connect you more deeply to this work, NASAA is hosting the following opportunity:
Making a Strong Case for the Arts is a webinar we’ll be hosting on Wednesday, February 8, at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
Designed for both public agencies and cultural advocates, this session shows how state arts agencies are using Arts and Creativity Strengthen Our Nation to make a persuasive case for investment in the arts. Registration is free. Please join us if you’re able! If you’re booked for that time slot, the video will be posted here afterward.
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From the President and CEO
State to State
The Research Digest
Announcements and Resources
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