In your face arts advocacy!

ARTS in your faceI am still processing my Americans for the Arts Conference notes, but I do feel ready to talk about one of the points I made in my wrap-up blog.   I do feel that arts advocacy needs to be a main focus.  Right now, we have a little bit of momentum in terms of selling the arts as good for education and for the economy.  I like to call these advocacy points the vegetables of arts advocacy.  In the past I suggested a list of options for Popcorn and Candy arts advocacy.

Further, I have suggested 9 simple arts advocacy actions for daily life as well as formatted a slide presentation A Day in the Life – The Arts Are Everywhere! Arts Advocacy.

The main idea I am trying to get out into the universe is the fact that it would be best if we were more “in your face” as a reminder of the arts in our everyday lives instead of “excuse me, this is why the arts matter.”

Today I came across the article How music creeps in our lives without notice.  Why is this happening?  Every day we have the arts surrounding us, supporting us, entertaining us, expanding us, etc., but are we (our general populace) really relating and connecting these moments back to arts awareness?

This is why I feel we need to implement a campaign with all hands on deck to be a wake up call to the general public.  A campaign that is everywhere, done in a down to earth manner that people can understand, take notice, and be a part of.

If we can come up with a simple, focused idea that is easy and fun to share, an idea that also has an artistic, creative flair, I think we can grab the attention to put focus back onto the arts in our everyday life.

Creeping into our lives without notice?  Well, this simply needs to stop!  The arts are too important to be considered ignorable.  Isn’t it time to give the arts the mass attention and support it deserves?

If you have any ideas and suggestions for this type of campaign, please, pretty please, comment.  We need all the idea generation help we can get!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,


Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists


“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

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Filed under Arts, arts advocacy, Audience Development

8 responses to “In your face arts advocacy!

  1. Yes! The NoBo Art District is starting a postcard campaign to help communicated to our leaders in Boulder how the arts shape the community and individuals. Would love to expand this to support all arts everywhere, lets talk more!

    • Thanks, Annette. A postcard campaign could be a component in the overall awareness campaign. I was thinking more along the lines of reaching the general public (with community leaders being a part of that public as well).
      Thanks again for your comment, and yes, we should talk more about this!

  2. Pingback: In your face arts advocacy! | Arts (+) Marketin...

  3. It is a little self serving to link this here, but I believe it is in dialog with your post and the posts you linked back to. I’ve been rabble rousing for a strategy to increase playgoing, with a nod to the fact that I’d be happy for other art forms to get on board. The strategy depends on three points: Diversifying production, reinventing marketing, defining and supporting playgoing as a hobby. I’ve written about it here:

    There’s a video here:

    I welcome any thoughts.

    • Hi Pete,
      I included your comment and video because it does deal with audience development. However, I am speaking about a cross discipline awareness campaign, which is a little different than a strategy for increasing audiences for a specific discipline. If you have thoughts about the type of campaign I am focusing on here, please do reply again.

      Thank you, Pete, and good luck to you!

  4. Pingback: In your face arts advocacy! | Audience Developm...

  5. We all think too small. For several years now, and in various forums and blogs and in fly-by-night conversations and on formal panels, I’ve suggested that we need a Million Artist March on Washington. Google the “Million” this and that marches that have occurred in the last few decades—go back before the Million Man March on Washington in 1995 and the controversy around that one. Think about, say, the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979, which drew something like 125,000 people at a time before cable TV, before the 24/7 news cycle, before the Internet, before social media. Nearly 35 years later, what do our arts leaders say? “It can’t be done.”

    I call BS on that. It can be done if we’re serious about advocacy. We’re not—not really. And we get the message and therefore think too small.

    • Leonard, I agree with you. We do think too small. We could use something huge right now! A March would definitely grab attention, yet, I’m wondering if we could find an idea that would be more ongoing with connection to daily life.

      I’m curious though, is there a group that is trying to champion an arts advocacy march or is it simply a floating idea? I guess I am politely asking – is there any action behind the idea to make it a reality or simply talk? I do not know much about the history of this initiative.

      I happen to agree with Seth Godin. If you want something done, you don’t have to ask for “permission” to get it done. You just need to get it done! It would be lovely if everyone were on board, but if not, why not go for it anyway? If other groups have marched, why not the arts? You know who might want to take this on? Ovation!

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