Tag Archives: arts advocacy

Collective voice for arts advocacy?

I have voiced this before – is it possible to find a way to have a bigger collective voice for arts advocacy rather than smaller private efforts? I think we all come from the same place of wanting the arts to be a part of our shared human culture, to be fully valued and funded. All across America I see so many separate efforts. Maybe as artists, it might not be possible to be collective since we mainly are unique individuals that enjoy creating. Perhaps all the smaller efforts will help the entire movement, or would it be better to find a way to build something bigger we can all be a part of? I know there are plenty of groups doing something in regard to advocacy. Who would champion a bigger effort? What would this effort look like? Or is it simply better to have people do their own efforts? What are your thoughts?

-Shoshana

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Apathy will not help audience development

I hope you had a nice weekend!  I ended up participating in the Open Studios tour and scored some really great gifts for myself and my family.  One of the artists said to me, “I’m so grateful when people like you will come and pay for art right away.”  I know it sometimes takes time to decide on purchasing a piece of art, however, I think artists these days are seeing more lookers instead of buyers.  Even the people that like art are not valuing art enough to buy from artists.  Buying a print at a big box store is not going to help your local artist.  This story brings me to my main objective:

ap·a·thy (from Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

noun \ˈa-pə-thē\

: the feeling of not having much emotion or interest : an apathetic state

 Full Definition of APATHY
1
:  lack of feeling or emotion :  impassiveness
2
:  lack of interest or concern:indifference
I think people still feel something for the arts.  The reason we are having such a challenging time is the number two definition of lack of interest or concern.


Apathy is becoming a concern for a slew of social issues, not just the arts.  People are not speaking up and spreading the word about what they care about.  Consider the U.S. government shutdown.  If the majority of Americans wanted healthcare, why have we allowed the minority to shutdown the government?


I had mentioned before how a small percentage of arts folks wrote to Congress regarding the NEA cuts that were on the table.  If we want the arts to thrive, instead of merely survive, we are going to have to address this apathy.


Not having time is an excuse.  With social media’s ability to share something within seconds, that is no longer a factor.  Writing a letter to the editor does take time, but writing a quick email does not.  Technology has made it easy to speak your mind and share information that will advocate for the arts.  Why are the #arts not trending on Twitter?  Why isn’t #artsadvoc?  Mainly due to apathy.


I will say that apathy may not be preconceived.  I don’t think people set out to be apathetic when it comes to the arts.  We simply are going about our lives.  For any issue that matters, it will take people to come out of this state of mind, this state of not minding.


I hear so many complaints.  Not enough funding.  People not understanding the value of the arts.  The fact that grantors continue to ask us to prove ourselves.  Well, we might have created this for ourselves do to our apathetic state.  If we had continued to promote, advocate, spread the word, speak our minds about the arts, we probably would not have such a big uphill battle to deal with now.


We talk about how challenging it is, yet, I am not seeing enough action.  The other “A” word, “action,” is what will get rid of apathy.  It will only work if the majority decides to take action.


Again, a quick, short list of what you can do:
  1. Retweet arts education, arts advocacy and arts news that matters.
  2. Share pro-arts stories on Facebook and other social media outlets.
  3. Send a quick email to your favorite media outlets.
  4. Tweet at your congress representatives about the arts.
  5. Buy from artists you know (or local artists) instead of big box for gifts.
  6. Join arts advocacy organizations like Americans for the Arts and add your voice during calls for action!
  7. Sign up and go to local business of arts workshops.
  8. Become more involved with your arts council or alliance.
  9. Wear arts gear to start conversations with people.
  10. Be a verb!

We can get the arts trending again.  We can put to bed this apathetic state.  It will take a big wave of action.  The bigger picture is worth working on.  It will make the smaller day to day a great deal easier.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

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

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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Our arts begin to end

Ourlives

Today is the 5oth anniversary of the famous Martin Luther King, Jr. speech, “I have a dream...”  One of the quotes that is being distributed is “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  This quote literally woke me up this morning, well, enough for me to begin writing to you.  I feel this quote matters to me personally. Lately, I can’t seem to get myself started.  After a week off, and considering just fading into the woodwork, my work of bringing awareness for change to an audience development mentality keeps getting harder and harder.

Don’t worry, this blog is not going to be a big complain fest.  I am through with that type of festival.  However, I will say that getting people to take action, discuss, and congregate for arts advocacy is a big challenge.

When I saw this quote, it rang true for the translation for the arts.  Our arts begin to end the day we become silent.  The fact that we have to justify how valuable the arts are means to me that we have been silent far too long.

Right now, people are going about their arts businesses mainly focusing on what they need to get done in the moment to keep going.  The vision isn’t extending much past this day to day business.  There hasn’t been enough thought that if we collectively were giving some time to a bigger movement that the day to day may not be so challenging and get easier.

I often think of this line of thought in terms of using audience development.  If more people were to shift to audience development, there would be bigger audiences and more support for the arts already.  Yet, I digress.

When there was a cry out for supporting the arts during the time the NEA budget was on the chopping block, again, this time for 49% of slashing, only around 2,800 ( I think that was the number) people responded through Americans for the Arts.  There are 313.9 million people (2012 figure), in the U.S.A. today.  You can do the math to come up with a really low percentage of people that were not silent.

I feel like we keep wishing for someone else to save us.  In reality, we need to save ourselves.  Our arts begin to end, unless we collectively have a voice.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

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

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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YouTube Kinda Mood: New Arts Advocacy Videos!

Today I will be discussing arts advocacy with some of my colleagues.  Since I was in a YouTube kinda mood, why not share some new (fairly new) videos!  Have a fantastic weekend!

 

 

 

 

My favorite in this set (of course, it’s from my Alma Mater!):

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

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

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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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

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

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

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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When was the last time for arts audience development?

When was the last time you went to an arts event?

When was the last time you invited someone to an arts event?

When was the last time you shared a piece of music with someone in your life?

When was the last time you created a work of art?

When was the last time you searched for a fun arts event for the weekend?

When was the last time you shared an arts event on your social media feed?

When was the last time you wore a piece of art?

When was the last time you bought a button, bumper sticker or t-shirt to support the arts?

When was the last time you donated to the arts?

When was the last time you spread the word about an arts fundraiser?

When was the last time you read about the arts in the local newspapers?

When was the last time you volunteered for the arts?

When was the last time you listened to music?

When was the last time you sang, danced, wrote, painted, illustrated, doodled?

When was the last time you bought a piece of art?

When was the last time you purchased music?

When was the last time you watched an actor on the stage?

When was the last time you went to see live music?

When was the last time you saw someone dance?

When was the last time you went to a museum or gallery?

When was the last time you realized that film and television are comprised of the arts?

When was the last time you discovered that the arts make marketing creative?

When was the last time you realized that photography is art?

When was the last time you appreciated that design of a piece of furniture, appliance or other home utility?

When was the last time you read a good book?

When was the last time you took your kids to an arts event?

When was the last time you created art with your kids?

When was the last time you were moved by the arts?

Supporting the arts starts with each one of us with everyday interactions.  When was the last time you supported the arts?

-Shoshana

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9 simple arts advocacy actions for daily life

Iheartarts

It’s that time of the year again when arts advocacy days start popping up all over the country.  The official National Arts Advocacy Day is April 8-9. If you want to know your state’s official day, get in touch with a state captain.

I have mentioned in the past that everyday should be an arts advocacy day.  Here are 9 simple ways you can be an arts advocate in your daily life:

  1. Wear an arts t-shirt or button to show your support of the arts.  This will likely start some conversations too.
  2. Point out to the people you are with (or stop a moment to recognize for yourself) when you spot arts in your daily lives.
  3. Post arts events on your Facebook feed and tweet on Twitter with the hashtag #arts to help promote the arts events and arts organizations that you love.
  4. Use your social media to shout out for the arts whenever you appreciate the arts.  For example, while you are watching Downton Abbey, include the #arts tag in your post to show your appreciation!
  5. Write a letter to the editor/producer to say thank you when you see a news story about an arts event.
  6. Buy tickets to arts events to give as gifts to your loved ones when special occasions arise.
  7. Set aside 10 minutes a week to look at your local events calendars and go to an arts event at least once a month.
  8. Bring your kids to an arts event at least once a month.
  9. Do arts “projects” daily – sing, dance, doodle, work on a project with your kids and appreciate the arts and what they do for your daily life!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

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

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

 

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Filed under arts advocacy, Audience Development