Arts Education Advocacy
Arts Education Advocacy
Arts Education policy and funding can be incredibly complex to advocate for because education decisions are made by individual schools, local superintendents, City and County governments, local elected school boards, State legislators, the Governor, district and statewide professional administrators, Congress, the entire breadth of the judicial system including the US Supreme Court, the US Department of Education and even the President of the United States. It makes it even more important to know what you want and why, to start small and think big, be patient and persistent, and to find allies in your cause and method in your advocacy. Here are some strategies to help you be most effective in your advocacy:
Principals and Planning
- Principals have the most direct control over Arts Education at each school. Schedule a meeting with your Principal about how Comprehensive Arts Education is addressed at your school. Find out what your school’s assets and barriers are for implementing effective arts education. Ask how you can help to empower the assets and remove the barriers
- Planning is essential to making sure you deliver the right message to the right person. Your Principal should be able to help you know which officials can make decisions on which issues as well as what you can do in the school itself.
Alliances and Advocacy
- Alliances are necessary to bring about change. First, do your research and find organizations (such as Arts NC) that align with your goals. Sign up for emails and join their network. Use them as a resource for information. Also, find others in your own community that share your priorities and enlist them to work with you.
- Advocacy is speaking up for a cause or idea. Answering calls to action from advocacy organizations is a great way to get started in this work and to join your voice to a network of like-minded individuals to affect policy, practice, and funding.
Communication and Coordination
- Communication is everything. When you know what you want, why you want it, and who can help you achieve it, then it is time communicate and build relationships. Start by writing a letter or an email to the appropriate official or elected representative about your issue. It is a great way to lay out your position on an issue and the facts that support it. Then you can meet up with the official, or their staff, and have a polite conversation.
- Coordination with others is the key to success. The more people that deliver the same message to the appropriate individuals, the more effective your advocacy will become. This takes leadership. Lead with your purposeful actions and passionate advocacy.
Who Does What?
School Improvement Team or School Leadership Team
District Arts Education Coordinator
Local Education Agency – (LEA) – County School Board
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
North Carolina State Board of Education
North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction
North Carolina General Assembly
Federal Laws and Policies
The Arts Education section of the Basic Education Plan – Provides a foundation for excellence in Arts Education.
Arts Education Advocacy – Success lies in the ability of the advocate to connect the message of the arts education goal with the needs and priorities of the community.