Arts Alerts: Join Arts Advocacy Week & Join Local Creative MN Studies!

Join Us for Arts Action Week!

**NOTE, you don’t have to do stuff all week,
just REGISTER, join the rally on Feb. 16th at 8:30 AM
and then do two 15 minute zoom meetings with your legislators  🙂

Here’s the rundown:

Excerpted from an article by Pamela Espeland in Minnpost) “Arts Action Week, normally Arts Advocacy Day, (is) MCA’s signature annual event. During (MCA Executive Director Sheila) Smith’s watch, Arts Advocacy Day grew from 100 people to more than 1,000. Each year, arts advocates from across the state would journey to the Capitol to meet with legislators, remind them of the importance of the arts to our lives and our economy, and ask them to support arts funding.No one will journey this year. Like the 2021 Minnesota Book Awards, Arts Action Week will be virtual for the second year in a row.MinnPost: Arts Advocacy Day 2020 was originally scheduled for March 19. It went virtual in a hurry. Can you take us back to what that was like?Sheila Smith: The world closed down four days before Advocacy Day. We had set up in-person appointments with 201 legislators. It took a month to do that. We had printed all of our materials. The office was full of boxes for the people who had registered. I think it was near 1,000. They were all getting ready to jump in their cars and drive to the Capitol, and then the world shut down. We actually called off Advocacy Day two days before the governor imposed the shutdown, because we could see it coming. We shifted to having everybody write emails to their legislators instead.  It was so traumatic. It seems like a million years ago now.
MP: This year’s event will take place Feb. 16-19. Why a week instead of a day?SS: It’s just logistics. If we’re going to be organizing Zoom meetings with all 201 legislators, it’s impossible to run 201 Zoom meetings in one day.  The advantages of doing it virtually are attendees don’t have to get in their cars and drive six or seven hours from the far reaches of Minnesota to see their legislators in person. This will be easier, and we’re hoping to get more attendance at meetings with legislators because people can just pop into a Zoom.
MP: How will people know about the Zoom meetings scheduled with their legislators?SS: They sign up. If we secure a Zoom with their legislators, we will email them the time, date and call-in info…
MP: What do you especially hope will happen during Arts Action Week?SS: I hope that a lot of constituents call in to talk to their legislators about the importance of the arts to our communities. And that the result of these calls is that state arts funding is protected.  We’re in early days in the legislative session, and there will be lots of things happening. People need to be vocal about protecting arts funding, and the state has a deficit. The sands are shifting on that pretty frequently. People didn’t know how COVID was affecting the budget. It turns out it’s affecting some parts more than others. Will we get federal dollars for COVID relief? That would make it less of a crisis. There are a lot of questions, and we need to be on our toes to make sure legislators know that we think the arts are important and arts funding should be protected.
MP: What else would you like people to know?SS: I’m proud of how much we have grown the advocacy community in Minnesota. We’ve trained thousands and thousands of people to be advocates, and I believe in them and trust them to protect arts funding in the future.
Also, it’s two weeks out from Arts Action Week! The sooner people sign up, the better, because we have to sort out the complicated logistics of setting up all these Zooms with legislators and connecting the advocates with them.
Pamela Espeland writes the Artscape column for MinnPost. 


SIGN UP NOW FOR A LOCAL CREATIVE MINNESOTA STUDY!

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) is ready to enroll organizations, cities, counties, and regions for its next round of Creative Minnesota economic studies. Let MCA provide you the tools you need to recover and grow your area’s arts and cultural activity and economy.
The impact of the global health pandemic has been devastating to the creative sector, shuttering venues and in-person activities. But a recovery is on the horizon. How can you recognize the value of this multifaceted and important sector, and advocate to ensure a full recovery for arts and culture? A Creative Minnesota economic study can set the foundation you need to help others understand and support this sector, guaranteeing a solid arts and cultural recovery and future.

Nationally, arts and culture contributed 4.5% of gross domestic product in 2017 (that’s $877.8 billion!). The sector employs over 5.1 million people nationwide, produces a trade surplus, outperformed the transportation, construction, and agriculture industries, and was a leader during the recovery following the 2008 downturn. We know nearby restaurants are busier when there is a performance at the local theater, and that creative events enliven city centers, engage residents, and attract visitors. In fact, over 23 Million Minnesotan’s attended a cultural event produced by a nonprofit organization in 2016, prompting a statewide $671 million economic impact. So, let us quantify the state of your arts and cultural sector based on 2018 data, and give you the foundational economic data and language you need to advocate and plan for future growth in your creative sector.

Creative MN has conducted 63 studies for organizations, cities, counties, and regions throughout the state, jumpstarting important conversations with local civic and business leaders and arts organizations about the importance of arts and culture to local restaurants and retailers, the workforce, and local government revenues. The Creative Minnesota economic study quantifies and celebrates your important arts and cultural sector, empowering you to continue to celebrate the unique vibrancy and benefits artists and cultural bearers bring to your community.

For the low cost of $1,750 your chosen ‘geography’ can participate in the creation of a customized report. We’ll accept up to 15 study requests in the upcoming study period. Contact us now to get your ‘interest’ package so we can enroll you by July 1 and deliver to you a custom report by late fall. Questions? Contact Brenda (Brenda@artsmn.org).

The arts give back, and we’ll show you just how much!