12/19/03

Arts Advocacy Day will be Feb. 24, 2004
“ARTS MATTER. WE CAN PROVE IT.”
Former Minnesota Governors Recieve Non Profit Allies Award from MCN

1. Arts Advocacy Day will be Feb. 24, 2004 Save the Date!

You are invited to Arts Advocacy Day 2004 at the Minnesota History Center and State Capitol in St. Paul. The arts need you! Arts advocates must mobilize to make sure legislators understand the impact of last year’s cuts. At MCA’s Arts Advocacy Day, representatives of all parts of Minnesota’s extraordinary arts community come together for one day to: talk about the arts, make new friends, and educate our legislators about the importance of the arts to Minnesota. There will be artists, rural choirs, suburban community theaters, presenters, big organizations, museums, art centers of all sizes, painters, tenors, dancers, cellists, arts administrators, arts lovers and everyone else you can think of joining together for this big day.

Get it on your calendar now! Registration form available.

2. “ARTS MATTER. WE CAN PROVE IT.”

On January 30th, from 9:00a.m. to 12:30 p.m., there will be a meeting at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts to release the results of the PARC (Performing Arts Research Coalition) Study.

In 2002, the Twin Cities was invited to join the second round of a national research initiative, the goal of which is to strengthen the ability of performing arts organizations to collectively gather, analyze, and apply research about their impact, activities and importance. A large number of Twin Cities organizations participated in the research.

To RSVP for the data release event, call 612-872-5199 or e-mail nsouvenir@childrenstheatre.org

Preliminary data includes:

85% of Twin Citians agree that Performing Arts improve the quality of life.
92% of Twin Citians agree that Performing Arts contribute to the education and development of children.
86% of Twin Citians believe that Performing Arts promote understanding of other people and a different way of life.
Some of this data will be very useful in making our case with Minnesota’s legislators and Congresspeople.

PARC is a partnership among five major national service organizations in the performing arts: American Symphony Orchestra League, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Dance/USA, OPERA America and Theatre Communications Group. It is supported by a three year #2.7 million grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. the Urban Institute is the project’s research partner. For information about the PARC project, go to www.operaamerica.org/parc.

3. Former Minnesota Governors Recieve Non Profit Allies Award from MCN

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits gave its “Non-Profit Public Allies” award to the four living Minnesota governors who, as a group, came out this year to oppose a “cut programs only” approach to budget balancing, saying that all of the cuts were harmful to the state and to their legacies as Governors. The award went to former Governors Arne Carlson, Wendell Anderson, Elmer L. Andersen and Al Quie. They advocated for a more balanced, non-partisan approach, and they took their message to the media, wrote articles for the newspapers, and appeared as a group at public forums during session. (Gov. Carlson even testified on behalf of the arts in the House!) I was the presenter for the awards.

Although Arne Carlson couldn’t come to Tuesday’s event, the other three gave inspiring speeches about “public service and the common good.” Elmer Andersen was particularily articulate about how, as Minnesotans, we work together to solve problems, and how important non-profits are as the “heart” of our state. But the most important thing I took away from the day is that there are many, many people in Minnesota who are worried about the common good and see that the best way to solve our society’s problems is to work together, with a balanced approach, to find solutions. I wish I could send you a transcript of what they said. I was reenergized and inspired, and enjoyed talking with the Governors as a group before and after the presentation. How often to you get to be in the same room with three Governors? I hope you all have a happy holidays. We’ll come back in January ready for the next fight.

Sincerely, Sheila Smith